Only a few years ago, the assortment of wall murals was limited. Wall murals were a popular form of wall décor in the 1980s. At the time, wall murals typically featured flaunted waterfalls, mountains, dense forests, etc. In addition to a limited assortment of photo wallpaper, quality of these murals was quite wanting. Since these wall murals were made of paper, they quickly faded in the sun and quickly accumulated dirt, which was difficult to clean off. Today manufacturers offer completely different types of photo wallpaper for decorating the interior. Using innovative technologies, manufacturers are able to depict any picture on high-quality and durable materials.
What is photo wallpaper?
Today, wall murals are again at the peak of popularity. This popularity has been driven by the large selection and wide possibilities of wall murals that are now available. The assortment of photo wallpaper is so wide that you can choose different options for any room of your house, from reproductions of famous paintings to photo sights, abstract patterns and stylish creative drawings.What’s more, thanks to high-quality paints and a stronger basis, wall murals are now more long-lasting and are easier to clean.
To begin, we will define the term ‘mural’. It is quite simple. A wall mural features a paper canvas that is used as a wall decoration. Using the photographic method of image transfer, various paintings and patterns are placed on the canvas, resulting in photo wallpaper.
This variety of photo wallpaper in the interior has emerged quite recently, fueled by technology. Advanced manufacturing techniques have made it possible to use vinyl as the basis for the canvas. Further, high-quality typewriters that accurately convey the hue and contours of images on canvases have made wall murals a reality.
Advantages and disadvantages of photo wallpaper
Wall murals have both advantages and disadvantages. The positive qualities of wall murals include:
- Uniqueness: You can easily buy customized wall murals at affordable prices. With a customized mural, your interior will no doubt be unique.
- You can print any photo you like on the canvas, thereby creating an individualized wall mural.
- Ability to beautifully change the atmosphere of the room: Photos of mountains, forests or large cities present an entirely different atmosphere. However, with the help of photo wallpaper you can choose exactly what mood to give to each separate room.
- Functional properties: Many modern wall murals are resistant to sunlight, high humidity and mechanical damage.
The disadvantages of photo wallpaper include:
- The high cost: Of course, you can always find photo wallpaper at a low price. However, the material used to make such models is weak and will get damaged pretty fast. If you want a more durable option, you will have to part with more money. Additionally, since photo wallpaper is highly durable and can last several years. You need to choose the image of the wallpaper cautiously.
- The need to think through the image in detail: While there are multiple variations of ordinary wallpaper, this type of wallpaper can be quite limiting. However, with photo wallpaper, limitations do not exist since there are endless ideas you could try.
- The difficulty of installation: It can sometimes be difficult to install photo wallpaper for the best view.
Types of photo wallpaper
Properly-selected murals help complement and bring out the beauty of the style of interior design. Thanks to a wide range of options, photo wallpaper is universal and suitable for any style of interior design, from the loft style and to the classic style, Provence, Art Nouveau, the Scandinavian style of interior and more.
You just need to ensure your selected photo wallpaper fits into the design of the room. There are various brands and manufacturers offering high-quality photo wallpaper.
The foremost feature you need to consider is the type of material used to make the wallpaper. Based on the type of material used to manufacture photo wallpaper, the following types stand out:
This is the most budget and environmentally friendly option, no wonder it is widely popular. However, using paper photo wallpaper in the interior comes with the disadvantage that it is not durable and is easily damaged by sunlight and humidity. However, despite these weaknesses of photo wallpaper, there are multiple reasons to choose paper murals, including:
- Friendly to the environment and health of users: This quality renders photo wallpaper versatile. Since the wallpaper does not cause allergies or emit harmful chemicals, it is suitable for use even in a child’s room.
- Quick and simple installation process.
- Affordable cost.
- Universality: Although paper wallpaper should not be used unless in the bathroom due to the abundance of moisture, it can be used in pretty much any other space around the house. In some rooms like the kitchen or hallway, you can opt for paper wallpaper with a special protective coating. For the rest of the house, you are free to use ordinary photo wallpaper.
With proper maintenance, paper photo wallpaper can last you up to seven years, making it perfect for those seeking medium-term home design solutions.
Vinyl wall mural
Vinyl wall murals are undeniably the most popular photo wallpapers today. The appreciation for vinyl wallpaper has been driven by its beauty and the following advantages of the material;
- The ability of the wallpaper to hide small cracks and bumps on the surface of the wall;
- The ability of the wallpaper to maintain its beauty for even a decade;
- It offers a more diverse range of images to choose from. Additionally, unlike many other wallpaper types, it is possible to sketch whatever image you want on vinyl wallpaper;
- Universality: Photo wallpaper can be used in any room in the house, from the kitchen to the living room, bedroom, corridor, and any other space.
