I look at feature walls as a form of expression, every one of these lends a different atmosphere to the space and is an easy way to make a space go from drab to fab. Here’s 10 feature walls that are currently on trend.
I am not one who loves TV feature wall (which is a popular trend in Singapore). Personally, I wouldn’t want to draw attention to my TV, I would rather build a feature wall at my beautiful dining area. I’m also starting to think that this trend is fading out as more people are opting for a simple blank wall behind their TV. Stay tuned for post on trends that were once hot but are now fading.
// Exposed Bricks //
This is everyone‘s favorite, OK not everyone but I’m sure a lot of people paid and would pay extra to have a brick wall (faux or real) in their home. This trend mostly originated from the industrial (loft) style. But nowadays, any home style (vintage, scandi, rustic, etc) can use a brick wall. Craftstones are commonly used in Singapore to create the look of exposed bricks. The odds of someone’s home having brick wall and/or subway tiles is very high. Thus, it can be very generic and requires good soft furnishing to give it your own personality. Exposed bricks with raw flooring can be very industrial and too sterile (unless you really really like the feeling of sitting in a factory/warehouse). I will recommend using softer elements to balance the “harshness”.
What I think // If I have high ceiling or a big open space, I will have a brick wall to create a loft feel. But since my new home is pretty much 700 sq ft, I won’t be going for this (plus we’re not really a fan). This look will have its longevity (much like subway tiles), it’s a classic (like the colors black and white) but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I swear there are people who say subway tiles look like public washrooms.
// Wallpaper //
When we think of feature wall, we can’t exclude wallpapers. It’s been around for so long although Singapore’s humidity has deter many to try this. If you are keen to go for wallpapered walls, I have a few tips for you. It certainly is full of impact in a room fully wallpapered (which can be expensive). Wallpapering only one walls out of four might be jarring enough to create an impression that you don’t have money to spend on all walls.
What I think // For longevity, go for classic wallpapers (like the birch trees wallpaper above). You might be tempted to pick a geometric wallpaper (it’s safe but boring), I suggest picking one that really speaks to you (like you really love). It can be hard to coordinate your room with a colorful wallpapera colorful wallpaper, but if you can pull it off, it will be very impressive. I personally would love to try grasscloth wallpaper someday for my home, I think it’s an elegant option for bedroom walls. It’s soft, subtle and shimmering; my kind of glamour. ;)
// Concrete //
This style originated from the industrial look but again, we started to see more eclectic homes with concrete elements. See that concrete countertop (image right)? It’s starting to become a popular choice for rustic styles (mod farmhouse). Much like brick walls, concrete walls add “architectural interest” to the otherwise very generic apartments in Singapore. But going with the trend rather than making sure what is for you (and your family) can result in the opposite effect (now your home just look like some other guy’s home, again).
What I think – I like concrete wall that looks like large rectangular tiles (image left) compared to the very popular cement screed wall in Singapore (which is basically unpainted walls). I’ve seen such wall (image left) in a Japanese home and it’s (surprisingly) zen-like. I don’t mind concrete countertops, shelves or benches. This look will stay, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea mostly due to homes looking unfinished with too much concrete. Balance the coldness with warmth using wood, upholstery, wool/fur (faux or not), metals such as brass/copper.
// Paint //
Nothing really is much more versatile (affordable) than simple good old gallons of paint. Sick of the wall? Just repaint it. It might take a bit more imagination to come up with feature wall that looks like this (above).If you have a flair for DIY stuff, you can definitely try this yourself.
What I think – The longevity of this depends on the design and colors, use neutral colors and simple designs such as lines and shapes. As compared to striped wall, I think abstract wall has more movement and life to it. For some weird reasons that I do not know, I think of prison cell when I see striped walls especially when it’s black and white, it’s very stark and cold to me. It also kinda reminds me of this. Creepy.
// Wood //
Wood is calm and warm. Whether it’s solid wood, veneer or wood-like tiles, pick one that best suits you (using wood-like tiles in wet areas such as bathrooms). There is a reason why hotels and resorts use this.
What I think – This look is staying, using it selectively can create a zen-like, relax environment like a vacation place. However, cladding an entire room with wood is very cabin-like (unless this is exactly the kind of rustic feel you want). Because wood creates warmth in a space which can feel too heavy at times, keep it light and fresh by using lighter colors and sleek furniture. I wouldn’t mind using wood slate (image right) as a room divider or even this.
