Behind the Scenes: The Story of Mesa

Maya Romanoff

Maya Romanoff Extraordinary Surfacing Materials


Behind the Scenes: The Story of Mesa

February 09 2017

If you’re a Maya devotee or simply a design industry veteran, you might feel vaguely familiar with one of our newest wallcoverings launched late last year, Mesa. And there’d be good reason.

While there’s no one process or source of inspiration for our new products--sometime’s it’s pure experimentation, other-times collections grow from a custom-project--we occasionally turn to our roots as a company to see what techniques from our past can be modernized into designs that are fresh and relevant for today. Such was the case with Mesa.


The intricate, textured motif that characterizes the Mesa line actually stems from a process we adopted decades before and used to make one of our most iconic products, Grecian Crystal. The original collection debuted in the 1980s, and was a staple of our offering for more than 15 years.

See the making of Mesa:


Grecian Crystal relied on an ages old Japanese paper-crushing technique to create a one-of-a-kind organic pattern, but one that didn’t feel quite contemporary enough to simply resurrect on its own. Instead, we revived and refined the crushing and painting process until we found the effect that’s the basis for Mesa.

The true beauty of the product is its textured appearance, despite the fact that the finished paper is completely smooth. To achieve this, we start with a length of paper that’s hand crushed, and then gently smoothed out to preserve the body. Afterwards, we wash-coat the roll with metallic pigments that settle into the valleys of the paper, allowing the paint to take on the texture of the crush. The process is repeated again and again until a vivid pattern appears. After the final layer is applied, the paper is ironed out smooth, and coated with a protectant that makes it washable and long-wearing.

While the finished wallcovering is smooth to the touch, it’s a very apparent pattern with depth that tricks the eye. As David Berkowitz, our Vice President of Product Development has said, “It has so much texture that you have to get up to the wall to see that it’s actually smooth.”

Mesa comes in nine colorways, including Limestone, Jerusalem Stone, Antique Travertine, Carrara, Gray Agate, Golden Quartzite, Brownstone, Red Jasper, and Black Slate. (Seen above).

Order samples to see the collection for yourself, here.