Kitchen murals – 9 bold, bright and beautiful ways to decorate

Harness the pattern power of murals in the kitchen and enjoy an injection of characterful color where it’s least expected

Kitchen wall murals in three different, colorful kitchens
(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies / West One Bathrooms / Little Greene)

Kitchen murals are incredibly popular with interior designers right now. Where once, these spaces were all about practicality and functionality, now they are treated with so much more of an adventurous spirit.

Kitchen wall decor ideas have moved beyond simple paint treatments and even kitchen wallpaper into bolder, bigger and brighter designs and, with many of us creating kitchens that aren't just about wall-to-wall cabinetry, there is suddenly space to indulge in wall mural ideas.

So, if you are considering decorative kitchen ideas, look no further for inspiration than these kitchen murals.

Kitchen murals: 10 bold ways to decorate

Kitchen murals come in many forms. You can find murals ready-made, order them sized to suit your wall space, or commission murals yourself, whether painted or applied as wallpaper. Kitchen wall tile ideas can be configured into murals, too.

If you are wondering what to put on your kitchen walls, let these ideas be your inspiration.

1. Go big and bold

Kitchen wall mural in large print with cabinetry in front

Waterproof Wallpaper from Wall&Deco in Clorofilla pattern

(Image credit: West One Bathrooms / Wall & Deco)

Go big and bold with an attention-grabbing waterproof kitchen mural that is blissfully grout-free and easy to wipe clean. 

‘Each design is scaled to the size of the space, allowing you to take the design right up to the ceiling for maximum effect, if required,’ says Louise Ashdown, head of design, West One Bathrooms

‘Even on just one wall, the visual impact can be huge, and the pattern can be applied over existing tiles for a quick update.’ 

2. Create murals within wall panels

White and green kitchen with mural in green leaves with panels

(Image credit: Little Greene)

Wall paneling can play the perfect host to kitchen murals, creating an opportunity to showcase any design, but particularly more traditional prints or country kitchen wallpaper ideas.

It is also useful to highlight the beauty of architectural details by introducing wallpaper within paneling. 

‘This is a wonderful way to get extra design appeal from your chosen wallpaper and achieve an interesting feature in the kitchen,’ says Ruth Mottershead, creative director, Little Greene

Framing wallpaper in this way will also help it go a little further and allows you to use busy patterns without overkill. 

3. Run kitchen wall murals behind shelving

kitchen with dramatic oversize botanical leaf wall mural

(Image credit: Simon Bevan / Claudia Bryant)

'Wall decor ideas don't always have to be 100% on show – there are huge benefits to putting a kitchen mural behind a simple run of shelving, for example,' says Lucy Searle, Editor in Chief, Homes & Gardens. 'If you are going to do this, I would suggest sticking to a monotonal, large scale print, as above, and introducing an accent color through accessories.

'If you have a hankering for ditsy, smaller prints, these can look wonderful at the back of cabinets or dressers, rather than over a larger, busy area.'

4. Continue your mural behind cabinetry

Green kitchen with fruity kitchen wall mural

(Image credit: Christopher Horwood)

With kitchen murals, it pays to be bold, especially when you're looking for more adventurous, colorful farmhouse kitchen wall decor ideas. Wallpapering behind glazed wall cabinets creates a striking jewel-box effect that highlights the contents – store glassware to enjoy a clear view inside. 

Wallpapering directly onto the back of wall cabinets can prove very striking and is relatively easy to do. 

But to really celebrate a beautiful pattern, like this hand painted wallpaper by Allyson McDermott, papering the entire wall and commissioning backless glazed cabinets is the only way to go.   

Kitchen by Artichoke.

5. Create a contrast with flooring

Kitchen wall mural behind pink cabinetry

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

Working ditsy floral decor with geometric kitchen flooring has a balancing effect that neutralises any feminine bias. 

‘The blue flooring is just what this scheme needs to dilute the softness of the pink cabinetry and floral wallpaper,’ agrees kitchen design company Pluck's co-founder, Leila Touwen. 

‘Imagine how different it would look with a pink tile or even pale floorboards. It’s a very clever scheme that demonstrates how exploring color and pattern can create a cohesive space.’

Hollyhock wallpaper in Spring, House of Hackney

6. Continue a kitchen mural into the pantry

Kitchen mural in white kitchen with elements of green

(Image credit: Heather Talbert)

Carry your chosen wallpaper into the pantry or utility for smooth design continuity between spaces. 

‘Kitchen murals offer a wonderful opportunity to improve the sense of flow in a large kitchen. As this kitchen has ample wall space, I chose a large-scale pattern to unite the adjoining pantry,’ says interior designer Sara Johnson. ‘I also love to pick out a color in the wallpaper to use on the trim of window shades.’

Fabriano gray wallpaper, Brunschwig & Fils.

7. Let a mural inspire your cabinetry colors

Green and blue kitchen with monkey kitchen wall mural

(Image credit: Sola Kitchens)

A kitchen mural could inspire your kitchen cabinetry color choices, and vice versa. 

Here, the background color of Cole & Son’s Savuti wallpaper influenced the vibrant emerald green used on the base cabinets. Deep royal blue was used on adjacent cabinetry to balance the brightness. 

Choosing a multicolored kitchen mural provides more opportunities to pick out accent shades on accessories, such as bar stools, ceramics and lighting. 

8. Layer pattern on pattern

Kitchen wall mural in yellow and green with white kitchen in front

(Image credit: Julie Soefer)

Kitchen wall murals can bring a dash of fun to everyday cooking and kitchen chores; Creative Tonic Design’s principal Courtnay Tartt Elias is fully onboard. 

‘I personally love pushing boundaries and fully embrace the layering of pattern upon pattern in any room,’ she says. ‘Here, the large-scale lemon wallpaper and lively Marigold blinds both offer bold patterns in a similar color palette that pop against the crisp white of the kitchen’s backsplash and cabinetry.’ 

Arance wallpaper in Lemon & Seafoam, Cole & Son. Marigold linen in yellow, Schumacher. Project by Creative Tonic Interiors.

9. Inset a mural

kitchen with dining table mural and beige cabinetry

(Image credit: Heidi Jean Feldman)

Kitchen murals, just like those in other rooms, can be treated like art, either framed formally or set into a recess, as in the space above. 

'Murals can be expensive,' says Jennifer Ebert, Homes & Gardens' Deputy Editor (Digital), 'as can some wallpaper. This treatment allows you to indulge in a design that you love, but in a limited way; it's also creates a calmer, more muted finish, which may just suit your style better.'


What is the most important aspect of a kitchen mural?

It's a given that you love the design, so the most important aspect of a kitchen mural is ensuring that it can stand up to the moisture and heat of the room. This will mean you need to shop carefully for a design specifically designed for kitchens and bathrooms, or to use kitchen paints suited to walls. And, of course, the surface needs to be wipeable, without being degraded.

Kitchen murals, used as backsplashes are likely to have a sheen finish in order to stand up to the splashes and wiping they will need to undergo. However, away from wet and prep areas, you can choose matte finish papers. Don't be tempted to use a mural across all four walls unless the pattern is subtle; and consider muted colors in the busiest areas of an open-plan space. This is a hectic room, after all, and some calm will be called for.

Linda Clayton

Linda graduated from university with a First in Journalism, Film and Broadcasting. Her career began on a trade title for the kitchen and bathroom industry, and she has worked for Homes & Gardens, and sister-brands Livingetc, Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, since 2006, covering interiors topics, though kitchens and bathrooms are her specialism.