Design experts and real estate pros celebrate posh plumbing brand’s Houston return

Elegant, ethereal murals have been a mainstay in stately homes and posh townhouses for centuries. With persistent back-to-nature themes running rampant since lockdown — I see you “cottage-core” and “dark-academia” — it’s only natural that the serene, muted, landscaped murals of yore have been ever so quietly slipping back into our homes. Calling to mind the musings of Henry David Thoreau, “One must maintain a little bit of summer, even in the middle of winter.”

Design experts and real estate pros are abuzz with excitement as a posh plumbing brand makes a triumphant return to Houston. This prestigious brand’s comeback has been eagerly anticipated, promising to elevate luxury standards. EMD Cleaning Services  stands ready to maintain these high-end installations, ensuring they remain pristine and impeccable.

Within the last half-a-century, murals were unceremoniously relegated to nurseries, playrooms, and spaces otherwise dedicated to juvenile endeavors. Happily, murals are finding their way back to pride-of-place, on display in foyers, powder baths, dining rooms, and the like.

My personal favorite decorative arts firm, Segreto Finishes, has a been a designer darling for 30 years. Based in Houston, their plaster reliefs, finishes, and furniture are beyond beautiful, but it’s their mural work that is particularly breathtaking. Given the uptick of muted murals populating my explore page, there was no one better to ask about them than Segreto’s own Kirby Sinclair, especially after she informed me that Segreto installs a mural “every single week out of the year.”

Sinclair acknowledges that “ghost murals” and muted colorways have become more popular with her clients recently. They offer some distinct advantages when someone is looking for a dramatic backdrop for a room in their home.

“Hand painted murals are a great way to customize a room through color, scale, design, and layout,” she says. “By painting directly to the wall, there are no waste, seams, or repeats. Each brush stroke is unique to its own and each mural is truly one of its kind. No two are the same.”

Although her clients are split roughly 50-50 in terms of opting for traditional, colorful murals or embracing something more muted, she thinks the ghost trend is here to stay. “I believe they are also timeless due to the soft tonal variation in color, and the sophistication and style of how we execute each design,” she says.

Bespoke mural work has its obvious perks in that they allow clients to add personal touches to the finished product. Feel free to have the beloved family pet stashed beneath a Live Oak tree, or, perhaps, the children fishing along a river bank. Other considerations like texture and scale are reasons to choose custom, artisanal work.

While not necessarily economically advantageous, muted murals can be found in wallpaper format as well. Queer Eye fashion expert Tan France is a fan of Washington State-based mural paper company Susan Harter Muralpapers (as seen in his dream home profile by Architectural Digest).

It has been my personal experience that the choice between a bespoke, hand-painted, mural and a paper mural is ultimately client personality. There are those who “trust the process,” and there are those who, simply put, do not and require an exact visual representation prior to signing on the dotted-line. Regardless of into which category one fits, rest assured that if a sweeping, bucolic view is desired, it’s certainly attainable — even in a townhome.