Tag Archives: wallpaper

Moony Over Murals

The School of Athens by Raphael. Image via ArtHistoryGalore.

A mural seems like an “old school” thing to have in the home. I thought that it’s something that is more likely to be found in castles or chapels. The old masters such as Leonardo, Raphael, and Michelangelo come to mind, and how they labored on their frescoes and tempera for months and years. And though more current artists such as Klimt, Haring, and Banksy have made their share of murals, the mural idea is still not something I’d normally associated with the contemporary living spaces.

I was so wrong!

Murals can be super cool wall treatments with lots of wow factor. They can now broadly refer to any kind of art work that somehow gets on a wall — they don’t need to be painted on! The possibilities are myriad, and with their height and breadth, potentially awe-inspiring.

Here are a few examples of murals that blew me away, and they didn’t take years, nor did they need a Botticelli or a Correggio to make them.

DIY Mural. Image via Apartment Therapy.

Check out the fabulously easy DIY project from Apartment Therapy.

Image via Apartment Therapy.

Sometimes, less is more. A mural doesn’t have to cover the entire wall. I love this cross-stitch inspired rose mural on the stark white wall.

Image via Murals Your Way

These days, anything can be printed out and made into wallpaper. The large Buddha illustrations and the rich textured green and orange in the mural above makes the space look exotic.

Image via Murals Your Way

Image via Artistic Homeowner

Image via Swoon Style Home

The simplest and most basic of tools, in the right hands can make truly spectacular walls. This cool graphic pattern is just drawn with a Sharpie!

Image via Digs Digs

Another DIY Sharpie project. Check out what this awesome drawer Charlie Kratz did to his basement with $10 worth of markers.

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Wallpaper for Renters

Ixxi robot tiles via ixxi blog

Many landlords aren’t very keen on wallpaper or other drastic cosmetic changes, but living with boring walls is no fun. Luckily there are a few amazing products out there that can be put up and taken down easily, so you’re landlord is none the wiser. These ideas may also be useful for those of you who own your homes, but don’t want to commit to a drastic makeover.

Washi Tape for Your Walls

image via poppytalk

I thought I was dreaming when I saw this giant washi tape on Poppytalk last week. I want to cover my whole apartment in this stuff. I’m curious if the tape will be the same as the smaller version, which has a very cool papery finish. The tape comes in a number of different widths and shapes, so you can make stripes, polk-a-dots and more.  Giant washi tape will be available for purchase at Washimatta, priced from $42.60- $85.20 per roll.


via ixxi blog

ixxi is a smart tiling system that can be used to create patterns on walls and even room dividers. The coolest part is that you can put whatever image you want on the tiles or choose from one of the many designs they have available in their shop. I’m partial to the pixellated deer design in the image above. Ixxi isn’t cheap (aprox. 180 dollars US for 100 20cmx20cm cards) making it better for a small area rather then a giant wall, but sometimes that’s all you need to liven up a room.


via blik wall decals

Blik is a company that creates artist designed wall decals and self-adhesive wall tiles. They stock a number of sophisticated patterns that mimic the look of high end wallpaper without the application and removal headaches.  Like ixxi, blik might be cost-prohibitive to cover a large area, but for a small room or an accent wall it could be fantastic. Two pieces that cover a 24” by 48” section of wall cost $39.00.

Wood Walls

via design sponge

Does this wood-panelled stairway look temporary to you? Professional photographers Seth and Desiree built this wall to add some interest to the stairs in their rental home. The whole thing is built on a frame so it can be easily removed.

DIY Fabric Wallpaper

DIY peel-off fabric wallpaper via curbly

The most affordable option to cover your walls is to make your own wallpaper, which can be done with some spray starch and fabric. Fabric wallpaper is luxurious, especially in a bedroom, and this project is also renter friendly because you can just peel it off when you are ready to move.  A similar trick can be done with maps, book pages and even images printed from your home computer.

Any tips or tricks you’ve used for decorating boring walls in an apartment or condo? I would love to hear some more ideas.

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Wowza! Wallpaper!

Image courtesy harlequin.uk.com

My thoughts about wallpaper formed in childhood in various grandparents’ basements (not just my own – those of friends too).  I remember yellowed paper with baby blue velour curlicues, a creepy creepy forest scenery – surely both were en vogue at some point.  Yes I loved wallpaper too: each weekend I had a sleepover at my grandparents’ house, before we drifted off to sleep we’d give our grandfather our order for breakfast; in the morning after the grand meal he and I would leaf through an old wallpaper sample book he had and I’d choose the material he’d make my crown from.  It’d be further decorated with ribbons and stickers.  Those mornings I was sure I was in heaven.

