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Art and Beauty

Are Murals Dated? Yay or Nay

By 08/11/2013August 1st, 201841 Comments

Wow it’s so green in Raleigh, North Carolina where I’ve just arrived to attend the Withit Leadership Conference. People always say Vancouver is green but It’s kind of cool when you can get into a cab, drive 20 minutes and barely see a single building.

Are Murals dated? Yay or Nay

When the cab turned into the Renaissance Hotel where I’m staying it looked like we had just entered a big strip mall.

Me:  Well it’s not very sexy is it?

Cab driver:  There’s shopping here.

Me: Oh, well that changes everything.

Cab driver: I know, I have 2 daughters. The last time my two daughters whined that they didn’t have anything to wear, I walked into their closet and pointed out all the clothes that still had tags hanging on them.

Then he drove into the street with the hotel and it’s actually surrounded by a village with shops and restaurants. All was well until I realized it’s Sunday. And most everything closed at 6:00 pm.

Speaking of green, I have a big blank wall in my studio and I don’t want to fill it with a bunch of frames and random artwork, so I’ve been thinking about a mural.

Are Murals Dated? Yay or Nay

I was really excited when Inkshuffle emailed me their site and I found this wall of leaves. But sadly, it does not come in 21 ft x 8 ft which is the size I need.

What was cool about their murals is that they are not permanent. Easy to take down when you’re tired of looking at it, or if you rent.

So now that I can’t have it, I really want it (of course).

Then I found another company with a wall of leaves. But they are in Sweden so I’m not sure if they ship here.

Are Murals Dated? Yay or Nay

Then I found another website with even more amazing murals, here’s one that would work in my office since turquoise is already an accent in there:

Are Murals Dated: yay or Nay

The sky is the limit really. If you have a big, blank wall, a mural could really transform the space!

Are Murals Dated? Yay or Nay

I love the way this room has been totally decorated around the mural.

Are Murals Dated? Yay or Nay

Hmmm. . . I’m back to a big green wall of something as you can see. . . I just think it might be the easiest to live with over time. Plus next to yellow, I really love green.

Over to you my lovelies. Do you have a mural anywhere? Are they a great way to handle a big wall or what?

Related posts:

Do you Keep the White Elephant? Yay or Nay

Fresh or Fake Flowers, Yay or Nay?

Are Patterned Sofas Trendy? Yay or Nay

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  • Martha Hughes says:

    I love murals, and I really like to paint them. You can have a mural painted on canvas and applied to the wall like wallpaper. The upside to that is you can take them down if you tire of them or are moving and want to take them with you. I have never personally tried that, I just paint on the walls. It’s only paint and can be painted over if you want.

  • Heddy says:

    They’re quite prevalent in retail applications but for me I like more dimension. I have received some absolutely amazing wall panels -samples- last week. Made of corn! Lots of patterns. Paintable. Gorgeous

  • Margaret says:

    I would have said dated until I saw these. Like you said, these are planned for and not just slapped up. I would also want to keep track of any fading. We had a print in our living room, and I really looked at it and it was faded to blues and grays. We replaced that, it was really depressing.

  • Maria, these are all great. If I were you I’d go with the bright blue sky and yellow flowers. You’ll appreciate it during the rainy months. 🙂 From previous posts, I know you love your sun!

  • Cindy S. says:

    I, too, would have said dated, until I saw these. They’re fresh and interesting.

  • Meger Anski says:

    Murals are challenging. When done right, they are the best of the best of the best.

    When they are not done right, er, coughs politely…

    Hand painted is always best.

    Large photos on the wall, are not exactly murals. Not sure what they are. We should think of another name.

    Large photos on a wall can be drop dead amazing.

    Go for it, and share the results. I am excited by this, can’t wait to see what you end up with.

    p.s. it seems that the LIGHTING of the mural would be essential, in the make-or-break equation.

  • Jill Baum says:

    I like the yellow flowers too. If it wasn’t your creative space I would say no. That living room with the city mural is fabulous!

  • I can see this green wall of leaves or the yellow flowers working in your modern light studio, Maria. But otherwise I have visions of 70’s rec rooms and scenes with gondolas and spires.

