The well-known feature wall became a trend in the 1990s, when just about every home renovation show and interior designer started using this decorative idea to create a focal point in an otherwise bland room. The result is that it became a bit of an overkill, and eventually the idea fell out of favour.
But, as they say, history tends to repeat itself, and the feature wall idea is back and bigger than before! However, this time it’s all about using paint and texture strategically instead of just pointing to a random wall and adding a bright colour to it. And where feature walls were usually reserved for living rooms, these accent areas have now moved into the rest of the home.
In addition to bringing colour and character into a room, a feature wall’s other advantage is that it costs less than styling up all four walls of a room. But of course you need to be clever with which wall you pick, the way in which you’re going to make it a standout point, how it balances with the rest of the room’s pieces, etc.
Fortunately, homify is here to make this process much easier – and a whole lot more fun!
The best wall to turn into a focal point is one that already holds the focus of the room. This could be the wall behind the sofa or TV in the living room, or the wall at the head of the bed in the bedroom.
Always avoid walls that have windows and doors, as these tend to distract from the visual effect you’re trying to create. However, architectural features like fireplaces can be ideal for feature walls, as it accents an area that is already enjoying attention.
And never use a wall that’s too small for an accent piece, for it can make the room appear cluttered.
A can of paint is one of the easiest means of creating a feature wall. Think about how one wall in an entirely different colour will draw the eye and give a room new dimensions.
But what colour to choose? That depends on the current décor in the room, plus the atmosphere you wish to convey. While dark colours can be brooding and overwhelming, they can also ensure a contrasting effect from the rest of the room’s softer/neutral tones. Our recommendation is to:
• Paint the feature wall in a hue that’s a few shades darker than the rest of the room’s walls (for example, dove grey against white/off-white walls);
• Opt for a contrasting/complementary colour (such as bright orange in a room with blue walls); or
• Look at the recurring colours in the room, like the sofa, scatter cushions, lamp shades, and let that be your inspiration for the feature wall’s hue.
If you deem a painted wall too boring and would like to introduce some pattern into the room’s focal point, wallpaper can help! But keep in mind that the type of wallpaper you pick must tie in with the rest of the room – it needs to complement the space, not overthrow it.
How will that patterned wallpaper look against the room’s furniture and décor pieces? A living room with busy motifs in its sofas and rugs, for example, doesn’t need eye-catching wallpaper with animal prints and botanical stencils. Rather opt for something subtle and elegant, such as wallpaper with one main hue that sports the slightest of patterns.
And remember that wallpaper can be a tricky skill, so if you’re not completely sure what to do, rather get a professional for the job.
Mounting a picture gallery is another way of creating a feature wall. Bring a cohesive design to a variety of photographs by tying them together in one theme (like family or landscapes), or with a common colour palette (black-and-white prints can look quite timeless).
Frame them in complementary frames, hang them on the chosen wall (remember adequate breathing space between those pieces), and watch how that wall enjoys attention.
Think of a mural wall as paint mixed with artistic expression. How would a mountain range, a map of the world, or a tranquil beach scene look on a feature wall? Perhaps a lush forest setting splashed on a wall can bring your garden’s tranquillity indoors?
Murals are especially popular for children’s rooms, adding character and fantasy while ensuring a lot of style and colour for a young person’s space.
For living rooms, the most common wall for a focal point is the one with the chimney breast, as it is already a main feature in the room. But do take into account the arrangement of the furniture, and that no windows or doors interrupt the feature wall you’re trying to create.
You might choose to paint the wall the sofa runs along, or against which the TV is mounted, as the seating will already be aimed towards it.
A bit more tricky here, but not impossible. It all depends on the look you want to create. One of the most common walls to pick is the shower wall. Or the one behind the bathtub or toilet. Or against which your mirrors are mounted.
homify hint: A feature wall can also be created out of materials like tile, stone and wood, if you’re looking to bring in a good amount of texture with your colours and patterns.
The most popular space in the kitchen to attract attention is the backsplash, from which one can make a terrific feature. But a lot of kitchens also opt for magnetic chalkboard paint on an open, blank wall to create a giant chalkboard that:
a) Adds a fun, practical and modern element to the space; and
b) Ensures a bold touch for the colour palette.
Decide which wall you want to attract attention, see how it’s placed in relation to the rest of the room’s pieces (i.e. does the island’s stools face it?), ensure it’s not eclipsed by too many appliances and architectural features, and have at it!
The most popular wall in the bedroom is undoubtedly the one against which the bed stands. This is due to two reasons:
1. The bed and its complementary assets (headboard, bedside tables, etc.) already demand attention, therefore a feature wall will add to the eye-catching factor.
2. The bed behind the wall is hidden from sight for the sleeper, which means loud or energetic colours and prints won’t disturb anyone looking to catch some shuteye.
Whichever wall you choose, remember the basic rules that go along with creating a feature wall, and remember to have fun!
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