Wall this way: Are painted murals making a comeback?

Photo: Virginia Hamrick Photo: Virginia Hamrick

Design trends come and go. And, sometimes, they come back again. Take, for instance, wall murals. Interior designer Karena Akhavein says she’s been getting more and more requests for 21st century versions from clients of her Gordonsville studio, Pebble Hill Design.

“In grand Virginia estates, it was the tradition to use pictorial wallpaper in the dining room,” says Akhavein. “This wallpaper is usually made in Europe, and is prohibitively expensive, so a similar effect can be achieved with a painted mural.” But not the cheesy (read: trompe l’oeil, with 3D-like windows peeking out over a beautiful faux vista, or those in children’s rooms) kind.

Photo: Virginia Hamrick

Akhavein, who in her own home painted a grisaille (that is, tone-on-tone) landscape in the dining area, recommends everything from Chinoiserie and Delftware patterns to distressed or smoked faux finishes. At Pebble Hill, she uses Photoshop to help clients visualize what a wall mural will look like in their space.

But are they something a homeowner should DIY? “That depends!” says Akhavein. “If you are artistic and not afraid to paint over your mistakes, have at it.” That’s one benefit of a wall mural—unlike wallpaper, you don’t have to navigate a removal process to course-correct. Plus, it affords more flexibility in terms of motif, scale and color.

Akhavein contends that painted murals look good anywhere in the house, but a particularly fun application is in powder rooms, where they can bring big drama.

Posted In:     Abode,Magazines

Previous Post

From my mountaintop: Lynchburg house commands a view, comfortably

Next Post

Be key free: Linking up locks means flexibility and convenience

Our comments system is designed to foster a lively debate of ideas, offer a forum for the exchange of ad hoc information, and solicit honest, respectful feedback about the work we do. We’re glad you’re participating. Here are a few simple rules to follow, which should be relatively straightforward.

1) Don’t call people names or accuse them of things you cannot support.
2) Don’t direct foul language, racial slurs, or offensive terms at other commenters or our staff.
3) Don’t use the discussion on our site for commercial (or shameless personal) promotion.

We reserve the right to remove posts and ban commenters who violate any of the rules listed above, or the spirit of the discussion. We’re trying to create a safe space for a wide range of people to express themselves, and we believe that goal can only be achieved through thoughtful, sensitive editorial control.

If you have questions or comments about our policies or about a specific post, please send an e-mail to editor@c-ville.com.

Leave a Reply

Notify of