DIAL UP THE DRAMA
Photo Courtesy of Alicia Francine Heydon
Glow Up Your Walls With a Mural
Murals have been around as long as people. From the cave paintings at Lascaux Grottes in France dating back thousands of years to street art murals of today, people have been leaving their mark on palaces, temples, churches, museums, libraries, buildings and homes of rich patrons. The original purpose of murals was to depict society through stories, value systems, fantasies or transformation. Among some of the most famous murals produced are those from the Middle Ages: Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” and Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel’s frescoes.
Today, one need not be a rich patron of the arts to incorporate murals. People who want to glow up their walls with a bespoke mural or a dramatic wallpaper scene can find a variety of price points. According to Zillow’s 2024 home trends report, murals are becoming a sought-after focal piece for homebuyers. Murals are showing up 18 percent more often in homes for sale, according to the report. This comes as bolder and darker colors are replacing the grays and beiges that dominated the home design space for the last decade. Scenes are showing up in living areas, dining rooms and powder rooms that depict leafy landscapes, delicate floral or botanical motifs and other larger-than-life designs that give drama and depth to walls.
For Sarah Krycinski, owner of Ashwood Manor Designs, murals are a great way to transform a room. “Murals add a whimsical feel to any space. We’re getting back to fun, bringing color back, and I love working with clients to get a vision of what they want.” Krycinski first met artist Alicia Francine Heydon when she was helping her decorate her daughter’s room where Heydon had painted a mural. Krycinski now connects Heydon to her design clients who are interested in custom wall design. “It’s a gift to me to share her and make that connection. I love watching people fly.”
Heydon got her start with murals when challenged by her art teacher to create one for her high school — art that still adorns the lobby. She began decorating her own home with murals and word spread as friends of friends started requesting her talents. “I love to create timeless scenes. I am inspired by the French Impressionists. I love subdued hues and touches of gold leafing,” she said.
Photos Courtesy of Alicia Francine Heydon
When Heydon works with a client, she strives to create ethereal murals that transform their spaces, never forcing her style upon them but staying true to her aesthetic. To see more of her work, visit her Instagram page @Alicia.Francine.Designs.
The basic cost for mural painting runs about $10-$50 per square foot. A mural painter will need to look at the wall surface to determine what kind of paint is best suited, collaborate with the client on design and execute the mural. The painting itself can take from 6 hours to three full days.
Kara Oliver, of the paint and design firm James T. Davis, has also noticed a renewed interest in murals as local painters have been commissioned to paint on local buildings and businesses. When working with clients, she recommends murals on accent walls and connects them to mural artists or suggests mural wallpaper.
Different from traditional wallpaper (with a repeating pattern), mural wallpaper comes in units that depict one scene and is hung in a specific order so that the scenes line up. The trimmable edge is key to successful installation. “The murals have a flow that creates a welcoming atmosphere. I recommend staying away from heavy furniture that might block the design and opt for more open pieces,” Oliver advises. A continuous scene is achievable in three to five panel units of mural wallpaper.
If an original painted wall mural is not in your budget, mural wallpapers are an affordable way to go. Advancements in digital printing make it easier than ever to create custom designs. Whether you design your own mural or choose from a pre-existing scene, measuring the wall carefully is essential. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, which might involve applying adhesive paste first or pressing the self-adhesive backing to the wall. To ensure the mural is centered on the wall, start in the middle and work outward as you hang the panels. ✦