Montreal Gazette - - NEW HOMES + CONDOS - JEN­NIFER COX

Tech­nol­ogy has com­pletely trans­formed the way we live and work. It is also chang­ing the face of home decor. To­day, 3D de­signs are seep­ing into res­i­den­tial de­sign trends — from the wall­cov­er­ings we use around us to the fab­ric we fea­ture on our ac­ces­sories, to even the ba­sic ma­te­ri­als we use in our util­i­tar­ian spa­ces. These three-di­men­sional ac­cents are what we in­cor­po­rate into our homes and condos to re­ally per­son­al­ize them.

One of the first ar­eas in which three-di­men­sional pat­terns started pop­ping up was in wall­pa­pers. While true 3D pa­pers (where you use so-called 3D glasses to see the space in three dimensions) are still a spe­cialty item, high- to mid-end wall­pa­per com­pa­nies have cre­ated unique mo­tifs that ap­pear three-di­men­sional.

“I have a lot of com­pa­nies that take geo­met­ric pat­terns and give them the il­lu­sion of 3D ef­fects; the pat­tern ap­pears to be jump­ing off the wall but it's all in the de­sign,” said Maria Raco, direc­tor of the show­room for Newwall. “They use a lot of it for com­mer­cial and hos­pi­tal­ity en­vi­ron­ments — board rooms and lobby ar­eas: spa­ces (in which) you can step back and get the ef­fect as op­posed to be­ing in a small pow­der room en­closed by four walls.

“There are cer­tain de­signs where you need to be able to step back, so in a res­i­den­tial set­ting, these 3D prints are for fea­ture walls in front en­trances, bed­rooms and din­ing rooms.”

Tiles in kitchens and bath­rooms are also an area where 3D de­signs can be used, specif­i­cally on the back­splash, where they can truly be­come the cen­tre­piece of the space.

“There are a lot of three-di­men­sional tiles out there,” said Kristina Panz­era, a se­nior buyer with Ciot. “You can re­ally bring the at­ten­tion to that area with 3D ef­fects. It's a re­ally nice dec­o­ra­tive el­e­ment, par­tic­u­larly when you use a to­neon-tone prod­uct.”

One of the most pop­u­lar 3D ap­pli­ca­tions in res­i­den­tial de­sign is in art­work. So­phie Mar­coux is the founder, owner and de­signer be­hind Sofs De­signs, where she cre­ates do-it-your­self 3D paper puz­zles that any­one can make with scis­sors and glue.

“The art form is some­times called 3D pa­per­craft or low-poly paper sculp­tures, and it is start­ing to pop up ev­ery­where,” she said. “When I started about six years ago, there were just a few de­sign­ers mak­ing the pat­terns, but now you can find more and more, which is great be­cause it's such a fun way to dec­o­rate. It is also su­per eco-friendly.”

Evolv­ing tech­nol­ogy has con­tin­ued to usher in new ways of in­cor­po­rat­ing per­son­al­ized art into homes, and that in­cludes three-di­men­sional pieces that are one-ofa-kind and whim­si­cal.

“I think that with the ad­vance­ment of tech­nol­ogy, such as home 3D print­ers and laser cut­ters, many more peo­ple have the abil­ity to be cre­ative and bring their amaz­ing ideas to life. This makes for a greater range of decor el­e­ments and is also much more at­tain­able in terms of cost,” Mar­coux said. “If we look back maybe five to 10 years, there is no way some­one could spend around $100 and have an eight-foot po­lar bear stand­ing in their liv­ing room!”

Why has 3D de­sign and art be­come so pop­u­lar? A big rea­son, Mar­coux said, is that peo­ple find such re­al­is­tic three-di­men­sional shapes sooth­ing.

“I once had a con­ver­sa­tion with a res­i­dent psy­chol­o­gist that was vis­it­ing from Brazil on the im­pact of 3D imagery, and he ex­plained that 3D shapes are per­ceived by the brain as be­ing `real' and can evoke a whole range of emo­tions,” she said. “Three-d paper decor is so awe­some (be­cause) it brings real emo­tion.”

I once had a con­ver­sa­tion with a psy­chol­o­gist ... and he ex­plained that 3D shapes are per­ceived by the brain as be­ing `real' and can evoke a whole range of emo­tions.


A 3D wall of white rib­bon de­sign evokes waves and will brighten any bath­room. Be­low, a white di­a­mond pat­tern re­sults in an al­most flo­ral-look­ing tex­tured de­sign.


A quirky 3D sculp­ture of a sloth will add a light­hearted, sooth­ing bit of decor to any home.

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