Trade in that Can of Paint for a One-of-a-Kind Design


If you are not excited by the idea of choosing between whale gray and gun-metal gray and then spending a precious weekend taping, edging and painting in an effort to bring the magic back into the relationship you have with your decor, we don’t blame you.

What you need to spice up your interior is something unique. Paint won’t help, because no matter the color, all paint is ordinary. Wallpaper’s too much work, and commissioning a local artist to come in and fashion a mural recreating the fall of the Roman Empire might be out of your budget. What’s left? Wall decals.

No, not one like the chintzy beach scene like you had in your first apartment. Not the kind that makes it look like you have a window where there isn’t one (although these can be kind of cheerful) in a dark space. Also not the kind that comes in pieces you can move around, like the cast of characters from Winnie-the-Pooh or Transformers. We’re talking about a tasteful wall decal, a way to customize your space.

No Ideas? Browse.

You can get started two different ways — you can look at some decals for inspiration, or you can decide ahead of time what direction you want to go in. Nature? Abstract? Geometric? Inspirational? The latter method can help you cut down on time wasted looking at decals you’d never consider (although this can be amusing).

Narrow your choices further by choosing which room to start with. How about the nursery? You would think the selection would include only bunnies and kitties with disinfied oversized eyes, but you’d be wrong! It’s true that zoo animals are pretty popular in kids’ rooms, but you could go with trees, hot air balloons, puffy clouds, butterflies, a moon and stars or spell out your child’s name.

For your living room or bedroom, some dark branches on a light-colored wall with a sprinkling of carefully placed leaves or blossoms can bring on an Asian flavor. (This may end up making you eventually put on weight, however, if it makes you crave egg rolls and sweet-and-sour pork.)

Regardless of the room, many offerings are nature themed, and feature birds, trees, flowers or woodland scenes.

Not the Outdoorsy Type?

If you hate nature, you’re in luck, because it will narrow down your choices. Options for the arty and the urban include cityscapes, geometric patterns and the downright weird (zippers, lips, a semiautomatic weapon). Think Kimpton Hotel decor or Banksy originals, right in your own home!

One whole decal genre is devoted to quotes. These are further divided into even smaller groups, including inspirational, whimsical and downright nauseating. Apparently if you can put it on a T-shirt, a mug or a Hallmark card, you can put it on your living room wall.

Other ideas include educational (a map of the world), faux structural (stones or bricks) or even 3-D (buildings, tunnels, under the sea). Heck, you could choose Hello Kitty if you want — it just peels off the wall and goes in the trash when you’re tired of it. It’s not going to affect your property values.

You can customize your bathroom, home office, kitchen or even your laundry room! Don’t hold back — these aren’t expensive. You can get them as cheap as $19.99, though some of the really nice ones will run into the hundreds.

Putting up wall decals gives your home a really distinctive look — something your neighbors are unlikely to have. You can shop for them right on your phone while you’re at your Metro stop waiting for someone to put out the fire. Your new wall art will arrive right on your doorstep — no trips to Home Depot. Installation is quick, easy, no-mess and satisfying. How’s that for a great combo?

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