Wall Murals & Wallpaper Panels (An Idea For My Entryway)

Do you remember the floral fabric I finally decided on for my dining room?

Braemore Wonderland Pearl fabricBraemore Wonderland Pearl fabric

Well, I ordered a yard of it just so I could see it in person, and make a decision on how I actually wanted to use it. Reupholster chairs? Draperies? I wasn’t sure.

But I’m so glad I ordered the one yard first, because to be honest, I really don’t like the fabric. I love the pattern, and most of the colors are great, but there’s just something about the fabric that I don’t like, and I can’t quite put my finger on it.  So when it arrived, I tacked the yard of fabric to the wall in my entryway where I would see it often to see if it would grow on me.  It’s been up there about two weeks now, and while the fabric itself hasn’t grown on me any, it has kind of sparked an idea.

Do any of you remember when Danika at Gorgeous Shiny Things took a swatch of Shumacher’s Chiang Mia Dragon fabric and re-created the design really big using paint on a wall behind a banquette for one of her clients?  It was one of my favorite projects that she ever did.  I’ve searched and searched for pictures of that project on her blog, but I can’t find them anywhere.  I’m wondering if she was asked to remove them since it’s a very well known copyrighted design (that’s pure speculation, but I can’t imagine why else one of her best ever projects would be missing), but you can still see it on Pinterest.

So that got me to thinking.  Could I re-create this pattern really big on my entryway wall?  I did some calculations to see just how big that would make things if I blew up one repeat of the fabric design to fit the entryway wall.  It turns out that each flower would be about 36-40 inches wide.  That might be a bit overpowering.  🙂

But I wasn’t quite ready to give up on the idea of adding color and pattern to the entryway wall, so I started looking at other ideas, and that sent me down the rabbit hole of wall murals and wallpaper panels used as accents.

This one is bright and colorful, but I don’t know that it’s quite what I’m looking for.  I like bright and colorful, but I don’t want it to cross over that line into juvenile.

Eclectic Family Room by New York Photographers Rikki Snyder

Most of the designs that I found are trees and birds. Y’all know I love trees and birds, but I had something similar in my condo kitchen, so I’m hesitant to repeat that idea in the house.

Bedroom by Scotland Interior Designers & Decorators Jessica Buckley Interiors

Traditional Powder Room by Solon Interior Designers & Decorators House of L Interior Design

Traditional Entry by Easton Interior Designers & Decorators Donna Benedetto Designs LLC.

Eclectic Powder Room by Austin Interior Designers & Decorators Cravotta Interiors

While I love the idea of a full wall mural on my entryway wall, almost all of the examples I came across use really muted colors.  I want mine to be bright and colorful, so it’s hard to get an idea of what that would actually look like on a whole wall.  I’m thinking it might be too busy and overpowering.

I really like the idea of panels, like wallpaper panels framed in decorative moulding with the surrounding areas of wall painted either white or a light neutral color.

Traditional Home Office

Eclectic Spaces by Los Angeles Interior Designers & Decorators maison21


But the more I think about it, the idea I like the best for my entryway wall is using some sort of design on the top of the wall, and wainscoting on the bottom.

Traditional Entry by Clemson Architects & Building Designers Studio 511

Contemporary Dining Room by New York Architects & Building Designers Dufner Heighes Inc

And I can’t find the pictures now (I forgot to save the links), but I also came across a couple of rooms that had wainscoting on the bottom part of the wall with wallpaper panels on the top part of the wall. I wish I could find that, because I think it might be my favorite of all of the designs.

So I’m still formulating the idea in my mind, and I have no idea where I’ll end up with this. I could end up scrapping the whole thing, but I don’t think so. I have this vision in my mind of my entryway wall having a chair rail with wainscoting below. The wainscoting would be just like what I have in my bathroom, minus the tile (for continuity of design…I don’t want lots of different styles of wainscoting in my house).

bathroom walls - recessed panel wainscoting with tile accent - 24

I want the wainscoting painted the same white as all of the other trim in my house, and then I want my buffet sitting in front of it, painted in a bold color. I’m thinking orange or a dark raspberry color. I love high contrast, and I think a bold color like that sitting in front of white wainscoting would be gorgeous. And then above the chair rail on the wall, I’d have panels to match the wainscoting below (i.e., the same panel width above and below the chair rail), and inside the panels above the chair rail would be a colorful design. It could be wallpaper, or it could be fabric (although it would have to be a different fabric, since I don’t like the fabric I had hoped to use), or it could be a hand painted design.

