Murals Add an Artistic Touch to Home Decor

Photo: Stacey jane Art/flickrAre you an artist in your heart? If so, you most probably use your home as a canvas to express your free-spirited style. A design trend that may appeal to you is decorating one wall in your house with an eye-catching mural. This is an affordable home hack that allows you to stamp your space with an exciting splash of color and unique personality. There are a number of ways to add a mural to your house's décor.

Why Decorate with a Mural

The most common reason for decorating with a mural is to add a personal touch. This may be especially important to artistic souls who are living in condos or tract housing. With an impressionist masterpiece on your living room wall or a cascading waterfall in the master bath, you'll feel transported to the abode of your dreams.  

A great advantage which this type of decorative self-expression provides over extensive remodeling work is that if you want to tone down your style at some point in the future -- for example, you are planning to list your house for sale -- you can make a mural disappear by simply painting it over.

Another way to use a mural in home decor is to make a room appear bigger or smaller. This type of wall art can also warm up a space that tends to be drafty using tones of pink or orange. Similarly, a refreshing beach scene could cool down a hot spot.

How to Create Your Mural

Your mural may be realized in a variety of materials such as paint, wallpaper, mosaic tiles, or an oversized decal. (Recently, companies have begun offering high quality stick-on type murals which depict a wide array of dramatic interior and outdoor scenery printed on durable materials such as vinyl or canvas. Personalization and a protective coating are optional.) Part or all of an entire wall -- or even several walls -- may be covered in this way. You can use a professional painter or decorator, or create it yourself as a very satisfying DIY project.

Special Effects

Beyond the walls, your mural may extend to sprawl across the ceiling or floor. It might even incorporate existing architectural features, such as a shuttered window that becomes the "door" of a drawn-on beach cottage. Another possibility is the use of trompe l'oeil technique, for example, to continue a stunning window wall around the room or "add" features, such as fantastical shelves or staircases leading to mysterious realms. coming back down to earth, a mural can form part of a very practical feature … perhaps the background for a functioning wall clock.

Murals in the US

When you create a mural, you'll be following in some very formidable footsteps. Murals have a long history as a popular art form in the US. Many talented painters have been hired at some point in their career to paint wall scenes, frequently for public buildings, such as Diego Rivera's 27-paneled Detroit Industry at the Detroit Institute of Arts and Thomas Hart Benton's 10-panel mural, “America Today,” which was originally commissioned for the New School for Social Research. and was recently donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Recently, the Heritage Preservation organization added a division called Rescue Public Murals to recognize and attempt to preserve American murals, while the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program was set up to encourage Philadelphia painters of murals and other public art.

Laura Firszt writes for

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