Murals are no longer the stuff of children’s rooms


Wow factor walls: Murals are no longer the stuff of children’s rooms – and a bespoke hand-painted design is easier to achieve than you think

If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s the importance of enjoying spending time in our homes. While paint is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to up your abode’s appeal, you can go one step better than a colour refresh by tapping into the latest trend for hand-painted murals.

Traditionally used as an accent wall in a child’s bedroom, bold and creative murals are starting to make an appearance in the rest of our homes, with searches for living-room mural designs up 40 per cent on Pinterest this year.

From discreet designs such as an abstract painted palm leaf peeping out from behind a bathtub or a statement circle spilling across a doorway, to larger-scale ones – think the shapes and squiggles cascading across walls and floors (see opposite) by designer Alex Proba (alexproba.com) – this trend is all about having fun and using your imagination.

Not a dab hand with a paintbrush? It doesn’t matter. In fact, the more abstract the better as the beauty of this painting aesthetic is that it has no singular style or boundaries, so it effortlessly lends a creative look to any space. In other words, let painterly brushstrokes, freehand stripes and imperfect shapes inspired by nature rule – and if you change your mind down the line, or make a mistake, you can easily paint over it.

There is one golden rule: start small. A few shapes that add a pocket of colour or pattern to a quiet corner are a good entry point, as are soothing and neutral colours – you can always layer bolder shades on top or attempt a forest-scape that covers an entire wall later.

Still not convinced? Fake it to make it. Stencilup.co.uk offers a wide variety of wall stencils, from £9.95, that will give a sharp finish. At etsy.com, its stencil collection includes everything from nature-inspired reusable designs (bees, flowers, foliage) to tall trees, priced from £2.50 each. Wall decals are also ideal when you want something bespoke but not too permanent on your walls. These work particularly well in kids’ rooms and hallway spaces that are more subject to regular change. Notonthehighstreet.com sells a wide selection.

If you want the mural effect without going near a paintbrush, check out the hand-painted wallpaper designs at fromental.co.uk (see page 54), which can be tailored to fit any space. Or the bold new mural wallpaper collection by artist and interior designer Richard O’Gorman (@househomo) and lusthome.co.uk: these statement designs come in six sections that can be hung together in any way you choose.

Roll out the panels: Want a mural effect without lifting a paintbrush? Check out Along The Wild Path, a hand-painted wallpaper collection by English textile brand Fromental and wellness brand Goop, which features delicate nature motifs, goop.fromental.co.uk. For a similar sofa try sweetpeaandwillow.com. For a similar pouffe, try johnlewis.com

Roll out the panels: Want a mural effect without lifting a paintbrush? Check out Along The Wild Path, a hand-painted wallpaper collection by English textile brand Fromental and wellness brand Goop, which features delicate nature motifs, goop.fromental.co.uk. For a similar sofa try sweetpeaandwillow.com. For a similar pouffe, try johnlewis.com

Keep it simple: A mural doesn’t have to be intricate to make an impact. Here abstract lines add a decorative touch to a pared-back scheme. For a similar table lamp try habitat.co.uk

Keep it simple: A mural doesn’t have to be intricate to make an impact. Here abstract lines add a decorative touch to a pared-back scheme. For a similar table lamp try habitat.co.uk

Your mural rules: Need inspo for your mural’s theme? Gather objects that mean something to you and from them pick patterns and colour combinations that you like. H Give trending designs a wide berth: your mural needs to be something you can live with, not one you – or fashion – will fall out of love with fast. H To ensure a cohesive feel, choose a design with colours that will complement your room’s exisiting scheme. H For a super-neat finish, it’s OK to cheat – by swapping paint for a Posca pen, suitable for almost any surface: hobbycraft.co.uk has a good selection

Your mural rules: Need inspo for your mural’s theme? Gather objects that mean something to you and from them pick patterns and colour combinations that you like. H Give trending designs a wide berth: your mural needs to be something you can live with, not one you – or fashion – will fall out of love with fast. H To ensure a cohesive feel, choose a design with colours that will complement your room’s exisiting scheme. H For a super-neat finish, it’s OK to cheat – by swapping paint for a Posca pen, suitable for almost any surface: hobbycraft.co.uk has a good selection

Higher Ceiling murals are also having a design moment. A simple and modern pattern such as stripes is timeless and will create more of an ‘accent’ than a statement. And for that straight-edged finish, use painter’s tape

Higher Ceiling murals are also having a design moment. A simple and modern pattern such as stripes is timeless and will create more of an ‘accent’ than a statement. And for that straight-edged finish, use painter’s tape

Create a bigger splash: A hand-painted design can make even the most compact of bathrooms look like the jewellery box of a home. Start with a splashback then extend the pattern to the surrounding walls or ceiling. For a similar mirror try westelm.co.uk

Create a bigger splash: A hand-painted design can make even the most compact of bathrooms look like the jewellery box of a home. Start with a splashback then extend the pattern to the surrounding walls or ceiling. For a similar mirror try westelm.co.uk

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