Off-the-wall trend in decor

Change rooms overnight with interactive decorations.


Kids usually get scolded when they scribble on the walls, but really, who can blame them? There's something about a blank wall that cries out for creativity.

So architect Andrew Wilkinson and his wife, Jill, just smile when their two young daughters rearrange the wall decorations. Their kids are not misbehaving. They're being interactive.

They're using wall decor products aimed at letting them do just that - the peel-and-stick reusable vinyl decals by Wall Candy Arts in the Wilkinson girls' bedroom.

Such products are gaining popularity, and not just for kids. There are interactive wall decorations for grown-ups, too - from paint-by-numbers wallpaper and custom murals to stickers, decals and 3-D appliques. Some are permanent, most are easily removed, and a few can be reused to create new compositions. All are custom-made for do-it-yourselfers who want to change a room almost overnight.

Here's what's available:

Themed stickers: The offerings from Blonder Home Accents ( include beach motifs and quaint outhouse themes for the bath with wall stickers, shower curtains and rings, and soap dispensers. has a line of youth-themed wall and window treatments that coordinates digitally printed images on changeable window blinds with wall murals, cutouts, borders and canvas artwork.

European touch: Briton Jenny Wilkinson came up with Wallpaper-by-Numbers as her senior thesis in design school. Now, the do-it-yourself, paint-by-numbers wallpaper is distributed in this country by

Interactive Wallpaper (, by London designer Rachel Kelly, is a collection of floral and geometric stickers that can be applied to walls or used to enhance her Sex and the City-themed wallpaper with high-heeled shoe motifs named after the show's characters. And Tord Boontje, a Dutch designer, has created Puddles - a line of polished stainless-steel wall decals shaped like flowers, butterflies, dragonflies and birds.

Modern artsy: Blik, a three-year-old California company (, falls into the modernist camp. It offers a range of shapes, from giraffes and video-game space invaders to spheres, boxes, paisleys, dots and Eames designs. Designs from the late graffiti artist Keith Haring as well as 3-D products are on the way.

One of its most popular requests is for custom decals that feature text - a poem, a favorite saying, a passage from a novel, a nursery rhyme or personal mantra.

Nursery designs: Wall Candy Arts ( is another new company with a modernist slant. Among its creations are the multisize, multicolor "Dottilicious" dots and "Grazeland" farm scene, designed by Heesun Choi, who now works for Calvin Klein. And thanks to a licensing agreement with Marimekko, it offers that company's signature blue and red poppies and Boboo cars.

All the decals are backed by a "low-tack static adhesion" that allows them to be removed and reused.

Digital imagery: PrestoChango Decor ( was created by a Florida couple, William Steve Jones and his wife, Tracy, when they realized how time-consuming it was to paint murals on their son's nursery walls. They bought a digital printer and launched their company about seven months ago.

Now they scan Tracy's drawings and produce decals of farm animals and teddy bears. Recently they added safari animals, and other species will soon join the menagerie. They do custom colors and, when possible, special requests. The stickers can be removed and rearranged, although they must be placed on thoroughly dried paint.

Carol Polsky writes for Newsday.

Home Tip-- Erase Troubles-- Use everyday erasers to rub away light rust, remove smudges on walls and floors, and clean small electrical contacts.


Wall art tips

Plan your design. Make a sketch, then use adhesive tape to see how your design looks before affixing it to the wall.

Be sure your wall or other surface is smooth, dry and free of dust or dirt. Note manufacturers' cautions about temperature and sunlight sensitivity.

With permanent graphics, be careful not to allow the adhesive side to fold onto itself. When peeling temporary or movable graphics, always peel at a 45-degree angle.



Blonder products are available at home centers and paint and wallpaper stores, including Home Depot, Lowe's, Duron and Sherwin-Williams.

Blik wall graphics are carried by Shine in Hampden (410-366-6100).

Wall Candy Arts designs for kids are carried at Something Whimsey in Annapolis (410-280-0755), The Corduroy Button in Baltimore (410-276-7873) and The Store LTD in Cross Keys (410-323-2350).

Go online to find these and other wall art makers and distributors:

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