This striking design technique is an easy way to make an artful impact.

By Elyse Moody
February 19, 2019
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Pippa Drummond

A stunning wall mural instantly opens up a room-and your imagination. And now there are thousands of high-quality designs to choose from. Installing one takes a lot less measuring and maneuvering than a gallery wall, so pick a winner and prepare for sudden impact. The dramatic floral design above, a reproduction of a still life by 17th-century Dutch master Jan Davidsz de Heem, is "all the art you need in a room," says Living home editor Lorna Aragon, who adds that its deep palette actually makes a den (or jewelbox bedroom) look bigger.

Some murals are self-adhesive; others require paste. Aside from that, all you need to mount one is a measuring tape, a wallpaper brush or scraper, a utility knife, a stepladder, and a helper. Here, our step-by-step guide to installing murals on your own walls, plus a few more styles we're loving right now.

Measure and Prep

Write down your wall's height and width, excluding moldings, to order the proper-size mural; most come either by the square foot or in several set dimensions. Before hanging, remove any nails, screws, outlets, vents, light switches, and light covers from the wall. If the surface isn't smooth, sand and prime it to banish bumps.

Unroll

Lay the panels on the floor in the proper order (some are numbered for ease), from one edge of the wall to the other, to let the curled ends relax. If they're self-adhesive, hold up the first one and have your helper peel off the top two to three feet of the backing. Otherwise, apply adhesive paste to the first section of the wall.

Stick on and Smooth

Position the first panel at the top of the wall. Press it on gently with your hands, working your way down; follow with the brush or scraper to remove air bubbles. Repeat with the other panels, in order, making sure the edges are flush and adjusting to align the image (just carefully peel off the panel as needed and reapply). If using paste, wipe off excess with a damp cloth, then let it dry. Trim any extra paper at the top and bottom, and along moldings or outlet or vent openings, with the utility knife.

Pippa Drummond

Now that you know how to install a mural, you may be looking for the right one for your space. A wide world of prints is yours for the taking-from realistic scenery to artistic expressions. Consider these four ideas, which are bound to transform any room.

Tails, You Win

Like your little one, this giant bunny from Society6 is going places. He's also wipeable in case of marker mishaps, and commands the room with cuteness, so you can keep the rest of it pared down.

Courtesy of Tempaper

Landscape

Hang this exotic, immersive tableau from Tempaper Designs on a long wall in an entry or dining room.

Courtesy of Minted

Abstract

The black and pink swirls on this Minted mural are reminiscent of flowing water or marble. We think they'll give your powder room extra polish.

Courtesy of Anewall

Painterly

Cover a bedroom wall with this soft blue sky from Anewall, and float off into dreamland.

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