This is the costliest type of photo wallpaper. The main advantage of this finish is the environmental friendliness of the material. With a textile mural, the image of your liking is applied to silk, linen, canvas or viscose textiles. It is, therefore, the use of these textiles that drives up the cost of textile photo wallpaper. However, you need to keep in mind that such photo wallpaper can last 15-20 years. These wallpaper types are also easy to maintain and look uniquely stunning, making them a worthy investment.
Non-woven photo wallpaper
Non-woven photo wallpaper is slightly more affordable than textile photo wallpaper.Regardless, the price of this wallpaper type is still considerably high. The use of non-woven fabric as the basis for photo wallpaper has multiple benefits, as outlined below:
- Easy to install: You can paste the wallpaper based on non-woven material yourself. This is because glue exclusively needs to be applied to the wall. After that, you just need to stick the canvas onto the wall and level it.
- Conceals most defects that may be on the surface of the wall.
- Non-woven photo wallpaper can be cleaned using wet cleaning methods.
- Non-woven murals provide good air circulation.
Self-adhesive murals are the best option for those who want to install wallpaper on their own. However, self-adhesive wallpaper is discouraged for uneven walls. Therefore, before installing self-adhesive wallpaper, you ought to ensure the wall is smooth and devoid of defects such as bumps or cracks.
Tip: Avoid using self-adhesive murals on high and wide walls. Installing wallpaper on such a wall by yourself will take up a lot of time and effort. In addition, even the smallest defect on the surface of the wall will give a poor result.
Therefore, it is clear that the use of self-adhesive wallpaper is best restricted to small walls or individual inserts (such as niches and partitions) of interior doors .
Photo wallpaper in the interior of the home
Wall murals are not just a way to decorate a room. They perform many more functions, as we explain detail below:
- Highlighting the accent wall: Photo wallpaper enables you to zone any space. You can do the zoning by simply attaching the wallpaper on the wall of choice. This technique is especially useful in one-room or studio apartments, enabling you to distinctly separate different zones, for example, the kitchen and dining room or living room and bedroom.
- Changing the height of the ceiling: Some images on photo wallpaper allow for certain illusions with the height of the ceiling. For example, by attaching wallpaper with an image of tall trees or a receding road, the ceiling will look higher than it actually is. Essentially, wallpapers with images of elongated objects give the illusion of a higher ceiling.
- Room extension: Wall murals work not only as a way to stretch ceilings, but also as a technique for expanding walls. If you wish to expand the walls in order to create the illusion of a wider room, we recommend wallpapers with pictures of small streets, marine themes, or open spaces like beaches or fields.
- Masking defects on the surface of the wall: Most types of photo wallpaper allow you to perfectly conceal defects on the wall. The result is even better if you use photo wallpaper with lots of small details as this technique allows you to hide all cracks and chips on the wall surface.
- Decorating openings and blank walls: Blank walls are those that are left unused in the room. To easily give them a stylish look, you can use murals. An example on how you can do this is perfectly illustrated in the photo below.
Tip:You can also use murals with images mimicking brickwork, canvas, decorative plaster, etc. to hide flaws on the wall.
Now let’s figure out what kind of photo wallpaper to use for each particular room in the home, as we explain in the following section.
The living room is the main room in any home. It is here that the whole family gathers to relax after a hard day, watch a movie, play board games or engage in any other activities the family members enjoy. The living room also makes it possible for friends and relatives to visit, talk, and have fun together. For these reasons, it is important you perfect the design and décor of the living room.
Wall murals in the living room can be used in multiple variations. However, the most popular wall murals are natural motifs. Marine themes, floral images, photographs of mountains or forests and other natural motifs give the living room a cozy and stylish look. For a room in oriental style, you can consider murals with appropriate pictures, for instance, the blossoming sakura. For a laconic hi-tech, murals depicting bamboo thickets or a green meadow do the trick. Basically, the image on the mural should align with the style of design of the room.
If you want to visually expand the space of the living room, use panoramic murals. Photos of mega-cities like London, New York, or Tokyo, with their dazzling evening lights, are just perfect for high-tech or loft rooms.
The bedroom is the place where people recover, relax, or sleep after a long day. However, bedrooms are rarely sufficiently spacious. Therefore, murals are an especially welcome idea since with their help you can visually enlarge the room, thereby creating a friendlier atmosphere.
