Bespoke murals give new meaning to personal space


Painting a wall-size mural inside a home is a big commitment, but the adventurous artwork choice is rising in popularity with those looking for something personal that makes a dramatic impact.

A custom piece of large-scale permanent art not only adds a wow factor, but provides a little slice of another place right at home.

“Depending on the subject matter, murals have the ability to transport,” said Timothy Corrigan, principal of the eponymous Los Angeles-based interior design firm. “As we all have been spending more time at home, they provide a great escape.”

Writing on the wall

There is no better way to personalize a space than a one-of-a-kind mural that will undoubtedly become the focal point of the room. The colors, style and subject matter can all showcase something special for the homeowner and be mixed-and-matched however they so choose.

“The wonderful thing about murals is that they can be customized to include people, pets and places that are personal to the homeowner – the options are endless,” Mr. Corrigan said.

A piece of family history, favorite vacation spot, lush garden for plant lovers, famed buildings for the architecture buff – homeowners should think about what will be meaningful to them. They can even sneak a bit of themselves into an otherwise common scene.

“In the living room of a historic mansion in Beverly Hills, we brought in an artist from Paris who created a dramatic mural inspired by Josep Maria Sert,” Mr. Corrigan said. “But the silvery architectural mural is offset with renderings of peacocks and some of the homeowner’s favorite places in California.”

Choosing a theme for a mural is limitless as well, although many homeowners choose to stick with traditional subjects.

“Exotic landscapes, flora and fauna, architectural themes and pastoral countryside murals all continue to be popular,” Mr. Corrigan said. “Space and undersea themes remain favorites for children’s rooms.”

Bold graphics are gaining in popularity, mixing big shapes and funky patterns to create a fresh look.

A hand-painted mural in a Paris home designed by Timothy Corrigan. Photo by Mark Luscomb-Whyte

“There really are no rules in choosing a theme or style,” Mr. Corrigan said. “Although murals tend to work best when the vibe and colors make sense with the rest of the home’s décor.”

Part of the fabric

Since a mural will command so much space and attention wherever it is, some thought does need to go into the other elements in the room.

While the rest of the décor should coordinate with the mural’s style, homeowners should be careful not to match the mural too precisely to avoid a full-on themed look that can become too much, such as a woodland mural paired with cabin-worthy furniture and plaids.

“It’s best to pick up some of the colors in the mural with the fabrics and be thoughtful in selecting the furniture,” Mr. Corrigan said.

“For example, it might look strange to use Louis XIV furniture with a mural set in Hawaii, while at the same time, you want to avoid the room looking too contrived.”

WHATEVER THE SUBJECT and style a homeowner chooses for his or her mural, it is sure to make an impression.

“They can serve as an unexpected surprise in spaces like a powder room or dining room, where you want to create a bit of drama,” Mr. Corrigan said.