Here comes the time of the year many of us are contemplating a change in our homes to greet in the New Year. But how do we bring about this change? Do we repaint our walls the same colour year after year, or do get a bit more adventurous and explore new options? To begin with, let’s look at the different ways we can dress up our walls for the New Year.
Wallpaper – the easiest and quickest option
There is no quicker way to create a new look for a room than to dress up the walls with wallpaper. However, the design you choose will influence how the room is perceived. For large rooms, always try to keep the design pattern and colour neutral, as this creates a subtle backdrop for the furniture and wall hangings. Avoid large patterns such as floral or repetitive pattern designs, as these create disarray in the visual acceptance of a room that is large in size.
For smaller rooms such as studies or bedrooms, you may consider using such pattern designs, but select suitable patterns for the room usage. I would personally avoid any haphazard repetitive pattern for the bedrooms, as this could create too much visual friction.
Another great technique for creating visual lines on your walls is to incorporate wall frames using rectilinear box frames. Take note that there are 3 elements to a wall frame design. The first is the horizontal linear element to separate the upper and lower box frames. This can be done through a liner molding or a patterned design. The lower portion would assume a smaller box pattern usually evened out through the length of the wall, while the upper portion can either be a single box feature or a larger multiple of the lower box frames.
The next design element to consider is the colour of the wall. You can either paint the whole wall white, letting the soft furnishings take precedence in the room design, or keep the box frame in white with a different color for the background.
It is important to note that such wall features would have a higher cost factor, as it would involve building a new wall onto the existing wall; to save cost, you can do a hybrid design where you maintain the lower and middle elements and forego the upper box frame, and instead, wallpaper the upper portion to give a uniform look throughout the room.
Another variation is to introduce a higher middle layer up to 5-6 feet, which gives a cottage feel. Doing so elevates the eye level, so the lower level can be used as a functional space. In this example, a seating arrangement is built into the wainscoting feature wall. For other scenarios, you may create a higher ledge for storage or for hanging coats, while the lower level is used for seating, storage or display.
You may also take this design feature into the bathroom, where the lower portion is tiled up to protect the walls from water. The upper portion can then be painted in a pastel colour tone to give a brighter feel to the bathrooms.
Another wall effect you can consider is a mosaic tile pattern, which can be used in areas that require constant cleaning, such as the kitchen or bathrooms. Introducing a mosaic tile pattern creates an interesting backdrop for the rest of the furniture in the room, especially when there is a sharp contrast in colour. In the example here, the greyish silver tone of the tile pattern provides a shimmering backdrop for the red-coloured kitchen, allowing the foreground element to stand out further.
Another hybrid design for this material palette is to mix the smaller mosaic tile pattern with larger-sized tiles, to give a contrast between the two materials. Doing so can creates visual separation of the space, which can enlarge the perceived space, achieving a roomier feel.
Exposed bricks offer a warm urban feel, and when mixed with tall open windows, will give a loft in the city type effect. This design feature works well with white or black furniture pieces, as the neutral tones allow the solid colours to stand out, creating a background-foreground kind of effect for the space. The result can be fabulously hipster.
Unique Design Features
Finally, if you want to add some unique features, you can consider the use of 3D patterned motifs, such as a 3D-floral pattern to be installed onto the wall frames to give a feature effect. Try not to overdo it with motifs, as too repetitive an effect will destroy the uniqueness of the design.
Or if you want to explore with technology, you can try using magnetic or wipeable paint on the walls. This works well with kids’ rooms, where you can create a feature wall with a portal effect. Paint the inner and outer walls in a different colour, but with the inner wall with the feature paint. This will allow one to hang magnets on the wall or even use it as a work display for your children’s work with the flexibility of changing the artwork without the repainting.
When it comes to wall designs, you will be amazed at how many different ways you can design your space. Take a step back to see which works well for the space in question, and explore all the different options, as each design feature has its own unique expression, but regardless, changing your walls will definitely bring in a different feel to your home for the New Year.