  • Cathy says:

    Those are very fun, bold and graphic and I believe nothing is dead if it is well executed! Another consideration for a similar, yet different look would be this company
    They were just the darling of the Blogher conference in Chicago and I happen to know the owner, James Oliver.
    Good Luck, can’t wait to see how you pull it together!

  • sharon says:

    go to and search for ‘wall of leaves’. you’ll see the photograph that you like there, as well as many others to inspire. the canvas can be custom sized for your wall and by typing in your dimensions, you have an instant estimate. have fun with it!

  • Hi Maria,
    I’ve used a company called Murals Your Way. They are in Minnesota. They did a custom modification to a mural for my client and added actual photos of them in Europe onto a Map. They were able to adjust the size of the mural to fit the wall I needed – maybe they can help you get the 21 x 8. Good Luck!

  • I live in Raleigh. It is incredibly green here! Hope you enjoy your stay….

  • Kathy says:

    That’s funny, I’ve noticed, recently, they seem to be making a big come back. I like them. The ones of city scenes I really like. My only problem is if I had one I would probably keep sitting there starring at it.

  • Allyson says:

    How about a living wall?

  • Amy says:

    I LOVE these!! I am going to Murals Your Way to see how this works…thank you Sharon and Angie!

    I too was going to reply that murals don’t work so much any more unless you have a really palatial space but THIS changes everything!

    Of course, anything works for as long as you want it if you are willing to change it when you don’t. That means, willing to pay for the change or do the work yourself. If resources aren’t an option, buy an orange and green polka-dotted sofa and replace with another when it suits you. Not the world I live in, but it seems there are many people today who do so with any number of things (cars, clothes, vacations, spouses) on a whim.

    Welcome to NC…it is very green here, especially this summer. We have had so much rain that everything just grows and grows and grows. Actually a bit cooler than usual too. Lov’n it!

  • Welcome to Raleigh….. I live right down the street in Cary ! We just did a great mural in a child’s bedroom for Special Spaces. The company is here in NC and they can make it any size and use any photo.
    I still love the one I have in my bedroom.

  • Jann Newton says:

    I would have said nay too, until I saw these! I really like the blue sky and the yellow flowers.

  • Sarah says:

    For a studio it would be totally creative and cool. Love it!

  • I installed a mural in a client’s home that is the famous “Sunday in the Park” by Georges Seurat. Normally this image is a bit over-used but as a room-sized mural it takes on a brand new feeling. The room isn’t complete yet but we are going for a “steampunk” victorian meets industrial feeling so the image really sets the tone.

  • Franki says:

    Oh, I can hardly wait to “test drive” all your mural suggestions…I, too, want a mural – behind our bed…the room is small and this would give it much needed depth…good luck to you and I’m off for some fun hunting… franki

  • No wall murals here at our home. But when I first met my husband’s family back in 1976, they had a wall mural in their living room. It was a fall outdoor scene. I think it was quite popular at the time and it was one of the nicest things in their simple home.

    Say, couldn’t you just order two wall murals and fit them onto the wall to size? I mean, if ya can do it with fabric (by matching up the design/repeat) why not with a removable wall mural? 🙂 Not having read all the other comments, I suspect someone else has already suggested this. But if not, well….there ya go 😉

    P.S. I LOVE the huge one leaf mural behind the tub. Total wall murals are a commitment..but if you can easily remove, it might be a fun statement for awhile.

  • Amy says:

    I love the wall of leaves too. Reminds me of the famous Martinique wallpaper and fabric used at the Beverly Hills Hotel Yours is not so tropical, but still has the same affect of transforming the indoors to outdoors. Makes me feel happy.

  • Michelle Ku says:

    I say go for the giant leaf mural shown behind the bathtub.

  • Murals make great focal walls! I had a mural installed in the reception area of a foot clinic that I designed, plus another mural in the staff room. Both were from Komar’s National Geographic collection, which I can recommend. They set the tone for fresh, life-filled interiors. Be aware of scale, though. A big close-up mural will overwhelm a small room.

  • Judy says:

    Since it is your office where you see clients, I would prefer to see before and after photos of the jobs that you have completed on the wall. !. It is a testimonial to what a difference you make in peoples lives and what a difference “the right color makes”. 2. The pictures can be changed out whenever you want. and 3. It is branding your skills with your company.
    “Color Me Happy” and Maria Killam are the same.