The accent wall is important in the bedroom and is often located directly behind the head of the bed. Highlighting this area with a more contrasting finish compared to other walls results in a more stylish interior. Just look at all of these bedroom designs that make use of a wallpaper accent wall below:
Only a few decades ago, wall murals were used everywhere but the kitchen. As we mentioned earlier, paper wall murals should not be used in the kitchen as they are easily damaged by the moisture. You also ought to keep in mind that the kitchen is also a cooking area and as such, has steam and different odors from cooking food, which are likely to damage wallpaper. Also, grease, oil and other substances can easily get on the wallpaper surface, causing destruction.
However, it is now possible to use specific models of wallpaper in the kitchen, since manufacturers now offer high-quality photo murals that are able to adequately withstand elevated temperatures, humidity, and dirt.
Due to these developments, wall murals are now popular in kitchens. In addition to the aesthetics,wall murals can help zone the space, especially in single-room apartments or studios where space zoning is necessary. You can, for instance, use wall murals to separate the cooking area from the dining room.
Tip: For the kitchen, consider wall murals that portray dining experiences. For instance, you can go for murals with images of restaurants, bars, French bakeries, etc. Such wallpaper looks more fitting and harmonious than wallpaper with images of different themes. For small kitchens, choose wallpaper that can visually expand the space, such as wallpaper with panoramic images or open spaces.
Wall murals are a great solution for children’s rooms. Every child will undoubtedly enjoy a fun and interesting picture on the wall. You can easily find diverse wall mural design options for children’s rooms , guided by the age and interests of the child.
Pay attention to the following factors when selecting wallpaper murals for a child’s room:
- Wall mural depicting cartoon characters: Favorite animated characters from children’s fairy tales and cartoon shows will cheer up any young child.
- Mural with a map of the world: Studies by child psychologists argue that the image of a world map in a children’s room has a positive effect on the development of logical thinking.
- Abstract patterns: Perfect for a baby’s room.
Tip: If you want to choose the perfect wall mural for a teenager’s room, consider their hobbies and interests. The mural can feature any image, from space to automotive themes, animals, plants, favorite superheroes, Disney princesses, etc.
The corridor is most often a small area. However, putting up properly- selected murals in a small hallway will help make the narrow area appear more spacious. For the nest results, choose murals with vertical patterns like trees or skyscrapers. Objects arranged in this way visually increase the height of the wall and enlarge the corridor as a whole.
Important!Also remember that the entrance hall is the first room in which guests enter. Create a good first impression by choosing a more neutral image for the photo wallpaper, as such an image will not be too sharp or strain your eyesight. Such a decision will help you set a good mood for yourself and your guests as they enter the home.
Errors to avoid when using photo wallpaper
Many people, after sticking photo wallpaper in the living room, kitchen or bedroom, begin to notice that the finished result does not suit or appeal to them at all. This can be explained by a number of factors:
- The image does not match the style of the room: You should not choose an image just because you like it. Remember that the photo has to sync with the style features of each individual room. For instance, for a living room in the style of Provence, a wall mural with oriental motifs or an image of a large metropolis will work wonderfully.
- Errors in choosing the shade of wallpaper: Of course, you can play with contrasts and choose brighter murals for a laconic gray or white room, or opt for a neutral image for a room with bright accents. However, you need to note that some colors are categorically incompatible with each other. To choose the color of the wall mural, we recommend that you use a technique called color block, which allows you to choose the right contrasting shade for the walls.
- The over-abundance of photo wallpaper: Photo wallpaper is so unique and conspicuous that it should only be limited to a single wall in a room. Avoid gluing photo wallpaper onto all the wallsas you will spoil the interior.
- If your room needs to be divided using photo wallpaper, you should install it at the section where you want the separation of space to occur. Therefore, avoid sticking paintings on the border between two different zones within the same room as doing so ruins the zoning.
Tip: The image presented on the photo wallpaper should be made in more or less realistic sizes. Excessively enlarged objects, for example, a blade of grass on the entire wall, look inharmonious and ruin aesthetics.
As you have surely learnt from this article, wall murals are not only beautiful, but also quite difficult to use perfectly. However, customize your photo wallpaper images or select unique pre-made models for the most alluring interior. Also ensure you take into account all our other recommendations. Also ensure that the mural syncs with the rest of the design, furniture and decor. For instance, keep in mind that large pictures on the walls attract attention and for this reason, limit the use of other bright accents of large sizes in the interior. Also, do away with bright bulky furniture and textiles with multi-colored patterns if you choose a wall mural.
Choose wallpaper that matches the style of each individual room. For a large room, you can buy wallpaper with large images but in small areas, this technique will only put pressure on your eyesight. For a small room, photo wallpaper with small illustrations is more appropriate.
Despite all these rules and tips, trust your instinct and go with the solutions that feel right for you. Only the result matters.