Before we get to the answer let me clarify that we are comparing Wallpapers with Wall Decals here; not with Wall Stickers which you get off e-commerce sites. Those are a strict no-no unless you are looking for a cheap & temporary solution. If making your space beautiful is the primary purpose, I would never recommend Wall Stickers. Wall Decals though – are an altogether different proposal. So let’s get to the answer.
Wallpapers & Decals are both unique products, each with its own benefit. While wallpapers cover the entire surface, decals cover only a part of the wall and hence require a painted/finished surface. (You obviously cannot put a cut graphic on an unfinished surface!). Wallpapers are put directly over a primered wall, hence reducing the cost of paint.
Advantages of Decals:
- Decals give your interior a more subtle look. They also look like a ‘part of the wall’ rather than a film or a roll put on it. The beauty of decals is that since they never cover the whole wall they merge seamlessly with your interiors. This means that you can have the same paint across all walls in the room and still make one of the walls artistic. Also, since there is only partial coverage the cost is lesser.
- Decals make your room look bigger. Since decals do not cover the wall from top to bottom, they make the wall look taller than if you put a wallpaper. See the image below to know what I mean.
Advantages of Wallpapers
- Printable Wallpapers come in textures. All printable wallpapers come in textures including but not limited to plain, linear, grainy & canvas (yes, there exists a Canvas textured printable wallpaper too!).
- Wallpapers are less likely to look dirty over a period of time than paint. If you are someone who is not going to clean your walls very often, its better to go for a wallpaper. Because a decal might look gorgeous for years at a go, but the rest of the wall may start to look dull if not maintained properly. At Mockingbird we print our wallpapers using HP Latex Ink, which means they will last you for a good 5-6 years without going dull.
While most Interior Designers these days tend to prefer decals as they are more minimalistic, there is a surging trend towards customized wallpapers in the retail market as you can almost get any design printed on these. The final choice eventually depends upon you. But whichever one you select, gone are the days of having readymade wall graphics – customized digitally printed wall art is the way ahead!
Update to article: Mockingbird Studios has recently launched a PVC free wallpaper. Combined with HP Latex inks these make a great combination of sustainable environment – friendly interior graphics.