bedroom, bedroom, design
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Feature walls – our last four homes and my top tips

Coming from a hotel design/development background the feature wall is a favourite amongst designers to add instant (and permanent) interest to a room.

I can remember choosing the interior for our first home almost 20 years ago.  The house was a modern brick and tile and we went for a deep aubergine on a niche wall in our dining area and a paprika red one in the lounge area.  They were painted and an easy way to add depth to the space when most of our furniture was hand me downs from family.  When we moved to our next house, a 100 year old villa, the previous owner had painted every room a different colour so we just updated a couple to our preferred colours but hadn’t got around to repainting the house before we moved to Dubai although the end of our kitchen/dining room was anchored with a fab dark blue.  Of course these homes were before digital cameras so photos are all stored back in New Zealand in a shed in Hakaru!

Once we were in Dubai our first home was an apartment on the 33rd floor with a stunning view of the Arabian Gulf so there was enough interest along one wall of the apartment that we did away with the idea of feature walls as the view was perfect and the light bounced around the light coloured interior which added to the feeling of volume.  Just before we started our family we moved into a duplex which in traditional Dubai style only had windows on the front and back of the house so we had a very long wall through our lounge and dining area that was begging to have some colour added to it – so a striking teal went up and wrapped into a quirky niche adjacent to it as well.  Everything else remained the original neutral but the teal wall has been a constant backdrop for our time in this home – parties, kids photos, you name it the teal is there.

Now we have the place in France and I can’t wait to show you where we have chosen to add colour, pattern and interest but until it is ready I thought I would share my top four tips for deciding what type of feature you want to create.

  1. Think about what wall you want to accent – so many people put it behind a bed or sofa as it looks amazing as you walk in the room (and is completely instagramable) but when you are in the room you very rarely see it – look at the way your room is orientated and what you will be looking across at when using it on an everyday basis and treat that aspect.
  2. Think about why you want to accent the wall – do you want to lighten the room; make it feel more cosy; have a lot to look at; create a backdrop for soemthing else……the purpose starts to point you in the right direction for what colour, texture, pattern.
  3. Think about how you want to accent the wall – whilst I have traditionally gone for paint (as it is the cheap and cheerful option) this time we are in a forever home so I have selected paint, tile, wallpaper, murals and art.  Don’t worry it is not everywhere but I am loving the choices
  4. And lastly ……. ask yourself do you need to accent that wall at all.  There are other ways of creating bold interest – paint out the ceiling; refinish a floor, add a bold curtain or paint every wall in a room the same colour rather than just one.  There are many ways to create interest.

Hope this helps and keep an eye out for what we have done in France along with inspiration from hotels I have been to that really mastered the idea of a feature wall.

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