Project Profiles

An Elegant Game of “Where’s Waldo?”

December 30, 2019

As original and eye-catching as the design was, something was missing. Applied directly to the painted wall, the montage of images fell flat. Then Director of Design Pam Valenta had an idea to use Vycon Legacy Pivot wallcovering from MDC as the base for the digital images. The design took on a rich look, full of dimension. It became the dynamic “Mexican toile” Valenta had envisioned for the walls of the bathroom at the new Ancho and Agave restaurant in Bloomington, Ill.

“It’s elegant but playful, because it sort of invites you to play ‘Where’s Waldo,'” Valenta says of the design which is a collection of iconic imagery that reflects Mexican culture in a respectful way.

The design was six months in the making. Valenta and her MDC designer searched for the thematic icons, patterns and colors that came together to create a one-of-a-kind pattern for Ancho and Agave.

It was the first install for the new, high-end Mexican restaurant chain, and Valenta describes the custom wallcovering as perfectly tailored. While it took months to create it, future installs promise to be quick and easy because MDC created the pattern in a pre-rolled wallcovering that can be replicated for other Ancho and Agave locations.

“Usually, digital installs take time because there is a process to follow, but printing the design on vinyl eliminates that process,” Valenta explains. She has worked with the same MDC representative for approximately 20 years and describes it as a great collaboration.

“She’s my right hand. When we do a project together, she works with me to really understand the aesthetic because she is also a designer at heart. We speak the same language,”” Valenta says. She and her MDC rep recognized the bathroom’s digital design looked “cartoonish” until they tried applying it to a substrate. Then the clever design sprang to life, adding interest and energy to the otherwise simple black-and-white bathroom. The striking wallcovering echoes the character and flair that define the rest of the restaurant’s interiors.

“Everybody loves it,” Valenta says.