Establish a zone in a room with vinyl wall decals

Living in an apartment or dorm room can have some disadvantages. One of the biggest disadvantage, in my opinion, is that you have limited decorating options. Most landlords won’t allow you to paint the walls, and many won’t let you use nails to hang artwork.

This bleak canvas might be appealing to minimalists, but I think that most people enjoy looking at something other than plain, white walls. Additionally, visually identifying where a room begins and ends, or where a zone of a room exists, can help a space feel more put together and less cluttered.

Vinyl wall decals with low-tack adhesive are one way to create interest on a wall without having to pick up a paintbrush or hammer a nail. I also think that these are great solutions for children’s rooms where interests change quickly with age. (Dump trucks were so two weeks ago!) I’m considering using them in my three-story stairwell, and I even have the luxury of being able to paint my walls.

You could opt for wall-sized murals. Various quotations are available. You can even create your own decal with a favorite quote. Holiday themed decals allow you to change decor with ease. Glow-in-the-dark decals will allow you to shed a little bit of light in dark corners — ideal for keeping monsters away in a little one’s room.

A google search for vinyl wall decals or decorations will yield many links. I’ve collected a list of some of what I believe to be the most innovative producers:

  • Acte Deco has numerous designs based on nature and sports themes.
  • Domestic has many interesting cartoons and doilies from French designers (“Shall We Dance” is my favorite).
  • Apple Pie Design has many silhouette options.
  • Blik has Charles and Ray Eames decals that make my heart go pitter patter.

If you’re having trouble creating zones in your home, consider vinyl wall decals as a temporary or permanent option.

29 Comments for “Establish a zone in a room with vinyl wall decals”

  1. posted by brooke on

    I think more of an issue than putting nails in walls (I’ve rented 5 apts and never had an issue – big holes I’d just fix with ‘toothpaste’) – is the problem of plaster (or concrete?) walls that have the textured surface with the big bumpy pieces you can pick off with your finger.
    All my apartments had those walls and I’m not sure those vinyl things will stick to it? I’ve been afraid to purchase them and find out.
    Maybe it’s a Texas thing…

  2. posted by Erin at Unclutterer on

    @brooke — I agree with you, I don’t think vinyl decals would stick well to plaster walls. πŸ™

  3. posted by twosandalz on

    @brooke — I just looked through those sites, and those that listed directions all said smooth surfaces are important. *sigh* I was all over the idea because my lease is strict about the walls. But they are paneled, painted over in apartment drab. No decals for me either.

  4. posted by Kris on

    Okay, I need to know when you plugged into my brain! Seriously. First the guest room thing .. now this. The room in our new house that our boys will occupy has green walls. Green is NOT one of my favorite colors but we the paint is in great shape and washable … all a plus. So I decided to look for big dinosaur clings to use on the walls …. and now you’ve provided a plethera of options for me.

    Kudos .. and thank you.

  5. posted by Vis Major on

    You might also like the products from Mio ( – not only are they temporary decorations, they’re also Green.

  6. posted by mmr on

    I have to say, Blik ( is the best in my opinion. I have a one bedroom apartment and I really went nuts with the decals. Below are some links (hopefully they work) to pictures of my apartment. Simple and easy, plus, blik seems to be the most user friendly out of all of these. (I don’t work for blik, but as I’m sure you can see, I have had a really positive experience with them.)


    Let me know what you think!

  7. posted by Meera on


    loved your decals. so much fun


  8. posted by Blackacre on

    I looked at that Website Graffiti link and found some amazing stuff there. I’m considering my options for an inspirational message for a friend. Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

  9. posted by JB on

    What a coincidence! I had never heard of such thing until visiting some friends in Seattle over Labour Day weekend, where they had decorated one of their soon-to-be baby’s room with a wonderful vinyl landscape of birds sitting on telephone wires. It was really striking. Then at Seattle’s art and music festival, Bumbershoot, I talked to a vinyl artists, who demonstrated how easy it was to remove even the most detailed designs, like a spider and its web. I was afraid that some of the thin legs or webbing would break off and stick to the wall, making a giant mess, but the whole thing easily came off in one piece. I forget the artists’ name, but they sell through Etsy, as do a bunch of other vinyl artists. I’m totally sold on vinyl wall art!

