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Back from the ‘90s – Reclaiming feature walls

March 8, 2019

Say you’ve just finished painting your living room, the colour’s nice and the furniture matches but something’s still missing, the room lacks character somehow. ZEN have two words for you: feature wall. Cast your mind back to the ‘90s and you’ll probably remember feature walls cropping up on every home design show on the air. Now though, feature walls are back, and they’ve ditched the camo parachute pants and come full circle into the 21st century. Feature walls make use of existing focal points within the room, for example, the wall with the sofa against it or the headboard of a bed, and work to exaggerate them. They do this with the use of contrasting colours, shapes and designs. There are a whole host of ways to go about creating the ideal feature wall that allows you to show a little of yourself in the room.

(Credit: First Sense Interiors)

Monochrome By choosing one statement colour you can draw attention to the desired wall in one easy blow. For example, if you have a room with a fairly neutral colour scheme maybe opt for a bold, contrasting colour for the feature wall. Often the best way to choose the contrast colour is not only to opt for a colour which works nicely with the other walls but also maybe take inspiration from other recurring colours throughout the room. For example, pulling out a colour from throw cushions or a rug or lampshades. This can be the perfect way to create a colour flow throughout the room and tie the space together.

Feature wall behind bench seat.

Using a dark colour to contrast the neutral room and draw focus. Courtesy of First Sense Interiors.

(Credit: Wallhome.pw)

Stripes Rather than selecting one statement colour, you might decide one colour isn’t enough for you, variety is the spice of life after all. One way to make use of a broader palette is with stripes. Again, perhaps making use of colours which contrast with the rest of the room and maybe using recurring colours as inspiration. The stripes themselves you will likely want to complement each other. As well as being a little more colourful, stripes, vertical stripes in particular, can have the effect of making a room appear taller.

Using colours that blend with the rest of the room can give a sense of unity. Courtesy of Decoist.


(Credit: zenlaser.co)

Stencils and patterns For the more creative types amongst you, it might even be worth considering the use of shapes and patterns, layered over your statement colour or simply as an effect in themselves. There are a few ways of achieving these. You could opt to trace out the shapes onto the wall freehand. This will lend a more natural, eclectic feel to the designs and possibly save on time. If you’re perhaps not brave enough for freehand you could create a stencil with which to create a uniform pattern. Or, for the less artistically orientated, you can pick up patterned paint rollers which allow you to create a repeat pattern by simply running the roller against the wall.

Patterned paint roller.

Using a patterned paint roller is an easy way to create a uniformed pattern (and cheaper than wallpaper). Courtesy of: volv.me

(Credit: xsuhome.tk)

Ombre and contrasting colour blocks Maybe you don’t fancy patterns or stripes, but you still want to have a little more freedom with your colour palette. Fear not, there are other options for you too. Firstly, there’s ombre. Chances are you’ve heard of ombre by now, but essentially the idea is to select two complimentary colours and have them softly meet somewhere along the wall. This can create an attractive, fairly gentle effect with the use of the right colours. As well as ombre there is the option of contrasting colour blocks, ideally formed into interesting shapes, almost like a simplified Picasso. This is a much more dramatic effect and requires some careful choices to avoid going overboard and creating a clashing monster.

Contrasting colour blocks.

Using contrasting colour blocks is an eye-catching technique. Courtesy of: infreshhome.com

(Credit: Walldesignsideas.com)

Feature walls – featured tips There are a number of key principles it helps to consider when deciding to create a feature wall. As mentioned earlier the wall you choose to feature should be the wall that the eye is naturally drawn to when entering the room – the idea is to work with existing features rather than create some forced perspective. Be brave with your colour choices. If you allow yourself to be timid you won’t end up making half the statement you set out to make and your feature wall will look more out of place than eye-catching. You can always paint over it again if you decide you don’t like it after all. Finally, consider furniture placement. Used correctly furniture can massively enhance the effect of a feature wall. By placing the feature furniture against the feature wall or by having the feature wall behind the feature furniture you can exaggerate the effect.

Dark grey feature wall.

Courtesy of Elle.

(Credit: Piveco.me)

Our highly customisable range of ZEN paints are designed to help you enhance features and turn the ordinary into something beautiful. Check out our range and create your very own, individual feature wall that’s as unique as you are. http://zenpaints.co.uk/play/

ZEN paint tin.

Our range of tins are art in themselves.

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