Feature Walls: 16 Takes for the New Year

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Looking to reinvigorate your living room? You don’t need to strip it out and start again – focusing on a feature wall can make the whole room feel new. Inspire yourself here…

When you create a feature wall, you add a focal point to a room that doesn’t overpower. It can be a canvas for your creativity without the need to commit to the same theme for the whole room. You can be as daring and original as you want in creating an accent that complements the rest of the room.
 
You can experiment. Try a new technique. Draw attention to a wall that’s worth showing off – or add a striking point of interest in an otherwise unremarkable room. Plus, of course, it’s much easier to redecorate one wall when you feel it’s time for a refresh.


The fireplace can become the centre of the whole wall
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The fireplace can become the centre of the whole wall

A Wall with Warmth

Making a new fireplace the centrepiece of your feature wall may mean more work than a simple paint job, but it’ll feel like the heart of your home.

Hunt down a vintage stove (or a modern multi-fuel version) for around £175 – but make sure you get an expert to install it. 
A restored chimney breast can be impressive
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A restored chimney breast can be impressive

Tidy Chimney Tiling

So, you love your fireplace, but the breast itself needs a little care. One idea is to tile it.

Take your pick from a vast range of tiles, from Arts and Craft-inspired ceramics to slate tiling for an earthier, more rustic aesthetic. You could offset the naturally dark colour of the latter with bright walls around the rest of the room.
Stylish and simple artwork can enliven a room
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Stylish and simple artwork can enliven a room

The Fantasy Feature

 Handy with a pencil and paintbrush? Or know someone who is? Then why not paint a mural inspired by a favourite film or story, or simple images? That way, every time you relax you’ll feel surrounded by something you love.

Diverse shelving gives a wall a fun look
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Diverse shelving gives a wall a fun look

Savvy Shelving

Have fun arranging wall shelves into interesting geometric shapes to create a feature that is both useful and eye-catching. Use a combination of floating shelves and cube units to get vertical and horizontal elements.

Alternatively you could use old champagne crates fastened securely to the walls to create a reclaimed look.

Place your favourite pictures in lines
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Place your favourite pictures in lines

Arresting Artwork

Instead of making focal points out of shelves, fix two or three long shelves to your chosen wall and place as many framed images as can safely be supported on them. How you arrange them is up to you, but try to get a variety of size/shape into the line-up.

Coloured books can be a bright part of a feature wall
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Coloured books can be a bright part of a feature wall

Tonal Tomes

Here’s an alternative to alphabetising your books: arrange them by colour instead. It has more impact if you’re able to condense your books into a square-shaped area rather than have them all lined up on one long shelf.

For larger libraries, covering an entire wall with colour co-ordinated editions will look stunning.

There are many different designs for wall stencils
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There are many different designs for wall stencils

Colour within the Lines

 If the thought of hanging wallpaper fills you with dread, a stencil is a great way to get an intricate pattern onto your feature wall. With some sturdy card, a craft knife and a little patience, you can paint as elaborate a design as you like - and then cover it up and start afresh when the time comes.

Two-tone is simple and conveys different messages
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Two-tone is simple and conveys different messages

Hues in Twos

Two-tone colour schemes show people you prefer classy understatement to a riot of colour. They also allow you to use just one tub of a darker, main colour and a small pot of white, to lighten the tone. Light colours will make a wall seem further away, while darker hues bring it in, so balance carefully.

A vintage mirror can brighten a wall in seconds.
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A vintage mirror can brighten a wall in seconds.

Mirrors, Mirrors

Whether you want to inject more light into your room or keep a close eye on yet another bad hair day, mirrors are a dramatic addition to any wall. Group a set of four, large, square mirrors together for a grand impact, or pepper a wall with mismatched vintage mirrors for instant fairy tale overtones.

Your feature wall can reflect your life
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Your feature wall can reflect your life

Striking Stickers

Like stencils, vinyl stickers are an easy way to add a strong motif to your wall without covering everything in wallpaper paste. There’s a vast range of designs available, from nature-inspired pieces to playful shapes ideal for kids’ rooms. You can get them custom made.
A feature wall can become your world
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A feature wall can become your world

Eyes on the World

Although you can buy maps designed to be hung as wallpaper, it can be expensive to do so. And it’s not as much fun as collecting old Ordnance Survey maps and pasting them to the wall.

You could select maps of areas with memories attached to them – honeymoon location, first house and so on – and create a patchwork of the world on your wall. 
Glitter wallpaper can add some panache to the wall
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Glitter wallpaper can add some panache to the wall

Tasteful Sparkle

If your room gets a lot of early evening sun, pick the wall that faces into it and coat it in glitter wallpape r. And it doesn’t have to be all kitsch either.

Go for a block colour design that’s highlighted with traces of glitter. This effect works really well in a dining room, for added pizazz to evening meals.

Make your feature wall a font of fun
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Make your feature wall a font of fun

Just your Type

Head to your local reclaimed builder’s yard and hunt around for old signage. You’ll often find letters in all kinds of fonts, sizes and colours that’ll make for a head-turning feature wall.

You can pick significant letters and even create a hidden message. No builder’s yard near you? Try here.

Ombre is gradually returning to form
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Ombre is gradually returning to form

The Humble Ombre

No longer the preserve of 1970s Italian restaurants, an ombre effect can be a showstopper – if you accept its slightly out-of-date nature and pair it with chic furniture. Go for cool blues, warm oranges or – for real retro sci-fi charm – vibrant violets.

Travel and film posters are talking points
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Travel and film posters are talking points

Vintage corner

Can’t decide what to include on your feature wall? Put it all on. Old panels, adverts, posters , tin signage, anything. If it has an interesting image, add it to the collage. You can even throw in magazine covers, and comics for the kids and geeks in your life.

Shabby chic at its finest
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Shabby chic at its finest

Your Favourite Things

Why stop at colour and artwork for your feature wall? Use it instead as a showcase for all those objects you’ve found in car boot sales, back street junk shops and old aunties’ attics.

Vintage clocks , album art, light fittings… if you think it’ll look good on view, nail it or hang it there.
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