  10. posted by nikki on

    @brooke – here in Phoenix all of our walls are “textured.” I put this in the same design horror category as popcorn ceilings. Painting these texture walls stinks, it takes forever to cover every little spot, even if you use a roller for textured surfaces. I want soooooooooo badly to use some of these stencils, but as twosandalz mentions, all of these sites say to work with a smooth wall. I guess I could by a really cheap one from a site and just test it.

  11. posted by nikki on

    oops, that would be “buy,” as in purchase. duh.

  12. posted by Liz on

    Or you moved cross country into what turned out to be an apartment half the size you expected where everything is broken and you intend to move in a year but in the meantime the white walls are depressing.

  13. posted by Kate on

    I dont know if this has been mentioned. But you can find wall decals at the Dollar Tree. They’re not as cool, but you get a whole sheet for a dollar! Very reasonable for a college student!!

  14. posted by Shawn Levasseur on

    Zones defined by use of adhesives…

    idea lifted from the office designs of Les Nessman. πŸ™‚

  15. posted by Erin at Unclutterer on

    @Shawn–Riotous. πŸ™‚

  16. posted by Unclutterer » Archive » The skinny on wall decals on

    […] decals let you decorate without drilling holes or painting, and a little while back Erin wrote-up a comprehensive post about them. Well, I got some myself to see what all the fuss was about and shot this little video […]

  17. posted by Bob Frey on

    There are also several items at home improvement stores such as Lowe’s and Home Depot that make nice additions to a smooth wall. They are actual paintings that are printed on paper, like wall paper, and which look like they were painted on the wall. They can be removed like any other wall paper and add a nice touch. Mine is a complete window with the frame and the outside view. It is on a wall in the basement where no windows exist. I like the way it turned out. A photo web site is attached

  18. posted by | on

    […] Why hello there!If want to keep up with the latest goings on at you’l want to subscribe to the RSS feed.What’s an RSS feed? Read the primer and subscribe today!. Thanks for visiting!Just wrote about using zones for the baby. Good list of providers. […]

  19. posted by Elizabeth on

    You’re killing me. The links that I love are all based in France and ship from France. Based on the currency conversion, I’ll need to get a 2nd and 3rd job to afford these πŸ™

  20. posted by Pensievin’ » links for 2007-11-10 on

    […] Unclutterer Β» Archive Β» Establish a zone in a room with vinyl wall decals (tags: stickers design fun home shopping wallpaper links list) […]

  21. posted by butch guasa on

    thank you very much you have been very very helpful. you have been very helpful in helping others unfold their great potentials as artists and designers

  22. posted by Shannon on

    These are the COOLEST wall decals I have come across:

  23. posted by Alexandra on

    Thanks ! I also found a very exiting online shop that sells a large collection of french wall decals from all the new trendy french designers.

    I already ordered a couple of wall decals from cocoboheme and Atelier LZC and I was very pleased when I received them, in a charming bag ! πŸ™‚


  24. posted by Alexandra on

    Oups, I missed the copy and paste. Here is the link to go to the French Wall decals boutique I was talking about…

  25. posted by Vicky on

    If you’re down-under in Australia, it may be worth checking out Decorette (! With the way the USD is going now, won’t you much rather shop in Australian dollars this Christmas? I know I do!

  26. posted by Viki on

    I saw sticky ups – but noticed they didn’t have the full range. Go to DecoSticks (, as they have all the stickyups wall sticker designs and many more cool wall sticker designs.

    Also with the dollar doing well against the pound a good time to buy Deco sticks!

  27. posted by links for 2009-05-18 | Blog ExtraLibris on

    […] Establish a zone in a room with vinyl wall decals | Unclutterer (tags: decal) […]

  28. posted by denise on

    i have really been enjoying your website and look forward to it. This post however was surprising. the decals look like visual clutter. Surely you can distinguish one area of a room without annoying decals.

  29. posted by Ciara on

    This is actually a really good idea.

    We have long thought of having large writing on one of the walls of our kitchen (you know, “home sweet home” or something) but we’ve always been put off by the idea that they needed stencilling. Decals seem a great alternative a lot easier to fix into place and easier to change if you decide to change it later.

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