Interior Design

Murals are trending – interiors experts explain why your home should have one

Murals have made a comeback – we're taking notes on how to make this bold statement work across our walls

Tropical wall mural behind a colorful sofa with pillows
(Image credit: Fromental, Shimla, Phoenix)

The power of a dramatic mural is unrivaled. With their striking use of pattern, print, and color, they allow us to make a powerful statement in any room in one step. While murals of sorts date back to the ancient era, this highly decorative technique has gained increasing popularity in recent years, and now, it is more popular than before. 

See: Interior design trends – top looks for the year ahead

Recently, searches online for 'wall mural wallpapers' have risen by 132% and 'living room murals' by 48% – suggesting we still admire this ancient decorative art in the modern day. But why do murals continue to excite, and how do we bring this vivid trend into our homes? Here, interior experts reveal all.

Large map mural behind a seat in a living room

(Image credit: Andrew Martin)

According to Scarlett Blakey, founder of Ophelia Blake Interior Design, 'the bespoke nature of a mural' is a favorite among designers who have the ability to 'make a space feature relevant, whether it's lifestyle or customer-focused. 

'You're also able to produce one-off pieces; this provides complete individuality and exclusivity; this can be preferential if you're wanting a space to be high impact and memorable,' Scarlett shares. The designer then expanded on why murals are having a moment at present, suggesting 'the world of design has advanced over the last few years.' So, we are searching to surround ourselves with more spectacular things in our homes. 

'As design technologies advance, more traditional methods must keep up; the use of murals allows traditional methods such as hand-painted art and abstract sculpture to take its moment in the limelight, which also gives individuals and industries that impact and the bespoke difference they are looking for in today's competitive marketplace,' Scarlett adds. 

How to give murals a contemporary spin

There are design rules to stick to in order to get your choice of mural just right – and in the right place. Here, the experts give their advice.

1. Choose a mural that reflects your personality 

Blue and white mural by Fromental

(Image credit: Fromental, Märchen in Krinkled White)

See: Wallpaper ideas – gorgeous decor for every room

If we're going to take mural advice from anybody, it is Martin Waller, the founder, and global designer at Andrew Martin, and wallpaper extraordinaire. Martin has also seen a 30% increase in wallpaper sales as homeowners look to combine elegance and escapism and reminisce about far-flung destinations or childhood nostalgia across their walls. 

Martin suggests reflecting these elements of individuality through a unique mural, indicating that a mural should 'surprise and harmonize a space'.

'You can do this by not matching all of the interior elements – this will add diversity and pace to the room. Don't be scared to select pieces that are a true representation of you and your personality; these are the pieces that say something about you and your house,' Martin adds. 

Painted mural in a living room with a white sofa

(Image credit: Andrew Martin)

See: Living room ideas – clever ways to decorate living spaces 

Martin's argument is mirrored by Lizzie Deshayes, Design Director at Fromental who suggests injecting elements of escapism through our murals. This is particularly relevant after a year of feeling 'more in tune with nature' and having a desire to travel to 'faraway landscapes,' Lizzie adds.

2. Incorporate modern designs into your murals

Untitled I by Fromental mural in a living room

(Image credit: Fromental, Untitled1, Sachs)

Murals don't need to stick to traditional romantic imagery. They can be updated to fit with any trend. Look beyond the landscape, and follow interior designer Beata Heuman's lead, and create a modern mural by combining traditional fairytale elements with more daring features, as seen in her child's nursery

3. Prioritize character over perfection

Living room with mural

(Image credit: Future)

'The benefit of a wall mural is that it can be as adaptable and creative as you wish. You do not have to be a professional artist to design a bespoke wall mural. If you have a spare wall in your own home and you want to make it stand out, try cutting up some different shapes and sizes in MDF and glue them down across the wall space,' shares Scarlett Blakey. 

'Once your design is complete, finish it off by either painting it into your wall, so it blends across your space, adding dimension, or make it stand out by adding splashing of color to certain pieces,' she adds. 

4. Be clear on what you want your mural to represent

Kit Kemp designed wallpaper mural in a dark living room

(Image credit: Andrew Martin X Kit Kemp)

While it is important that your mural acts as a statement in your room, Scarlett argues that a mural should also serve a particular purpose. She suggests commissioning a 'bespoke mural, which can be unique and individual for you and your chosen space' and urges us to think about the type of effect we want to create. It's also important to attract. 'It's all about making it relevant,' Scarlett adds.  

5. Style a mural in the bathroom

Bathroom mural - waterproof wallpaper by Wall&decò

(Image credit: Wall&decò)

Murals are no longer reserved for the main rooms, as new resistant materials mean they can make a splash in a master bathroom. This is seen in the shower room above. It's a bold move, but Homes & Gardens Editor-In-Chief, Lucy Searle believes it is a risk that can pay off. 

'Shower rooms, wet rooms – and small bathrooms – can feel somewhat functional, but the movement to make them more decorative is picking up momentum. Wallpaper, fabrics and accessories are the usual ways we might do this in other rooms – it's more complicated in wet spaces. However, companies like Wall&decò are creating water-resistant wallpaper that will even resist the steam of a wet room. Their designs can even be installed over existing tiles. The results are stunningly beautiful and original.

'Failing that, you can have tile murals created – try Surface View for a vast range of designs.'

Bathroom - Scale in interior design

(Image credit: Future/Simon Bevan)

See: Bathroom tile ideas - stylish looks that are both classic and timeless

Wherever you decide to create a mural, remember these experts advice – and you can't go wrong.