on July 3 2013
Remodeling can be an intimidating and expensive proposition. Fortunately, it’s not the only way to create a stylish new look for a bedroom, bathroom or dining room. The addition of a full-wall mural or a simple decorative mirror can completely alter the appearance of a room for far less money and with much less hassle than changing the carpeting, repainting the walls and ceiling or making other drastic changes. Murals, appliqués, borders and mirrors are all easy additions that can turn a boring, drab room into your favorite place to relax. Use this wall decor buying guide and consider the following questions as you plan how to revitalize your decor:
• What type of murals are available?
• How can wall appliqués be used to enhance a room?
• Where can you apply borders for maximum effect?
• How can mirrors be used to alter a room’s appearance?
• Are there any special features you would like to have?
Options, Decorative Effects & Features
When trying to determine which wall accents are best suited to your decorating goals, it is helpful to understand what types of effects different components can have on a room. You’ll want to take into account the size of the room and its existing color scheme. Mirrors possess incredible placement and design versatility and can be used in conjunction with other types of wall décor. Depending on how you utilize murals, appliqués, borders and mirrors, you can create a range of effects from simple to elaborate. Since most wall décor is easy to move or remove, you’ll have little trouble making a change if you decide to redecorate in the future.
Murals, or wall paintings, are amongst the most dramatic alterations you can make to a room. What is a plain white wall today can become a lush jungle or tranquil pastoral scene tomorrow. Whether you desire a natural backdrop or a whimsical one, murals can be found in a variety of types and styles. Murals are often used to add size and depth to a room, create a central focus and add a striking decorative touch without taking up any space. Murals may feature a self-adhesive backing for easy application or come in a kit that includes all of the necessary components for application. Before you install a mural, you’ll need to determine whether you want to center it or set it off to one side or the other. Make sure walls are smooth and free from defects before applying a mural.
• Use a partial mural to achieve a more subtle effect in bathrooms, kitchens and more
• Partial-wall murals provide a smaller, more specific focus
• Mural kits include paste as well as detailed instructions to make application easy
• The chart below lists several examples of both full and partial murals:
Examples and Effects
||• Landscape and country scenes provide a soothing, natural appearance
• Snowcapped mountain or jungle scenes lend a dramatic feel to a room
• Farm and field scenes offer a rustic look
• Lake and ocean scenes create the appearance of living on a waterfront
• Garden scenes provide a lush backdrop
• City scenes offer a bustling, urban feel
• Fairy tale scenes enliven a child’s bedroom
||• Bookshelves, paintings and wine racks create a sophisticated feel
• Niches with vases or sculptures add art without clutter
• Window or door openings on country or city scenes as well as terraces and lakes offer a
scaled-down version of similar full-wall scenes
• Fireplace, grandfather clock and other furniture scenes enhance a room’s furnishings without
taking up space
• Cartoon characters provide a whimsical feel to a playroom
Appliques and wallpaper borders are fun elements that are particularly well-suited for use in children’s bedrooms or playrooms. Appliqués are often precut, allowing them to be peeled off sheets like stickers and then applied to whatever surface you want to add them to. Look for ones that are reusable and can be safely removed without damaging your wall’s finish or leaving a residue behind. Borders are applied in a similar manner to appliqués but are designed more to complement and accent than to be a focal point. Appliqués often have mix-and-match borders that can be used to create different looks when you’re in the mood to make a change.
• Appliqués are perfect accents for themed bedrooms
• Look for appliqués that are made from nontoxic materials, particularly if you have kids
• In addition to walls, appliqués can be applied to cabinets, dressers, mirrors and more
• Appliqués and borders can be applied very quickly, leaving you more time for other tasks
• Use mild cleanser or kitchen cleaners to clean appliqués and a blow dryer to remove them
Mirrors provide you with an incredible number of installation options. They are available in different shapes and sizes and can be either framed or unframed. Mirrors can be used to create the illusion of more space, highlight an object from all sides, increase the amount of ambient light or simply provide a reflective accent. If you have a small room that you’d like to give more depth to, just add a large wall mirror. Before settling on placement, be aware of what will be reflected in the mirror. For example, if a wall opposite a large window has a lovely view, that view could be reflected in a strategically placed mirror. You’ll also want to consider where lights are positioned in relation to the mirror. Mirrors can greatly amplify the effects of light to brighten up dark spaces, but if they’re directly reflecting lights, they can create uncomfortably harsh reflections. In addition to walls, mirrors can also be installed on doors. If you’re installing a multiple-panel mirror, avoid placing seams in the middle of the room where lights are likely to highlight them.
• Unframed mirrors may have flat or beveled edges
• Convex mirrors are ideal for visually expanding a room Frames are available in a range of styles
• Door mirrors are generally rectangular and hung on the backside of a door
• Door mirrors are ideal for bathrooms, closets, bedrooms and dorm rooms
• Use an odd number of panels to avoid seams being located in central areas
• Use both mastic and mechanical fasteners to keep mirrors in place
• Use warm water, glass cleaners, vinegar and soft cloths to keep mirrors clean
Etching can enhance an already beautiful mirror with a stylish, unique pattern. Mirrored Tiles:
Instead of installing one big mirror, consider installing a wall of tiled mirrors. Tiled mirrors offer a different look and are often easier to handle and install without professional assistance than large wall-sized mirrors.
Pictures, paintings, sculptures and more can all be used to add style and panache to a wall. If you have a particularly striking piece of art, use mirrors to highlight and enhance the way it is presented. If you’re trying to create a gallery feel with your pictures, be sure to leave plenty of space between them so they don’t appear crowded together. Lighting:
If you’re adding mirrors or a dark wall mural to a room, it can greatly affect the lighting. Mirrors often amplify or enhance light by reflecting it, meaning you may need to use softer bulbs or reposition them to avoid glare. Dark murals may swallow light a little, so consider adding more lights or using brighter bulbs if you find that the room has become too dim.