Wall murals in the home are like face tattoos — they’re both firm commitments that are really tough to pull off. However, we’ve scoured Houzz for the freshest, most inspiring wall designs, presented them below for your interior-decor pleasure.

Forget the nursery-room cliches; these are murals you’d be proud to wake up next to in the morning, with nary a bird, cherry blossom or tree silhouette in sight. And for the purposes of this list, decals don’t count; it’s (w)all or nothing.

Without further ado, 5 Wall Murals That Don’t Make Us Want to Tear our Eyeballs Out:

1.) Alicia + Adam, discovered by Lindsay von Hagel – Using the handmade quilt on the bed for inspiration, this Dallas couple painted this mural in their master bedroom without stencils or a plan. After choosing 11 colors, they painted five or six triangles per night until the wall was covered. Abstract prints tend to be a safer choice for large-scale bedroom murals (although if you want a photorealistic wolf’s head looming over your headboard, more power to you!), but the piquant color scheme and the casual/random layout of the triangles seize the viewer’s attention without being overwhelming.

2.) CrystalTech by Robert Hirsch Architect – Wall treatments with retro ads are a fun, unexpected choice for transitional areas. They divide up spaces nicely and inject a bit of movie-star-strolling-in-panorama magic when you’re bustling about (we’re pretty sure we’re not the only ones who dramatically toss their scarves over their shoulders when walking by subway ads!).

3.) Gallery Park by Carlyn and Company Interiors + Design – Not strictly a mural, but this Wright Park wallpaper in this hyper-cool but sophisticated kid’s room demonstrates that diffuse, dense designs such as blueprints work shockingly well against display shelving. When you’re showing off prized items, you don’t want the background to fight with them. The diagram and Wright Park statistics tie into the room’s theme and subtly enhance the existing decor.

4.) San Francisco basement game room by Cody Anderson Wasney Architects –  Game-room decor can veer wildly between dreary/oppressive and juvenile; avoid both pitfalls by employing a boldly colored mural with a playful, kinetic design. The tomato red fits with the brick walls, sofa and lamps, while scrambling Tintin gives the room a shot of vintage mischief.

 5.) Santa Monica bedroom by Kanner Architects – Using a mirror to visually enlarge the room? Pshh. We’re suckers for well-executed smartassery in decor, and the Lichtenstein print creates a trompe loeil effect without being too uncomfortably trippy. And yes, for the full impact, you’ll probably need to match the mural to the furniture, so there’s less flexibility there. Consider this, though: it’s still less of a commitment than getting your significant other’s name inked across your forehead. 

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