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Why do I need a Mural Anyway?

Written by Tom Renick, Muralist and Owner of Murals By Renick

Photos and pictures Copyright 2023 by Tom Renick (Murals By Renick)


Tom Renick is the owner of Murals By Renick and has decades of creating artwork as a mural artist, graphic designer, illustrator and set designer. Tom provides murals, faux finishing, decorative painting, 3D objects and hand lettering for commercial and residential customers throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Louisiana and across the United States. www.MuralsByRenick.com.


Congratulations! You just bought the house of your dreams, or perhaps you have decided to stay right where you are for now and well into the future. Regardless of your choice, you have some decision to make that can make your piece of the world more enjoyable, more comfortable, and more peaceful.


Remember when you first saw that gorgeous model at the sales office and decided to purchase it? Sure, you bought that particular model, but now that you have moved in, the walls look larger and plainer than they did in the model, and the kitchen just doesn’t look as nice—things don’t visually work as you had hoped they would. So, you make another visit to the sales center to find out why your home looks bland, and you begin to notice that the hands of a variety of experts provided changes that you just had not considered before. What can you do to make your house a “home”, and a statement of who you and your family are?

This is where an artist can make a difference. Large blank walls can become the canvas for decorative artwork, faux treatments, or even a mural. So, before we dig too deep, let’s consider a plan of attack.


What’s My Style?

There are a lot of wonderful ideas out there, you just have to find the ones that best represent your personality and taste. As a mural artist and faux finisher, I still use some of the initial resources that I did when I started my mural business in 2007. Two of the best “idea generators” are a trip to lots of model homes, and a deep dive into the internet (e.g., Pinterest, Houzz.com, etc.) Spend some time reviewing these sources to develop a greater sense of what you like and don’t like. You’ll quickly begin to notice patterns that help you answer such questions as, “Are my tastes eclectic in nature (a mix of styles)?, Do I like an old-world feel?, or do I lean more towards a clean, minimalistic contemporary look?” Consider the type of furniture and artwork that you have purchased in the past, and that will help you answer these questions as well. When visiting models, take lots of pictures, print them out and pick out the styles that you like the most. If you are visiting the Internet, make sure that you copy photos and sort through them for your favorites as well. Are you happy with your choices? If not, repeat the process until it becomes obvious as to what you dislike and what you love. Now that you’ve spent some time considering “style,” let’s break your house down into areas.


How Do I Apply My Style To My Existing or New Home?


Start at the Front Door

The foyer can be an ideal location for colorful accent walls, or walls filled with pastoral landscapes—it all depends on what your personal tastes are. Typically, this is where the “personality” of the house is developed. It’s like the face of the house, the first thing anyone sees coming in your front door, so it’s important.


The foyer or entrance is also an ideal place for decorative artwork, like vines, leaves, or even a tasteful stencil look. And the ceiling doesn’t have to be boring either—just because it may be high, you’ll be surprised as to how many people will notice it. The ceiling can be the host of clouds or even an unanticipated deep or bright rich color, or faux finish. One of my clients had their walls fauxed similar to a Tuscan villa, complete with old world stains intermittently positioned throughout—yet, unexpectedly the ceiling was painted a flat robin-blue color that continued throughout the entire house. Her home was absolutely stunning because of the contrasts between ceiling color and wall color/treatment. I loved it so much that I used a similar color in my own dining room.


The foyer ceiling is a grand place to welcome your guests. Copyright 2023 Murals By Renick


The Dining Room

You can paint your dining room similar to the foyer, or you can develop a complimentary atmosphere where they look good near each other, but they aren’t the same. For me, I like the complimentary look the best…it keeps things different, more interesting, yet it doesn’t look so much alike that they become lackluster and predictable.


If your dining room is not large, you might want to consider just an accent wall that’s punchy. When I worked for Gehan Homes, Toll Brothers, or Castle Rock painting their model homes, I usually position the mural across from the primary entrance of a room so the first thing that you see is the wall opposite the entrance. This creates a “center of interest” for the room and provides the most bang for the buck. If you add a faux finish to the walls surrounding the mural, it will serve as an interesting backdrop for artwork, carrying a level of sophistication without the cost of wrapping the mural completely around the four walls of the room. An alternative to the faux finishing is to paint the other three walls with flat colors, wainscoting with built out frames or millwork. Regardless how you finish the other walls, the dining room is usually an ideal place for a mural. This is where your time is well spent visiting model homes and the internet pays off--you look for what you love and consider applying it to this room. If you plan on drapery, you can even consider using complimentary colors or contrasting colors on the walls, and pick up some of the designs from the drapes and scatter them throughout the room. Remember, not all faux has to be “old world,” like this attached sample of contemporary faux that goes from light to dark as it traverses the wall. (Insert photo). Finally, the ceiling can be treated with a faux, a faux with stencil work, or a sky with clouds, depending on what type of atmosphere you are aiming for. The dining room is a great place for an extra effort because this is probably second in use to the living room, and it’s a great place to create a sense of peace and interest.