That’s what I’ve got so far. 🙂 Like I said, I’m still formulating this idea in my head, but I think something like that on my entryway wall would really set that wall apart from the dining room, but it would also balance out the opposite wall, which will have the fireplace (and an overmantel, which I’ll be building at some point) flanked by two windows with colorful draperies on them.

I can envision it in my mind, and I think I really like it. 🙂



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  1. I think the really colorful murals work in small spaces. It seems that the larger ones are more muted. I like the idea of just doing some panels and hanging those up. Maybe you could even play with that one yard (modge podge it to a few boards or maybe just staple it on?) before committing to painting on the wall. Also, remember the nailhead in the next room. Both would be very pretty, but I’m not sure how having such dramatic wall treatments right next to each other would work. If the flower motif were panels, then it would read as art and not a wall treatment. In any case, I’m sure that whatever you do will be wonderful.

    1. The nailhead wall design didn’t make the cut. 🙂 After living with the portion that I had done for about a month, I decided that I didn’t really like it. It just looked a little dull and dreary to me. That’s why I wasn’t careful at all when we removed the ceiling in there. I wasn’t concerned at all about it getting messed up because I knew I wasn’t going to keep it. It was a fun project, and at least now I got the “nailhead wall design” idea out of my system and can move on to something else. 🙂

  2. I fell in love with a beautiful ( very expensive) silk magnolia patterned fabric. An artistic friend enlarged the pattern and painted in freehand on panels for me, which I have hanging on the wall. I used the small amount I bought in pillows, and behind a glass cabinet door. Looks fabulous and didn’t cost the earth, especially since YOU have no need of an artistic friend!
    I’m sure you’ll come up with something striking and perfect for your space.

  3. I think this might be a perfect change of pace for you–no big dirty projects but a beautiful creative project instead! Do you have to blow up the pattern so large that there’s only 1 repeat on the wall? Seems like that would make a gorgeous painted “wallpaper” on its own. Bright colors aren’t so overwhelming in smaller sized prints. 🙂

  4. Maybe once the fabric that you like the design of but not the fabric itself is on the wall, you won’t mind the fabric. You won’t be noticing the “hand” of the fabric on the wall like you would a drapery. Especially if there is some sort of finish on it – stain redistant, Mod Podge. I like that fabric, too!

  5. I think the first one would look great and not juvenile at all. Your colors could help veer it to adult themed. I love that fabric too. You always get your ideas out of your head and make magic happen. I’ll just wait and see what you come up with! It sounds gorgeous!

  6. Haven’t read all the comments so forgive me if this is repeated. Can you take some pictures and play with it in Photoshop, using the inspiration fabric? Might give you a better visual respresentation. JS. 🙂

  7. I’ve owned over a dozen homes but one of my favorites was a contemporary with an open foyer and I did a huge pattern wallpaper in the entry and loved it! go for it!

  8. I think that fabric replicated on the walls and painted would be gorgeous. Just dont replicate so big. I have an overhead projector and to do something similar on a wall.

  9. I love the idea of the wainscoting on the bottom section of the entryway wall. As to what you decide for the top part of the wall, I’m sure will be stunning, as you are so creative, but you should decide what furnishings/decor items you will be putting on the brightly painted buffet, to see what would look best against the upper wall treatment, as you don’t want things fighting for attention against a busy wall. i.e. would that fabric make great lampshades with bright painted lamp bases?

  10. Why not just wallpaper or fabic cover a piece of mfd or plywood and then just frame it. It seems lke that would be easier than painting it, and in 10 or 15 year if you get tired of it you can removed them or recover. Blessings

  11. In looking at the fabric now, I think the problem might be that the balance of pattern vs. negative space is off. Not sure, but somehow it’s not in balance.

    Love the idea of the fabric or painting inside the framing of a panel on the wall. Very high drama and elegant.

    Such a fun project! I’m excited for you!