  • They seem challenging to me because you’d have to watch what you put in front of it so the scale isn’t completely off, and it doesn’t disappear. But since this is for your studio, that’s probably not much of an issue, because you’d just have a chair or two, like in the picture of the flower against the sky. That looks quite FAB!

  • SandyCGC says:

    Nothing rec room 70’s here! The “wall of leaves” and the “single leaf” are heaven to me and the wall of yellow flowers is so great. I think it’s a grand way to go and I’d definitely check MuralsYourWay and the company in NC that Tammy suggested. Definitely planning to do something for the wall at the end of my deep, narrow laundry room (where the original owners didn’t chose the option of putting in a window for light and ventilation). It ends up being the “black hole of Calcutta”. Need light and need to bring the outside in. Can’t leave the fluorescent burning all day and thinking about putting in a solar tube like the one in the kitchen but currently using a small lamp with a cool-burning low-wattage LED bulb which helps. A wall of leaves mural or something similar would be the perfect way to bring the outdoors into that depressing spot. You’ve got me inspired, Maria, and I’m eager to see your choice.

  • Lisa Moon says:

    Well, with my company formerly being called “San Antonio Murals” (transitioning to “Lisa Moon Arts & Design”), of course I’m going to say, “Go for it!” 😉

    Actually I’m an artist, so the murals I do for clients are all hand-painted. The photo murals you’re talking about are very modern and fresh. I love the yellow flowers! It would require more careful furniture placement, however, than the walls of leaves. Love them both!

  • Pam McClain says:

    We have a wall mural from in our game room. It’s a photograph from their website enlarged to the exact dimensions of the wall. We chose the “wallpaper” option, but you can also get repositionable vinyl for a more temporary application. I think you can also upload your own photo or graphic. And they deliver to Canada. We are very happy with ours.

  • I used a mural to cover a wall in my son’s room (the classic “Earth as Viewed from Space”) when he was ten and he never outgrew it. Six years and a move later, he says that he sometimes kind of misses it.

    The one caveat I would make is make sure your room, or at least your sight-line, is large enough to handle the image your select; the image does tend to commandeer the room.

    That said? Why not. It’s YOUR office. It’s changeable. So if something speaks to you Maria, by all means go for it – just be sure to share the finished look with us!

    And enjoy “WithIt!” Their events that I have attended have been great!

  • Nataly says:

    It all depends on where and how they are used. Not too long ago, when I was looking to buy a house, I saw a huge, Renaissance inspired, handpainted mural on the side of someone’s GARAGE. What a way to “class” things up?! IMHO, it was the most ridiculous thing I ever encountered.

  • Bri says:

    Just checked out Murals Your Way – love, love, love! Maria, I’m sure you will be able to work something out – I think a mural would look fantastic in your space – and they ship to Canada!

  • Vicky Rizzardo says:

    I appreciate them but find all but the one of the leaves overpowering. Too much going on, too big a scale and nowhere to look for relief. I’d rather look at interesting artwork personally.

  • Yuni says:

    They are definitely not dated if done beautifully. I am doing a Laduree inspired mural for my daughter’s bedroom as we speak. No, not me personally. But I found a wonderful mural artist where we live and this is the second mural that he is doing for us. Still halfway done, but it is coming together nicely….

  • Dianne says:

    They are not for me. Just this morning I woke up thinking about a room that a renter/ artist painted with a circus theme in one of my parent’s homes in 1949.

  • Meg says:

    Check out for many different styles of murals. Most in 2 sizes. Plus panels and lots of other ways to decorate your walls!

  • mimi says:

    I would say dated but check out Segreto Secrets blog- Leslie and her team have taken murals to new heights that are just incredibly beautiful!

    See here:

  • Annie says:

    Get the largest size they offer of the one you love, then frame it out like the windows in your home.

  • chez says:

    They can look cheesy or they can look very cool. I think the image (and scale and setting) is paramount.

  • teresa says:

    Go for the giant leaf…there’s nothing passe or cheesy about it. It looks very contemporary: not trendy, just cool. It’s so large and green, it really becomes a neutral backdrop. You’re an artist in the design field and your office should reflect that. I can’t wait to see what you choose.

  • debbie crawford says:

    Nature murals never go out of style…they are lovely and fresh! forever…

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