Murals are one of mankind’s favorite ways to tell stories and express identity, as evidenced by their evolution from prehistoric cave paintings, to the elaborate masterpieces on chapel walls and ceilings, to their modern incarnation as graffiti. Given the creative potential of wall murals, it is no surprise that they have become a popular project for homeowners to undertake.
Looking at the vast blank canvas that is your wall of choice, it can be a bit intimidating to begin planning a wall mural for your home. If you are just now getting started on the drafting process for your home wall mural, there are several concrete factors you should always consider that will help give you a better idea of what will work in your space. Here are some important things to think about as you plan the home wall mural of your dreams:
1. Don’t just decorate your space. Transform it.
We can tend to think of wall murals as a means to cover up empty or unused space. But with the right planning- and design-savvy, a wall mural can have a functional impact on the room it is in. If you are dealing with an open floor plan, such as in a studio apartment, a strategically placed wall mural can help to divide your space and create the feeling of having separate rooms. This can be especially important to keep in mind if you are designing this mural for a home office space, where having a distinct feeling from the rest of the home can foster productivity.
2. Lighting the way…
You will be putting a lot of thought and time into your wall mural, don’t mistakenly relegate it to some dark wall of your home where its beauty can’t be properly appreciated. If and how your wall mural will be lit is something for which you need to develop a plan. What are the lighting conditions like in this room during the time of day it is most used? Is the design better complemented by natural, overhead, or lamp lighting? Is track lighting something that should be installed in order to showcase the mural? Can the wall mural work together with the lighting in the room, rather than the latter only serving to highlight the former?
3. …without too much sun exposure.
Natural light is an awesome perk in any indoor space, but too much sunlight can be damaging for some wall murals. Many painted wall murals do not hold up well with prolonged exposure to sunlight, and in particularly hot regions they can begin to peel and fade over time. Printed wall murals can meet the same fate when adequate consideration is not given to the materials. If you know your wall mural is going in a room that sees a lot of sunlight, make sure you are printing your mural with UV-resistant inks. You may also want to consider laminating the print to extend its longevity.
4. Is this wall mural forever, or for a while?
Sadly, most wall murals are not portable and are not the type of thing that is easily taken with you when you move. If you do not plan to stay in this home forever, it is worthwhile considering what is to become of the wall mural when you leave. Is the design something that has broad appeal and would likely be seen as desirable by anyone who might be looking to live there next? If you will need to remove it, what will that process entail? Some painted wall murals can easily be stripped and repainted. Other, more textured paints, can be quite difficult to remove. Some printed custom wall murals come with a low-adhesive backing that can be removed without damaging the original surface.
5. Is your wall mural safe for the whole family?
This is your living space after all. When planning a wall mural for your home, you should always consider what chemicals you stand to expose yourself and your family too. Most house paints include volatile organic compounds that are toxic to inhale while the paint is still drying, and sometimes for several months afterward. Some plastic decal materials also contain compounds such as PVC, which can have adverse health effects with prolonged exposure. These considerations should be of extra importance when planning a mural in a space where children, the elderly, pregnant women, or anyone with a compromised immune system will be spending a lot of time. Because of these risks, many large format printing companies have begun to offer PVC-free wall mural printing materials.
The creative possibilities with a wall mural are virtually endless, but it is also important to consider the some more practical aspects of the design and inspiration process. But after once you have taken a moment to think through the logistics of your home wall mural, you can get to the fun part. That is, the imagery!
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