So surprise, surprise (maybe less for you), when I discovered wallpaper could be very fashionable on walls, rather than heads.  The choice is astounding and the images, patterns and effects are remarkable.

If you’re looking to update a space and considering wall treatments, wallpaper has come along way from my basements of yore. With well known artists designing prints, to wow-factor graphics and even those that invite personalization by you and your guests, wallpaper is cool again.  Here are a few that grabbed my attention:

Texture Done Right

Tom Haga, a Norwegian photographer and designer is behind the Concrete Wall wallpaper collection available for purchase from his site. This trompe-l’oeil series is truly remarkable.  These are based on Haga’s photography of concrete and brick walls through Norway.

Carnegie Fabric’s Urban Metallic collection are created using metallic inks. These inks lend them the a subtly spectacular shimmering quality.  I love that they’re sophisticated but fun.

Just Plain Fun

Ladies and Gentleman for your focal wall, Lisa Bengtsson’s Lady of Easy Virtue.  This Swedish communications grad and illustrator has made a serious splash as a designer.  Her pretty frames wallpaper, titled “Family” can be seen in Nathalie’s post on frames from a couple weeks ago.

Riki Blanco designed The Carousel of Dreams for Tres Tintas, a Barcelona based design company.  Totally dreamy in a nursery.

Make Your Mark

“Words Spoken Quieter than Actions” by Chloe Perron is part of Rollout’s Artist Series One.   As a big endearing note leaver, I just love this.  Wouldn’t it make a great addition to a small powder room?  Like graffiti in a washroom, but invited and hopefully pleasant?

This wallpaper from Graham and Brown is so fun and inviting.  Kids can finally colour on the walls (provided they stay within in the frames of course).  Depending on how you chose to personalize it, your room could be whimsical or irreverent.

How To Create an Art Gallery in Your Home

Pottery Barn via ohdeedoh

A personal art collection can be a great investment, but it also a fantastic way to surround yourself with images that inspire you. One of the perks of being married to an artist is I get lots of free art for my walls, but it can be tricky trying to figure out where to hang a new arrival. These folks have done a wonderful job of integrating art into the home. The staircase gallery above shows how grouping pictures in a variety of sizes can still be cohesive if you space them evenly apart.

Photo by Clare Elsaesser via Poppytalk Handmade

What I like about this example by Clare Elsaesser is how she has utilized an unconventional space for hanging artwork, showing that you can create a mini-gallery anywhere. Clare is an artist as well and you can check out her beautiful paintings on her etsy shop tastes orangey.

skonahem via Freshome

Simple black frames and a series of graphic prints and photographs really pop against a white wall. The safe thing would be to put one or two pictures in a smallish space like a dining room, but a grouping of work can have a much stronger impact.

via The Brick House

The mantelpiece has long been a preferred place to display art and cherished treasures, but this image illustrates how it can be done without looking cluttered. I like the interesting mix of sculpture, ceramics and framed art. A natural colour palette and an eye for proportion make this seemingly disparate grouping feel like they belong together.

via Made by Girl

Here’s another example of how to display a collection of art in different mediums without looking cluttered. Painting the back of a white bookcase a darker colour makes artwork really stand out. I’m always a fan of colour coded books, although my better-half insists it’s not a very helpful organizational system.

bo-bedre.no via emmas designblogg

Hope these tips will be helpful whether you’ve just begun building an art collection or you’ve been collecting for years. HGTV also has a wonderful tutorial on installing a museum calibre track-and-cable system that you can find here.

“It has been said that art is a tryst, for in the joy of it maker and beholder meet”
-Kojiro Tomita

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Weekly Round-Up

Now that's a dining room! Via Desire to Inspire

Most of Canada gets a long weekend this week, celebrating Family Day on the 21st.

For those chilling with your internet connection this fine Monday, here’s a weekly round-up from some of our friends in the blogosphere in case you missed these awesome articles.

Room porn from Kim at Desire to Inspire.  Is that a chandelier of cutlery I spy?

Via Hooked on Houses, Mary Kay Andrews has one cheerful entrance

Is your home happy? Hooked on Houses discusses the psychology of your home’s decor and how to increase your sense of wellbeing through design.

Vibrant glass mosaic sculpture by Brit Hammer via MocoLoco that just sing spring!

Wallpaper that won't piss off your landlord. Whoa!

For all of us renters, some genius ways to dress up the walls that won’t result in a revoked security deposit.  Oh Apartment Therapy, you are my oracle.

And for those in need of some romance one week post V-Day:  via Swiss Miss a great way to propose, while Design-Milk showcases a sperm lamp….

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