Decals do the trick
Published 12:00 am Friday, January 11, 2008
By Kim Cook
For the Associated Press
If you’re the kind of homeowner who likes to redecorate frequently, you know that painting or wallpapering an entire room can be daunting. It’s time to welcome an easier solution: wall decals.
If those words make you think of cartoon characters, tacky outdoor scenes or a life-sized quarterback, you haven’t seen the latest generation of adhesive wall art.
The peel-and-stick vinyl appliques are showing up in the pages of Elle and Dwell and on the walls of hotels, offices and stores like Sony, the Gap and Design Within Reach.
Simple to apply, decals usually come in multipacks, with prices from around $12 to $165 or more, depending on size and customization. Several companies will even interpret your own idea on reusable vinyl.
For a sophisticated aesthetic, stickable wall art can range from bold, wall-covering graphics to delicate art worthy of a frame (stick-on, of course).
Keith Haring, Undoboy, Mel Lim and other artists have been made into wall art at whatisblik.com, which bills its decals as “wall graphics for the commitment phobic.” You can also find designs inspired by early video games like Space Invader, or try Matthew Haggett’s patterned orbs, which have a 3-D quality that makes them appear to burst off the wall.
Ferm Living, a Denmark-based design company, has startling images of giant fingerprints, light bulbs and even houseflies at fermliving shop.us.
At Urban Outfitters, you can buy a flock of stick-on birds or a trompe l’oeil version of a chandelier or headboard. No room for a Chippendale chair? Canthaveitstickit.com can provide a two-dimensional pet, plant or piece of furniture in arresting black and white.
And if you like the look of graffiti, but not the cleanup, Scribbleonwalls.com will turn your name or phrase into a peel-and-stick street tag, perfect for an urban playroom.
Kid-friendly wall art doesn’t stop with traditional licensed characters or tame wallpaper borders. With removable art, a child’s room can be a menagerie one year, a skate park the next.
For the nursery, an array of orange, hot pink, lime and aqua dots from wallcandyarts.com can create a bubbly wonderland, while creative types can envelop a room with a favorite song lyric or quote.
Older children can surround themselves with a prehistoric mural or full-fledged rainforest from wallsofjoy.com ó or choose your own version of Sea World, complete with coral, sharks, and bright fish.
Space cadets of any age will be pleased with the aliens and robots at Moderntots.com. A racetrack complete with repositionable cars can zoom along walls and smooth floors from whatisblik.com.
For teenagers, a sports fan can do homework beside a life-sized Vince Young or transform a bedroom into an elegant French salon with ornate flocking, a chandelier, and the Eiffel Tower, from fridgedoor.com.
Some decals can be repositioned; others are just removable. Surfaces should be dry, clean, smooth, even and free from dust or grease.
Most sites offer layout ideas, but you should plan your design first before peeling and sticking. Decals shouldn’t be used on wallpaper, tile or paneling, but they can work on windows, floors or any suitably finished furniture.