Add oomph to a room

Feature walls are back and taking the interior decor world by storm.

More and more interior decorators are using them to inject added colour and personality into a room. They can also be used to help break up open-plan living spaces or to highlight a particular aspect of a room.

Helen Spreemann, Dulux marketing manager: interior and DIY, says a feature wall is the perfect way to add colour without overpowering the rest of the room scheme.

"Feature walls can be used to add depth to alcoves and fire-surrounds, inject interest into architecturally featureless rooms and give structure to any space by creating a stunning focal point.

Spreemann recommends creams and neutral shades to create a statement in the home. She says these intense colours add drama and interest to any room.

"Redcurrant Glory and Mulberry Burst are both perfect shades for dining rooms because of their association with sumptuous food," Spreemann says.

"Intense Truffle or Overtly Olive work better to create a softer more relaxing environment. The warmth of Raspberry Diva can be used in shadier north-facing rooms to add depth without being too dark."

Spreemann says while feature walls are most commonly used as a highlight in a neutral-schemed room, they can also be used to define space in open-plan areas rather than having expanses of the same colour for the entire area.

A dramatic wall can be used in your entrance to create a positive first impression or can be used to display an art piece."

Spreemann says when selecting the feature wall in a room it is best to stand in the centre and choose a dominant wall, preferably one with interesting angles, curves, lighting or a fireplace.

"It takes a minimal amount of paint to create a feature wall, which means it can be easily changed to suit a mood, the season or a change in decorating plans," Spreemann says.

"Feature walls are designed for you to experiment with colours, so make the most of the blank canvas and turn an ordinary room into an exceptional one."

Choosing the feature wall

Ayanda Pongoma, an interior decorator, says it is important to choose the right wall to turn into a feature.

She says the first rule is to choose the main wall of a room to make a feature, ideally a wall unbroken by doors or windows.

"You want to choose a wall that is as close to being solid as possible, that is, that does not have windows or doors," she says. "If you have an architectural element such as a fireplace or staircase that you want to highlight, this might be an appropriate place for a feature wall."

Pongoma says smaller walls are generally better than larger ones.

"Larger walls, if made into a feature, can tend to dominate a space rather than accentuate it," she explains.

"Walk into a room to see which wall immediately grabs attention. This is generally a great way to see where a feature wall would have the most effect.

"If this is not possible try to have a look at a plan of the room and see if you can select a wall. An interior decorator will also be able to help."