In our previous Wallpaper Trends article, we talked about how wallpaper can be used in different, out-of-the-box places to create an interesting effect. Ceiling wallpaper is a new but growing trend that can dramatically transform the space. The next wallpaper trend we want to highlight is not only about where you’re using wallpaper but also how you’re using it. Wallpaper murals are a different class of wall décor products, one that emphasizes a non-repeating image that is best used as a single feature wall. These products can be custom made to fit the exact dimensions of you wall.
However, this article is not about creating a feature wall using wallpaper murals – it’s about using wallpaper murals as art. Wallpaper murals can be made in a variety of sizes and you may not necessarily want to cover your entire wall. In this case, you can print a smaller wallpaper mural and frame it, creating your very own custom work of art.
Why Frame A Wallpaper Mural?
Before we get into the details of choosing a mural and how to display it, let’s first talk more about why you would want to frame a wallpaper mural in the first place. As mentioned above, not everyone wants to cover the entire wall with a giant wallpaper mural. Printing a smaller wallpaper mural and framing it uses less wall "real estate," allowing you to use the rest of your wall space for other things, whether it’s other portraits, wall installations, lighting, cabinets and so on.
Printing a smaller wallpaper mural to use as art is also a cost-effective way to liven up your room while staying within your budget. The cost of a wallpaper mural is dependent on its size, so there will be a difference between a wallpaper mural that’s 12’ wide by 9’ tall versus one that is 4’ wide by 3’ tall.
Creativity also plays a major component as to why you’d want to frame a wallpaper mural. It allows you to mix and match different wallpaper mural imagery with different frames. Choosing your own frame is just one way to create a finished look that’s one-of-a-kind. There’s a DIY component to this that’s also fun and engaging – you’re an active part in creating the look of your own space, making it truly yours!
Which Wallpaper Mural Imagery Works Best?
Similar to a feature wall, when selecting what wallpaper mural you want to frame, it’s best to choose images that are interesting and can stand on its own.
The image above features four different wallpaper murals, each one from a different category. Starting at the top left and going clockwise, we have a rustic floral image, a concrete faux effects pattern, a weathered wood faux effects design, and a scene of the waterfront. Both the floral and waterfront image would make excellent framed murals, while the two faux effects would have less of an impact. That’s not to say that you can’t frame wallpaper with a repeating image (you absolutely can!), but the imagery needs to be distinct. Consider the featured image at the top of this article, Classic Rustic Garden Wallpaper Red and Beige R4821. Even though it's a repeating image, the image itself is interesting and works better as a framed image than wood or concrete.
Can I frame regular wallpaper? Absolutely! However, keep in mind that most traditional wallpaper products are sold in rolls. The reason we recommend framing wallpaper murals in particular is that it can be custom sized. If you’re only buying a wallpaper roll for the sole purpose of creating a framed print, you may find yourself with a lot of leftover wallpaper that goes to waste. However, if you’re planning on some other DIY projects around the home, then buying one roll to create a framed print and using the rest for other projects, go ahead! We’ve written an article about using wallpaper in smaller projects around the home, so be sure to give Off The Wall: Creative Ways To Use Wallpaper a read!
Traditional wallpaper products feature repeating imagery, but the same rules still apply: look for mid to large scale imagery that’s interesting and can stand on its own. In the image above, we’ve compared two wallpaper styles: Almond Blossom R2788, one of our most iconic and popular wallpaper patterns inspired by Vin Van Gogh’s art, and Sandy Static C7210, a textures wallcovering. Obviously, framing the brown textured wallpaper makes no sense as the visuals aren’t engaging or interesting.
One tip we have if you want to test if a wallpaper pattern would look good framed is to order free samples so you can get a first-hand look at the pattern, its color, and image scale. If you have access to Photoshop or any other image editing software, try taking the image of wallpaper patterns and murals and editing a frame on top – does it look good? Is it something you would want in your home? It’s a quick and easy way to “test” out different looks.
How Do I Display A Framed Mural
Once you’ve chosen your wallpaper print and have your frame ready to go, the next step is to decide whether you want to install the wallpaper directly onto your wall and then frame that section, or paste the wallpaper onto a canvas, frame it, and then hang it on your walls. There are pros and cons to each method.
If you paste the wallpaper mural or regular wallpaper onto the walls directly, you save time, effort, and money that you would have to spend finding a separate canvas. However, the major drawback is that this method lacks versatility and flexibility. You’re forced to use the frame on that specific section of the wall and you can’t change the position of the wallpaper – you’d have to remove it entirely.
The second method (and the one we recommend) is installing or pasting the wallpaper onto a canvas first so that it can be framed. It’s then hung on the wall just like any other portrait or artwork. While this method does require some extra work, it’s much more flexible in terms of how you can use your framed wallpaper mural. You can move it around if you’re not 100% satisfied with its location. If you ever move to a new home, you can easily take the framed wallpaper mural with you since it’s not directly applied to the wall.
By having the wallpaper mural framed separately, you can also display it in interesting ways. For example, you can use it as floor art, as shown in the example above.
Framing Wallpaper Is All About Being Creative!
Whether you’re framing a wallpaper or a mural, hanging it on the wall or using it as floor art, framing a wallpaper print is all about being creative and decorating your space the way you want to!