Feature wall: how to choose which wall to decorate

The first step to creating the perfect feature wall in your home is choosing the right location

Feature wallpaper DIY

Feature walls are still a huge trend in interiors, as a quick and easy way to inject colour, pattern and personality into a room.

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There are many benefits to an accent wall. For one, they encourage us to experiment with pattern – cladding one wall with a statement paper can feel less daunting than the whole room. And let’s be honest, it’s also a great way to cover any imperfections!

Accent walls are a cost-effective way to update décor for those on a budget – and there’s less paper strip too, so less work when it’s time for a refresh. Plus, in smaller spaces, using a dark wallpaper on one wall can trick the eye as the colour registers in the brain as being further away and makes the space feel larger.

The big question now is… which wall? The first step to a feature wall is selecting the best wall to cover, and these steps should make it an easy job. Here are four things to consider before you pick up that paintbrush:

Find your focus

The ideal position for a feature wall is where people naturally focus their attention. Often this is opposite the doorway – the first wall they see on entering the room.

Think about where the eye is drawn. Is there a natural focal point? If so, that’s the best wall to showcase wallpaper.

If you want to do something unexpected, don’t forget you have the option to jazz up the ‘fifth wall’ by applying wallpaper or colour to the ceiling.

Lay the room out for impact

How furniture is laid out within the room is another consideration – a statement piece of furniture might benefit from a feature wall behind it to draw attention to that area.

Beware aware of the risk that overcrowding a feature wall with furniture and accessories will leave it feeling cluttered and confusing.

Consider your light sources

A dark feature wall in a gloomier part of the room will be covered by shadows, obscuring the wallpaper design, as can harsh light coming in through a window. For optimum light conditions, choose a wall that enjoys a balance of natural light.

Play to your strengths

It’s important to think about what currently works well in the room (and what doesn’t). If there’s a fireplace or mantel already demanding attention, a feature wall can be used to exaggerate this – like how a picture frame sets off a work of art.

Conversely, if a wall is particularly busy with windows, alcoves and radiators, these elements will compete with the wallpaper, interrupting the design and leaving less surface area for pattern. It’s also harder to apply the paper around these architectural features.

Once you’ve decided just where and how you plan to create your feature wall, check out our ultimate guide to choosing a feature wall – from textured tiles to bold print wallpaper, we’ve got tonnes of fabulous ideas!

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Words by Alex Whitecroft