Tuesday 5 April 2011

To Feature Wall or Not to Feature Wall?

This is the biggest question when it comes to painting homes these days.

Are features walls still in fashion or are they out of fashion?  To be honest I love a good feature wall as long as it is on the "right" wall in the right room with the right colour. There are too many feature walls on the wrong wall, in the wrong room in the wrong colour.

So which is the right wall?  Well there are many factors to consider when deciding on which wall can be used as a feature wall.  The first thing you should ask yourself is WHY do I want a feature wall?  Consider this - Is it because you think you should have one?  Is it because you want to add colour / texture to your house?  Of it is because you think it is fashionable to have one and therefore I must have one in my house?   If it is because you think you should have one because your friends have one and say that you should have one, then maybe you shouldn't?  Once you have worked out the WHY, then you can explore WHICH wall as you may not have a suitable wall.
WHICH wall should I use as a feature wall and in which room?  Not all rooms require a feature wall. 

I did a feature wall in my living area, not on the big plain wall, but on the wall surrounding my very large windows - the wall is essentially 80% windows / sliding door.  My WHY - I saw the windows as a piece of artwork looking onto my garden and I wanted to frame it like you would do with any artwork.  In addition, the blinds where white and I felt it was sterile and lacked warmth.  If I had chosen the big plain wall opposite the windows, it wouldn't have made the room too small.

You will need to consider the size of the room, window location, number of windows, window furnishings,  artwork to be used in room or on wall and furniture that is in and near the feature wall.  All of these factors can can impact how your feature wall will look.  If there are heavy curtains or coloured blinds, it might not be suitable to do a feature wall as these items will bring in colour and texture.  Furniture size and colour can also impact negatively on a feature wall.
The most common areas for feature walls are Living/Lounge and master bedrooms. Now WHAT colour do you put on your feature wall.
WHAT colour should you choose?  Not all feature walls need to be bright colours and take up more than one wall.  A subtle colour can be more effective in the styling of your home.  It comes down to what you want to create with your feature wall and will it give you the style you are looking for.  Unless you have the time and money and an ultra modern property, I would stay clear of fashion fad colours and textured paint, as these can easily date and you might be re-painting in 12 months.  

Some recent feature walls I have completed have been subtle with only a shade or two darker than the  main wall colour,  through to beautiful greens to break up the "neutral" overall look of the property.  I call it the builder look "neutralising tones", beige tiles, cupboards, walls, doors etc.  Therefore no personality in the room whatsoever and all you can see is beige and cream..... eeeek. 

How best to test that your chosen colour will suit your feature wall.  Pick more than one, as the hue of the colour will be different once you get it home.  I recommend that you get tester pots of a range of colours and paint them onto an A4 sheet of paper and blutac them on your chosen wall in at least 2 positions.  Leave them there for a week so you can live wit the colour on the wall.  This enables you to view the colour during the day and night.  I personally don't like textured paints as feature walls as they are very difficult to remove and paint over.

With my chosen feature wall I think I went through 5 colours before I found my colour.  I felt I had lost my colour mojo, or maybe I was just being extra fussy.  But I love it now as much as I did the day I painted it.
The feature is very subtle but creates the frame and warmth I wanted in the area.

Here is a picture of partof the wall

If you are unsure of your colour and want to maximise the colour in your home, I would recomend a colour expert to help.


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