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Like an eye-catching artwork or a punchy graphic wallpaper, the right backdrop can alter moods and lift spirits.

Finding the right solution to make a blank wall sing can be tricky: large paintings are often expensive and gallery walls or knick knack-filled shelving systems can take months to collect and put together. Murals, on the other hand, are a relatively wallet-friendly fix, and they only require a few cans of paint. Chances are you can tackle the work on your own whether you’re a creative spirit or 100 percent left-brained. But where do you start?

Janie Rochfort, the talented artist and interior designer behind the brand-new mural at Semihandmade HQ in Monrovia, California had a few thoughts after finishing her latest project: “I used the brand colors as my starting point, but I was really inspired by the surrounding landscape,” she says. “The beautiful foothills sit right outside the building and the sunsets are just gorgeous. I wanted it to blend in with the scenery.” 

Janie Rochfort's Semihandmade wall mural

This approach highlights Rochfort’s number one advice for mural design: always consider the landscape. “I want a mural to feel like it belongs in a space; like it’s always been there.” Using existing greenery or textiles as a starting point, the artist looks to complement, rather than compete, with the rest of the space. 

Rochfort’s advice is personified in nearly every one of her creations. From coworking spaces and cafes to offices and wedding venues, her installations flow right into the existing nature or architecture. “It all depends on the focal point of the project,” says Rochfort. ”Sometimes it’s the color palette, sometimes it’s the architecture. But there’s so much overlap between the artwork, branding, and interior design. By the end of the project, it all becomes one cohesive piece.”  

Janie Rochfort's DIY wall mural for Semihandmade

To apply Rochfort’s advice at home, consider your existing space: When was your house built and what’s the overarching design style? Look to art from that period for inspiration. How does natural light affect the room and what colors dominate? Incorporate them in some way. How busy is the existing decor and what mood are you trying to convey? Consider this when deciding how busy your pattern should be. The answers to these questions will help come up with a design that feels right for the space and enhances it rather than detracting from it. 

Janie Rochfort's DIY wall mural for Semihandmade

If painting your own DIY mural still feels intimidating, brands like Minted, Etsy, and Society6 sell removable wall murals in every color, motif, and size imaginable, from dreamy watercolors fit for a relaxing bedroom to productivity-enhancing pop art for a home office.

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We don’t believe that renovations should be daunting. The key is to arm yourself with the right knowledge, people, and products to achieve your goals. It also helps to ask the right questions: How much does it cost to renovate a kitchen? How do I find the right general contractor in my area? Where do I even start if I’ve never remodeled before? This is where we come in. Through hard-to-believe before and afters, first-person renovation accounts, and step-by-step DIY projects, we demystify every aspect of remodeling and give you a ton of full-house, bathroom, and kitchen renovation ideas. Semihandmade was built on a strong make-it-yourself spirit and we’re carrying that legacy beyond DIY kitchen cabinets (though we’ll certainly touch on those too) by bringing you a ton of weekend projects for novices (have you ever tried making your own planter?) and experts (try your hand at a full-wall media center). What do people really mean when they say a house has “good bones”? Before and after projects show first-hand what’s possible in a transformative remodel. How do you make the most of a narrow galley? Should you swap your upper cabinets for floating shelves? What would it look like if you opened up your small kitchen? Renovation ideas abound in our spotlighted projects. A lot goes into a kitchen renovation, but it’s usually hard to tell from a beautiful “after” shot. Our monthly series “Island Hopping” is about getting a behind-the-scenes account of what the process is like through honest conversations—you know, the kind that typically take place around a kitchen island. We’ll chat with designers, homeowners, and architects about their projects, hoping to peel back the curtain on picture-perfect spaces.