Thursday, May 23

Dressed to Impress

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Walls can be an integral feature in a space – here's how to utilise them fully

No longer simply a functional way to separate rooms, walls can be an integral feature in their own right

Personalised techniques

The walls in your home are the perfect canvas for showcasing your memories and personality.

1. Walls as a creative showcase (above)

Take inspiration from designer Michele Throssell and paint a large wall in your house with standard blackboard paint (Michele used Plascon School Board paint). ‘It’s really straightforward and much the same as applying any other paint,’ she says. ‘Just make sure it’s properly dry before letting the kids loose on it.’

2. Customise your wallpaper

Photograph: Micky Hoyle

An alternative to hanging framed family photographs, take a cue from Cécile & Boyd and create a custom wallpaper using a collage effect of personal pictures, old maps and postcards from travels. Contact Robin Sprong Wallpaper for production.

Paint Effects

When applied with innovative techniques, the humble medium of paint can add serious designer cred.

3. Use effects 

Photograph: Dook

Using paint gave a very rich, multilayered effect,’ says interior designer Michele Throssell of this colourful harlequin design. ‘I often opt for paint effects when I want a looser, more organic look that can be hard to achieve with wallpaper.’ Experiment with an interplay of tone and design.

4. Work magic with ombré

Photograph: Greg Cox

‘Ombré is created by fading a colour from dark to light on either a vertical or horizontal plane,’ says Anne Roselt, global colour manager at Kansai Plascon. ‘It creates an ethereal sense of weightlessness.’ Interior studio Effects can help you achieve this look.

5. Mimic fabric texture

Photograph: Greg Cox

Grasscloth or a similarly textured wallpaper is often applied to walls to give the impression of a rough hemp or linen fabric. This look can, however, also be achieved with a careful hand-painted treatment. This canvas-like effect was created in the home of Sheila Boardman by paint
effects artist Greg Pullen.

3D Wall Effects

From a subtle stucco to bold plaster mouldings, use the third dimension to create showstopping wallscapes.

6. Use wallpaper to add depth

‘3D wallcoverings are not just decorative but can add distinctive architectural detail to any room,’ says David Ralphs, managing director at
St Leger & Viney. This Elitis neoprene wallcovering, applied to a headboard wall, adds softness.

7. Experiment with 3D tiles

Play with light and shade for an unexpected visual effect that changes with the daylight, such as the ‘Plumage’ range by Cristina Celestino for Bottega Nove. ‘3D tiles create shadows to make a sculptural effect in any space,’ says Paul Couzis, retail director at Italtile.

8. Play with mouldings

Photograph: Amber Frederiksen

On this wall, ceiling roses were used to create an unconventional relief in a single bold colour. ‘Tansforming a dull wall can give the whole room a new lease on life,’ says Dulux colour specialist Sonica Bucksteg. ‘Get the look with a single shade, which creates contrast.’

9. The natural selection

Photograph: Bob O’Connor

Moisture-resistant, colour-customisable and sustainable, wool is the simplest choice as a sound-insulating wall covering, especially in a modern space.

Soundproof Techniques

The science of soundproofing has come a long way since the days of unsightly wall panels. Try these options.

10. Use leather to add comfort 

Photograph: Pieter Estersohn

When it comes to a communal space such as a living room, a sense of warmth is key. In this instance, leather and faux suede are two go-to choices. These thick materials are perfect for cushioning sound while still creating a chic space.

11. Apply fabric

Photograph: Elsa Young

In this room I wanted to create a fantasy tent-like look,’ says interior decorator Tessa Proudfoot. ‘Fabric has noise-cancelling properties and you can readily create a visually interesting space with the array of prints available today. Use a curtain maker to hem the fabric on both ends and use small elbow hooks at 12cm intervals to hook the fabric onto the wall.’


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