100 Brilliant Ideas 2010

Home Improvement

Home Improvement

Now that's sticky

Blik's arty $50 wall decals are bringing high design to the masses

Fifty dollars doesn't go very far in the world of interior design, unless you know about Blik--a stylish, graphic-art alternative to dreary wallpaper.

These ultrathin adhesive vinyl decals have become a darling of the high-design crowd, getting raves from Dwell to Cosmopolitan and popping up on the walls in hot spots around the country, including the Hotel Erwin in Venice, Calif., and the Hotel on Rivington in Manhattan. Blik designers even helped decorate the set of NBC's The Apprentice.

"Our objective is to bring a very sophisticated design into someone's home in a relatively affordable way," says Scott Flora, who founded Blik with Jerrine Neils, above. "Some of our artists sell original works for $40,000--we're selling a decal version for $50 to $70."

With the housing market still in the dumps, more people are updating their abodes. And businesses in the home-improvement sector, like Blik, are enjoying the windfall.

Now a $271.8 billion industry, the home-improvement market has grown more than $4 billion since last year. The popularization of design has furthered interest, too: During the worst period for magazines ever, the home magazine sector jumped from 123 titles in 2005 to 337 titles in 2010.

Word-of-mouth has been huge for Blik. Instead of in-your-face advertising, the Venice, Calif., company does things like creating a high-profile custom piece for L.A. designer Barbara Bestor. The whimsical outdoor mural in Silver Lake, Calif., created serious buzz and got tons of press coverage.

"Applying art directly to a wall has an innate connection with people," Flora says. "It goes all the way back to when you were a kid and you were drawing on the wall with crayons. That same excitement we had then somehow permeates everyone." --K.O.

9 More to Watch:

Aeonian Brick Homes These clay-based, eco-friendly, interlocking bricks are waterproof, fireproof, termite-proof, soundproof and mold- and mildew-resistant--and they can withstand hurricanes.

Anna Sova Food Paint Zero-VOC paint and stucco made of as much as 94 percent food-grade ingredients--it even smells like a vanilla milkshake.

Domestic Construction This two-woman interior design powerhouse shuns mass production to create cozy, one-of-a-kind spaces.

Fantasy Shade Designer Melissa Borrell created pull-down shades covered with custom graphics such as trees and clouds.

One Week Bath This home remodeling company guarantees customers the bathroom of their dreams in just one week.

Nama Rococo Wallpaper Studio Each sheet is hand-painted, hand-screened and made from acid-free French paper. Cover a whole wall or frame a piece.

SRS Energy This roof tile company created Solé Power Tile, which allows Mission-style houses to go solar while preserving their aesthetic.

Tomboy Tools This direct-sales company offers top-quality tools designed for women--and the website is full of handy DIY tips.

Window Farms Vertical, hydroponic, high-yield edible window gardens are built using low-impact or recycled materials.

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This article was originally published in the June 2010 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Entrepreneur's Annual 100 Brilliant Ideas.

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