A variety of materials has been used to cover walls — silk, grass cloth and paper, to name a few. Now, people looking for an easy, inexpensive way to highlight and protect backsplash areas can add PVC to the list. KitchenWalls is a line of PVC wallpaper from the Netherlands that is resistant to heat, moisture, UV rays, grease, tears and stains. It wipes clean with a cloth and warm water.

  Unlike regular wallpaper, which comes in vertical rolls and can be difficult to install, KitchenWalls comes in horizontal 23- by 118-inch rolls. The wallpaper also is easy to remove and reuse.

  Spruce is the only store in the region to offer the KitchenWalls brand. Because of its horizontal repeat and durable finish, KitchenWalls is ideal for backsplash areas behind sinks and stoves, says Spruce owner and architect Nomita Joshi-Gupta. It's also suited to the wall space between counters and cabinets in offices, children's rooms, study areas and wet bars.

  The line comes in a range of patterns and motifs, including designs that simulate tile and concrete. Its designer series features patterns by seven artists. There are bright geometric patterns, abstract graphics with a mod feel, painterly beachscapes by Alfred Gockel and a design by illustrator Valesca Van Waveren depicting whimsical, watercolor-like spheres and insects.

  "In the early 1800s, wallpaper was an art form," Joshi-Gupta says. "It is still an art form. You can frame it or use it at the end of a stairwell or in other communal spaces or use it to line the back of a bookshelf."

  Other application ideas include using KitchenWalls paper as a focal point behind a bed in lieu of a headboard and banding a strip across a wall mural-style.

  Because they are removable and affordable (prices start at $135 per roll), KitchenWalls papers lend themselves to apartments, dorms and areas that need a quick design solution.

  "The wallpaper industry is finding new ways to be part of the home," says Joshi-Gupta, whose collection of international wallpapers has made Spruce a wallpaper destination for the trade (it offers discounts to interior designers) and the public. For those who want to dip their toe into the sea of wallpapers without papering an entire room, KitchenWalls provides maximum impact in a minimum of space.

  "They are a great way for people to start experiencing wallpaper," Gupta says. "They're not 3-D but they have a lot of dimension."