In partnership withBEHR

Before & After: An Energetic Mural Makes a WFH Space Sing

updated Jul 1, 2021
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Credit: Rikki Snyder

Carrie is a thoughtful artist whose upstate New York home reflects her personality with a combination of mid-century furnishings and whimsical decor. And while her office setup featured bold colors and playful accents like a glasses holder in the shape of a hand, that character did not extend to the walls, which were blank and bare. She wanted her workspace to have a little — make that a lot — more fun.

For creative spirits with adventurous aesthetics, wall murals are an extra expressive way to add style. You can do almost anything! If that sounds like a little too much freedom, try starting with a favorite color or two. “Using analogous color schemes is a great way to choose your color combinations,” says designer and visual artist Sara Weissler. “Just make sure your colors aren’t all too similar because they can easily blend and become muddy.”

Credit: Rikki Snyder

Carrie wanted her mural to feature a golden yellow and soft pink, and she found her dream team in Saffron Strands PPU6-02 and Seaside Villa S190-1, both by BEHR® Paint. Part of the BEHR Color Trends 2021 Palette — designed to evoke desired moods and elevate your comfort zone — these two complementary hues are gentle but energetic. They’re ideal for a nurturing, creative space.

Then, Carrie sketched out a design that featured a mix of sharp and rounded shapes, with a straight through-line for movement and continuity. “Sketching out the mural on paper or rendering it on your computer is key to working out the choices of shapes and sizing,” Sara says. “Even if you are not an artist, your sketches will be a great asset when marking out your design on the walls.”

Credit: Rikki Snyder

When sketching out a mural, also consider what items of furniture it will be adjacent to or touching. “You want to make sure the colors and shapes enhance the pieces in the room,” Sara says. By painting her mural on the wall nearest her desk, Carrie created a focal point of visual interest that can inspire her all day long. Meanwhile, juxtaposing the complementary colors of her mural with her bright teal added a sense of energizing motion to the room. The final touch was in thinking outside the box and wrapping the mural from wall to wall. It’s a small, simple touch that changes the whole scale of the room.

Credit: Rikki Snyder

Murals are an unexpected way to add color and one-of-a-kind personality to your space. Looking for more inspiration? Our annual Small Cool Contest, presented in partnership with BEHR Paint, has you covered — this year with a brand new superlative, Best Use of Color. Voting closes May 10, so choose your favorite now!