Procter & Gamble Expands Into DIY Home Design

Procter & Gamble is coming to your living room.

The consumer products giant is testing a line of designer wall finishes at Home Depot stores in the St. Louis area, with HGTV design guru Vern Yip making promotional appearances.

The product is novel: Patterned paint on a roll, which goes on walls dry. Do-it-yourselfers need only peel off the backing and apply. It's even designed to overlap, so there's no need to worry about seams.

Wall coverings are a big market. This year, U.S. manufacturers' sales of wall coverings are expected to amount to $8.4 billion--which will translate into sales of $19.2 billion at the retail level, says Business Trend Analysts. But it's also a new market for P&G, reported Advertising Age on Monday.

P&G's Duracell brand is sold in home-improvement stores, and the company also gives out design advice through its "Home Made Simple" Web venture, which promotes various P&G brands.

P&G did not return phone calls. But the Bella & Birch line (, priced at $64.99 for a 12-inch roll, seems aimed at a proven spot in the DIY market.



"Consumers are truly interested in personalizing their living spaces, and are open to new deeper and richer hues," says Deborah Zimmer, the paint color and decorating expert at the Paint Quality Institute, part of Rohm and Haas Co. "They're more confident about patterns, whether it's stencils or wallpaper borders. And there's a growing interest in different textures, like incorporating sheen into a living space. And that's a trend we're seeing not just across all demographics, but increasingly, across genders."

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