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Make a feature of your wall
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Make a feature of your wall

Feature walls are not a new concept in interior design. The idea first came to our attention nearly two decades ago, with the rise of the interior design show. Painting or papering a single wall may not be a revolutionary idea, but it gave many of us the confidence to bring some colour into our homes without going too over the top. If we didn’t like the result, painting over it was no real hardship.

The feature wall is still very much in evidence, although today it can take many forms. The basic premise still applies: it is a way of bringing colour, or a theme, or a design feature, into our home. Firstly, it allows the ‘wall’ to take pride of place; secondly, it doesn’t mean you are overloading or swamping your space.

A simple change of colour is the most straightforward method. You like a colour but you are not sure you want the whole room in it, so choose your wall and go for it. You might want to draw attention to a fireplace by painting the surrounding wall, or indeed detracting the eye away from another wall with some lumpy plastering. In bedrooms it is common to paint the headboard end of the room, and in reception rooms it makes sense to paint the wall that is the main focal point. This might be the idea time to try out that shimmering metallic paint, pearl or a suede effect finish, or even a ‘blackboard’ wall.

While the words ‘paint effects’ might take you straight back to the late 1980s, they are still used today to great effect. Stencilling does not have to mean a border round the middle of the room, as stencils are now available in a massive range of styles from flowers to geometrical patterns and from tiny images to huge floor-to-ceiling ones.

Wallpaper is, of course, fairly easy to hang, although for ease of application you might want to choose a wall without too many doors or windows! Wall coverings are available in a huge range, from traditional prints to textured paper and fabrics. You can also get amazing murals that are often applied as a wallpaper, such as a cityscape, woodland, beach, or even a more abstract design. These are ideal if you have a blank wall; however, they can be quite dominating. Choose carefully and they can look amazing.

Vinyl decals, or stickers, are a modern take on stencilling and can be a better option if you are not confident in your painting skills. Again, these offer huge variety, from single-colour words or quotes to multi-colour images of perhaps a Japanese-style cherry blossom or a bird-filled tree, or even your children’s names. Easy to apply, they come on a backing paper, although you might need two pairs of hands for the larger ones. They are equally easy to remove and, if this is done carefully, should not damage the paint underneath.

You can create a feature wall without opening a pot of paint, of course. What about choosing a wall to be your ‘art gallery’? Framed photos or pictures look really striking in blocks on a wall. You can group them in themes or colours, but a simple way to keep the look reasonably cohesive is to stick to one colour of frame. Just make sure you are careful when you do the dusting, or at least keep a spirit level close to hand!

A wall of shelving is another alternative, although this require a bit more space if you want to do floor to ceiling. You could create a book corner, or display your collection of china/CDs/glasses/model trains. Measure up carefully and plan how far apart you want the shelves, and it might be worthwhile bringing in a carpenter if you plan to use a really big wall!

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