Do your walls speak to your décor? Do they reinforce the style and mood you are trying to achieve? Most important, does the wall color create the sense of space or warmth you are after?
There are so many possibilities when considering how best to cover your wall surfaces. If you are painting- color, texture, finish, faux effects, patterns and accent treatments are decisions that have to be made.
If wallpapering, do you use more than one, do you cover all of the walls or use the paper as an accent, and do you go for texture, pattern or a mural effect?
Beyond the usual paint and paper, there are a myriad of other applications. Mirrors, painted or etched glass, split bamboo or wood, paneling such as bead board, brick, stone, tile, and fabric are just some of the options. Mirrors, glass and Plexiglas can be used to add light, space, and reflection. In addition they can provide a surface for pattern and/or color.
Split bamboo is available in a range of colors, textures, and applications. Accented with wood beams, it can be a very thematic and unexpected accent for a wall. Wood and wood paneling can provide the perfect backdrop for any style – Contemporary, Shabby Chic, Cottage, Rustic or Traditional- depending on the presentation.
Highly textured surfaces such as brick and rock can also find their place among various design styles. Painted brick is perfect for cottage, a rock wall can be the warmth factor in a sleek, modern décor, and antique brick is perfect for a modern industrial look.
Tile is under utilized in design, usually relegated to the kitchen and bath areas of our homes. But with the evolution of so many materials such as glass and metallics, along with stones, porcelains, and ceramics, tile represents one of the greatest opportunities for creating accent areas on our walls!
Fabrics, also rarely used, can be backed for wall application in the same manner as wallpaper. Some of my favorites are denim, suede and leather.
Regardless of the medium you select for your walls, remember that the overall tone can solve problems in your space. Color can cause walls to recede or brighten a dark area and texture can add interest and warmth. And accent walls or moldings are often the answer to unify spaces and create color flow. While tackling all of these decisions, keep in mind the anticipated activities in your space, plus the ambiance you wish to achieve then cover your walls accordingly. After all, when your walls do speak to you, you want to make sure they are speaking YOUR language!!!!
Cheryl Perotti, author of the monthly feature Environs, is the owner of Fountainhead Design, an interior/exterior consulting firm working with residential, as well as, commercial projects. You may contact her at 813.417.9400