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posted: 4/20/2013 4:00 AM

Decals can transform a wall cheaply, easily

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  • Decals are growing in popularity because they can easily be installed and removed without damaging walls or paint.

      Decals are growing in popularity because they can easily be installed and removed without damaging walls or paint.
    Courtesy of WALLTAT.com

  • The Love Birds wall decal graces the stairway of Diane Wright's home. Wright painted a formerly dark and dreary wall bright green with a black trim, and added the Love Birds decal to liven the largest wall seen as you enter or leave the house.

      The Love Birds wall decal graces the stairway of Diane Wright's home. Wright painted a formerly dark and dreary wall bright green with a black trim, and added the Love Birds decal to liven the largest wall seen as you enter or leave the house.
    Courtesy of Wall Words, Diane Wright

  • The Kids on Swings decal is a popular choice for parents decorating nurseries. Parents like the flexibility of wall decals that can be easily changed as kids grow.

      The Kids on Swings decal is a popular choice for parents decorating nurseries. Parents like the flexibility of wall decals that can be easily changed as kids grow.
    Courtesy of WALLTAT.com

  • WALLTAT.com offers this Branches and Blossoms wall decal. The decals are growing in popularity because they can easily be installed and removed without damaging walls or paint.

      WALLTAT.com offers this Branches and Blossoms wall decal. The decals are growing in popularity because they can easily be installed and removed without damaging walls or paint.
    Courtesy of WALLTAT.com

 
By Melissa Kossler Dutton
Associated Press

During a recent home remodel, Diane Wright decided the stairway leading to her garage needed some perking up.

So she went online and found a wall decal -- roosting love birds on a branch.

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"I love them. It adds some individuality," said Wright, who also has used decals in other parts of her home on Kiawah Island, S.C.

Wall decals have taken off as an easy, affordable and temporary way to transform a room, said interior designer Darla Blake of Unique & Chic Interiors in Irvine, Calif. The flexible vinyl decals come in dozens of colors and hundreds of designs, everything from animals and music notes to funky patterns and religious symbols. There are words and sayings. And some companies make custom decals.

"Having a tree in your bathroom, or a park bench and bicycle on a wall behind a sofa, or a bridge going to nowhere brings a smile to everyone who enters the room," Blake said.

The decals make it easy to personalize a room, which is popular right now, she said. "You can easily find something to reference your personality, your job or your lifestyle," she said.

Wright has used decals as an inexpensive border in a bedroom and above framed photos.

"It's certainly a whole lot less than hiring a painter," she said.

Price varies by size, but a decal around 25 inches by 50 inches would usually be less than $100.

Barbara Irvine of Syracuse, N.Y., chose a verse from one her favorite hymns to decorate the space above her kitchen sink. The words, "Come ye thankful people, come," prompt her to count her blessings, she said.

She installed them herself by slowly rubbing them off their paper backing with a tool similar to a tongue depressor.

"They come with very good instructions," said Irvine, who ordered the custom phrase from Wall Words in Santa Ana, Calif. "It's fairly easy. You do want to get them level."

The words are designed to easily go on and off, said Carrol Caldwell, owner of Wall Words. She advises using painter's tape to attach the paper backing to the wall before firmly rubbing the decal onto the wall.

"It brings back how important words are in your life," she said. "It's way to add something that is very meaningful and helps you through the day."

And the decals peel right off when you're done using them, she said.

Easy removal makes decals especially attractive to renters, students in dorms and parents decorating nurseries, said Jordan Guide, chief executive and founder of Walltat.com.

They can add impact to a small room without taking up space, added interior designer Linda Hunt of Creatively Yours Custom in Richmond, Va. She often puts them in powder rooms to make the space feel larger. She has had clients' monograms made and installed in their master bath. She also uses decals in kitchens and foyers.

Once she used them to create text for a "memory wall" that a client had in honor of her deceased brother.

"The possibilities of what you can put together are endless," Hunt said.

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