Take Your Wall Decor to New Heights With Murals

Want to do something dramatic with that big, blank wall in your home? Creating a custom wall mural from your own photos or artwork is easier than you might think.

The HGTV Dream Home 2016 is beautiful with plenty of eye-catching features, but the detail that caught my attention most was the huge wall mural in the living room created from a vintage photo of surfers negotiating a wave. I've seen my share of gallery walls and overscaled art, but this one took me by surprise.

Mix Things Up

Mix Things Up

The more elegant lines of the side tables mixed with the industrial-style coffee table gives this living room an updated, transitional style.

Not only is this a creative way to turn a blank wall into a personalized, showstopping feature, but it's also not too DIYWSH (that's my short-hand for DIY with some help). The mural at the HGTV Dream Home actually isn't that different from the ubiquitous vinyl wall decals featuring quotes or cute designs.

Gray Bedroom with Mural of California Redwoods and Natural Wood Furniture

Gray Bedroom with Mural of California Redwoods and Natural Wood Furniture

The homeowners love the California Redwoods, so these majestic trees were incorporated into the design of this bedroom. The gray color on the wall complements the misty quality of the mural. The natural wood of the headboard, bed frame and the dressers reflect the inherent beauty of the Redwood Forest.

Photo by: Julie Mikos, Design by Kari McIntosh Dawdy

Julie Mikos, Design by Kari McIntosh Dawdy

Rather than purchase the wallcovering from a home goods store or Etsy.com, you'll need to get in touch with a company that makes custom signs like wall decals for other businesses or giant advertising banners. You provide them with the photo or design that you want turned into a vinyl wall mural and the dimensions for the mural, and they'll handle the printing part.

Blue Hall With Multicolor Ocean Mural

Blue Hall With Multicolor Ocean Mural

This hallway brings the ocean view indoors with a bright and colorful wall mural of the ocean at sunset.

Photo by: Jackson Design and Remodeling

Jackson Design and Remodeling

A small mural might run you about $75, while a larger mural could cost a few hundred dollars, which may end up being cheaper than amassing pieces for a gallery wall or purchasing overscale art and then having it professionally framed.

Large Circular Table in Transitional Dining Room With Saturated Red Accents, Blurred Wall Look and Ceiling Molding Design

Large Circular Table in Transitional Dining Room With Saturated Red Accents, Blurred Wall Look and Ceiling Molding Design

A blurred wall effect with running horses creates movement through this dark dining room. Black molding forms a bold ceiling design surrounding a chandelier over the large, circular wood dining table. The table is surrounded by chairs with alternating red and plaid upholstery matching the two sides of the curtain.

Photo by: Vanessa Deleon

Vanessa Deleon

The trickiest part is hanging your new artwork. Some murals are printed on self-adhesive vinyl, which requires removing the backing and adhering the mural to the wall. Others will need special adhesive added, resulting in an installation a process that is very similar to hanging wallpaper. Either way, at minimum you'll want some extra hands to help you hang things straight and evenly. HGTV Dream Home designer Brian Patrick Flynn shows you how to tackle this part:

How to Turn Your Photos Into a Wall Mural 03:08


Vinyl wall coverings aren't your only option for creating a custom wall mural. Companies like Spoonflower.com print custom wallpaper if you're looking more for a pretty design pattern and less for a gigantic replication of a photo or art.

Dining Room Features Black-and-White Canvas Mural by Street Artist

Dining Room Features Black-and-White Canvas Mural by Street Artist

With an interest in street art, designer Cecilie Starin turned to surfer and muralist Ian Ross, whose designs are inspired by kelp, for the eye-catching wallcovering in "Street Soiree," the dining room at the San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2015. Ross spray painted 17 yards of canvas for the wallcovering, which is complemented by black lacquered paint and a black-and-white striped ceiling.

From: Cecilie Starin

Photo by: Eric Perry

Eric Perry

Another option is to use painted fabric. Cecilie Starin enlisted the help of San Francisco street muralist, Ian Ross, to paint long pieces of fabric with black-and-white spray paint, which she then hung on the walls of the dining room seen above for a fresh, urban look.

Take a look at these other rooms that use wall murals to stunning effect:

Contemporary Bedroom With Nature-Inspired Accent Wall

Contemporary Bedroom With Nature-Inspired Accent Wall

A nature-inspired wall mural serves as the backdrop for the bed in this contemporary bedroom. The rest of the bedroom's walls are kept white to ensure a clean, fresh look.

Photo by: Metcalfe Architecture & Design, LLC

Metcalfe Architecture & Design, LLC

Bright, Contemporary Racecar Room

Bright, Contemporary Racecar Room

To create a one of a kind bunkbed in this racetrack inspired room, designer Carrie Maniaci built the upper bunk as the garage with the lower bunk as the car parked underneath. "We wanted something that would be fun for the kids and spark their imagination," Maniaci said.

Photo by: r.guarnieri


Beach-Perfect Wall Mural

Beach-Perfect Wall Mural

An oversized wall decal with a beachy quote adds personal style to this beach house kitchen.

From: Beach Flip
and If You Can't Stand the Heat, Get Out of the Kitchen

Photo by: Todd Douglas / Getty Images

Todd Douglas / Getty Images



Check Out These Kid-Themed Wall Murals:

See All Photos

Modern Cityscape

Peel-and-stick decals make creating a wall mural easy and affordable. You'll find a wide variety of styles on the market, from contemporary styles like this graphic city scene to more traditional motifs. Photo courtesy of Blik

Gold Polka Dots

Peel-and-stick gold dots against a pale gray background create a chic but super-simple border in a tween’s room. Photo courtesy of The Land of Nod

Photo By: Land of Nod

World Traveler

Designer Bri Moysa of Emerson Grey Designs used a wallpaper map of the world to give a Hawaiian-themed nursery a global vibe. An unexpected color scheme of red and yellow instead of the typical blues and greens, and wallpaper-type patterns for each country offer an updated take on what’s become a standard kids’ room motif.

Vibrant Colors

As you choose colors for your child's room, don't forget the fifth wall: the ceiling. In this energetic Miami bedroom, the strongest splash of color is on the ceiling, where sunny yellow adds energy without overwhelming the small space. Photo courtesy of Amy Lau Design

The Giving Tree

In a gender-neutral nursery, a high-contrast tree creates a bold focal point above the crib — and acts as a backdrop for vibrant orange birds to perch on the branches.

Retro Reading Nook

Considering painting your own wall mural? Your best bet is to start with a simple design, like this modern pattern. To create a playful accent wall, a graphic stencil was painted on a teal backdrop. Design by Laurie March

Green and Blue, Hue Knew

Painting the walls in this teen's bedroom in a color-blocked pattern helped the client's existing low-profile furniture work well with the room's high ceilings. Instead of trying to camouflage a ceiling support beam, the designer highlighted it with turquoise paint — turning a design flaw into an interesting architectural element. Design by Nancy Barrett of Decorating Den Interiors; photographery by Anne Matheis

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