Wall Murals Are the Hot Throwback Wallpaper Trend You Have to See

Scenic murals have a rich history. Learn how to decorate with wallpaper murals to fill your walls with timeless, statement-making art.

Wallpaper is a striking way to introduce color and pattern to your home, but the latest trend in wallcoverings goes even bigger and bolder. Murals featuring large-scale art are popping up across living areas, dining rooms, powder rooms, and more. Many depict scenic landscapes, delicate floral or botanical motifs, and other larger-than-life designs that deliver drama and depth to walls.

The key difference between murals and other wallpaper is how the pattern works. While traditional wallpaper typically features a seamlessly repeating print, murals portray a specific scene, such as a moody mountain setting or a colorful array of tropical plants. Perhaps the most popular theme for murals is scenes of nature, which offer a way to bring the outdoors in.

Murals are fast becoming highly sought-after for interiors. York Wallcoverings, the oldest and largest wallcovering producer in the U.S., saw a 200% increase in demand for murals in 2021 compared to the previous year, notes Carol Miller, the brand's content marketing manager.

bedroom flowered wallpaper post bed
Katie Charlotte Fiedler

The history of murals can be traced back to the earliest cave paintings, and tapestries that told stories were later hung on walls in ancient Greece and Rome and throughout the Middle Ages, Miller says. This tradition of personalizing walls with scenic images continues today, but modern innovations have broadened the variety of designs and made them easier to apply. Many wallpaper murals are in peel-and-stick panels or made with high-quality backing, making application and removal easy.

bathroom with dark floral wallpaper and white sink
Kim Cornelison

Generally, murals with more traditional designs, such as chinoiserie-inspired patterns or designs based on antique etchings, look gorgeous in formal spaces such as dining rooms. Dreamy, watercolor-like landscapes can create a soothing effect in bedrooms, while brightly colored graphic designs can set a happy tone in an entryway, kids' room, or powder room.

When deciding where to hang a mural, consider areas where its grand scale will be best showcased and appreciated. "Open wall spaces without large pieces of furniture will showcase murals to their best effect," Miller says. Center a mural on one accent wall to set the room's focal point or mimic the effect of a window where there isn't one. Miller also notes that many murals feature endlessly repeating designs, so you can easily continue the mural across a large wall or wrap an entire room. You may even consider hanging a mural on the ceiling to deliver an unexpected abstract design overhead.

Most murals come in a series of panels installed in a specific order to create the overall design. Be sure to measure your wall carefully and order the correct-sized mural for your space. Apply the panels one at a time according to the manufacturer's instructions, which might involve applying adhesive paste first or pressing the self-adhesive backing to the wall. To ensure the mural is centered on the wall, Miller suggests starting in the middle and working outwards as you hang the panels.

If you're ready to transform your walls with some impressive art, here are a few gorgeous wallpaper murals to consider.

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Traditional Wall Mural

panels of green and pink wallpaper mural
Courtesy of Anthropologie

Give your walls a hand-painted look with this traditional-style mural wallpaper. The lively garden scene depicts colorful peacocks on blooming branches against a striking seafoam green background. The self-adhesive backing requires no paste, and the full design spans 9 feet tall and 9 feet across when installed.

Buy It: Havenview Mural ($228, Anthropologie)

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Jungle Wallpaper Mural

green jungle wall mural
Courtesy of Amazon

Lush fronds, towering palm trees, and tropical orange flowers make up this jungle-inspired scene. The design comes in four panels and requires wallpaper paste for installation. It measures about 12 x 8 feet when finished.

Buy It: Komar Amazonia Wall Mural ($95, Amazon)

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Pink Floral Mural

light pink and gray floral wall mural
Courtesy of Wayfair

This wall mural evokes a vintage look with muted pink flowers and warm gray accents. It would make an elegant backdrop for a bedroom or introduce a sophisticated feel to a bathroom. Hanging requires wallpaper paste, and it's sold in rolls that each cover about 99 square feet.

Buy It: Ophelia & Co. Rheba Wall Mural ($117, Wayfair)

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Watercolor Forest Mural

watercolor forest wall mural in nursery
Courtesy of Etsy

This peel-and-stick wallpaper mural lets you cover walls with a watercolor forest scene without picking up a paintbrush. It comes in a wide variety of sizes, and you can customize the color of the sky to mimic the look of sunset, twilight, or mid-afternoon. The self-adhesive backing is designed to be removable and reusable.

Buy It: Watercolor Pine Tree Forest Peel and Stick Wallpaper ($72-$392, Etsy)

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Moody Botanical Mural

wall mural with colorful flowers against dark background
Courtesy of Amazon

Establish a moody atmosphere with this botanical-motif wall mural. The array of flowers and leaves includes vibrant shades of green, blue, pink, and purple that pop against the dark background. When installed, the six panels measure about 10 x 8 feet.

Buy It: OhPopsi Botanical Fleur Wall Mural ($63, Amazon)

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