Not all faux finishes are old world. Copyright 2023 Murals By Renick


Copyright 2023 Murals By Renick


The Livingroom or Great Room

This is an area sometimes forgotten, but many of my clients have requested faux finishing because of the level of sophistication that it adds—some of the faux is more old world in nature, and other customers have requested a more modern finish like concrete (see attached photo). Then there’s a combination of decorative painting and faux where woodwork is installed (can be done by the artist) and then a variety of squares painted with an accent color—a technique that fills up large voids, like the upper portion of a 20’ or higher wall. I’ve attached a photo of Modelo Beer’s restaurant to show my project involving wooden blocks that are installed and then painted—an unexpected and attention-grabbing wall that most have never seen before.



Decorative can liven up a room with minimal coverage. Copyright 2023 Murals By Renick


The Bedroom

This is a highly personalized area where self expression can rule. Kids murals supersede faux finishing here, but decorative painting is a quick and less expensive solution offering added “bang for the buck.” Murals for children are endless when considering subject matter, but amongst the most requested that I receive are murals featuring space and astronauts, dinosaurs, race cars, specific sports (soccer and football), and cartoon characters. Adult bedroom murals need more sophistication and can include silhouettes of forests, the use of metallic paints, and stencil work. And then there’s hand lettering where inspirational words or phrases can be used not only in the bedroom, but pretty much anywhere in the house.


The Hallway

Stay away from dark colors if you have a small hallway, unless you are going for the appearance of tight spaces. The narrow hallway is a good space for faux, as long as the colors are lighter and not too busy in pattern. The hallway is a good place for the hand lettering of verses, quotes, and other inspirational messages.


The Stairway

Stairways are great places for murals and hand lettering. They serve as a place of interest just by their angles and pathway to the mysterious upper portion of the house. Add colors, murals, and hand lettering and you have a place where art can be large and impactful. Throughout centuries, pastoral scenes and even scenes of forests have been created to adorn this space, making it one of the most creative spots within the house.


The Game Room and Media Room

These two areas remain the favorite places to place murals, but especially decorative painting like a giant swish, art deco shapes, and even giant Oscar sculptures. In addition to the decorative artwork, the walls can be adorned with your favorite movie posters, or you can intermingle your kids’ favorite movie themes as well. This is a place to not only paint a mural, but to create an atmosphere using 3D elements, artwork, lighting and of course theater accouterments like a bar or popcorn machine.


Graphic, hard-edged elements can be used to add drama to any game room. Copyright 2023 Murals By Renick


The Man Cave, She Shed and Garage

One of my favorite customers lives north of Dallas and he has proven to me that the Man Cave is a serious place for creativity. His Man Cave is about 3,520 square feet and features an old west town named The Gun Belt, featuring museum quality chuck wagon, lots of large murals (include a scene from the movie Tombstone with Val Kilmer the actor), a mural with him and his wife in western apparel, a large authentic bar, a stage with the logo that I created for The Gun Belt, and so many western items that I could not begin to list them all here. In short, the Man Cave and the She Shed are growing in popularity and provide a creative outlet and place to unwind for the art enthusiast and those that love to make a bold statement. The garage is similar to the Man Cave, especially in its use of a favorite sports team. Your home office can also take on some of these characteristics, but if you own your own business, you might even get your company’s logo painted on the wall.


The ”cave” and the “shed” are frequently adorned with items such as a mural of a favorite car or special event in life (a trip to Europe, or even a cartoon hero; one customer even wanted her children in Super Hero capes flying across the wall of the garage—though it was cartoon in delivery, the messaging behind it was extremely personal and inspiring.


The old west comes alive with this mural entrance to a 3,520 square foot man cave. Copyright 2023 Murals By Renick.


Finally, the Swimming Hole

You purchased this wonderful house and perhaps you inherited a swimming pool, or maybe you had one built. Somehow it doesn’t look as inviting as the beaches of Hawaii, or Tahiti like you thought it would. This could be a special place for your friends and family to enjoy a mural of such a beach, underwater life (how about an orca or a great white swimming by, or even an old ad for your favorite beer or fishing trip)? A mural can bring your favorite elements into one place you wished you could live at, but for a pittance of the cost!


A Mural is Worth a Thousand Words

A quality mural requires skilled craftsmen, and they continue to be popular because of the rich character that they bring to a house. They can be bold, dormant or even subtle--you get to decide because the mural is handcrafted to meet your desires…your vision…your personality. In contrast, artwork can be a less expensive way to accomplish invaluable views to the world, like an artificial window looking on to the Parisian streets, a gorgeous view of a mountain, giant flowers that dwarf everything around them, or surfaces like marble that would cost a fortune to install. Yes, as long as people enjoy beauty, I believe that murals will be a part of our world…there’s nothing like turning a bland space into a splash of the world on your wall!

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