// DIY Wallpaper //
I am not one who likes graffiti wall. It will be OK in a kid’s room if he/she did it or someone designed it specially for him/her. These two walls (above) work better because they’re simple lines (image left was hand drawn using a Sharpie). You can set out to achieve a wall like this with some time and patience. A feature wall like these will cost significantly lesser than the rest on the list.
What I think – I won’t recommend doing random or generic graffiti wall. A graffiti wall’s longevity only lies in that it’s sentimental and mean something to you/your family. The other day I was researching for this post and my husband told me he hates hand painted stuff like these (I’m sure he meant no offence to anyone). For this look, some people will love it, some will hate it. As for me, I wouldn’t mind doing something like this for a nursery, entryway or home office. And if I get bored of it, I’ll just paint over it.
// Paneling //
I like paneled walls, maybe mostly because we don’t see this often in Singapore (the place I live). I don’t see them as only belonging to the traditional style or old homes or “not for Asian people”. This timeless look has NOTHING to do with your race or whatsoever. Wider boards says more traditional while thinner ones (image right) can be stunning in a minimalist or contemporary space.
What I think – It will be around for a long long time. The trend now is to paint your panels the same color with the rest of your walls. A room with dark walls such as black can be basement-like, but this perception can easily changed by adding some paneling to the walls. There are simple paneling (such as squares and rectangles) as well as more intricate designs, covering the entire wall or just wainscoting, chair rail molding, etc. Paneling just one wall can be jarring as if it’s unfinished, for the minimum, they always continued throughout the entire wall length and are really beautiful if you install them throughout the entire house! Make sure you really love the final look before going for the big splurge.
// Shiplap //
I love this look for it’s simplicity, it adds interest to your wall in a subtle way, it’s also more affordable to use this for the entire house as compared to paneling. Shiplap is often used in houses (not apartments) such as ranch or barn house, or beach houses. They are made of pine and other inexpensive wood, you can achieve this look by using MDF boards as well. If you don’t plan to do this for your entire house, treat this like a focal wall and try painting it dark grey.
What I think – It will continue to have its appeal to rustic lovers. Unlike cladding your home with wood, shiplap doesn’t scream cabin. I’m considering between this or paneled walls if I move to a house in future, home like the link above. I won’t be doing this for my apartment (my upcoming new home is more modern contemporary style).
// Mural //
This look is not for everyone. I made this into a separate category because the wallpapers mentioned above are repeated patterns, when I think mural, I think of a particular scene (like a huge piece of artwork or a blown up photograph). Image left is a mural wallpaper, right is a large paint by numbers art piece (they obviously also come in smaller sizes).
What I think – Depends on the design and colors and similarly to graffiti wall, a mural mostly holds meaning only to the inhabitants and you might find your guests not loving it as much as you do. I say go ahead if you’re not one who gets affected by this. Personally, I prefer scenic views than murals with people faces or even buildings. It brings a little outdoor into the indoor with murals like above.
// Limewash Paint //
This looks like cement screed wall but the difference is this actually has paint on it. You can see subtle movements on the paint such as brush strokes that evokes a gentler feeling than cement screed. Unlike cement which is cold and hard (and mostly associated with the industrial style), limewash paint conveys warmth and old world charm with its patina.
What I think – This is a great option in place of the cement screed wall. For longevity, keep it subtle by using it selectively (obviously not every wall in your home). Unlike simple painted wall, it’s harder to “repair” parts of the wall, the entire wall with limewash paint might need to be repainted.
What’s your favorite from the above? Obviously, feature walls are not for everyone and there is nothing wrong with simple painted walls. Go for something that works for you and your family that you can see yourself loving it for the years to come.
Image Sources: Featured Image Pinterest & Pinterest // Exposed Bricks (white) Pinterest & (red) Pinterest // Wallpaper (birch trees) Pinterest // Concrete (bedroom) Pinterest & (kitchen) Pinterest // Paint JHID // Wood (bedroom) Design Milk & (dining) Pinterest // DIY Wallpaper (nursery) Pinterest & Entryway Pinterest // Paneling (black) Pinterest & (white) Pinterest // Shiplap Pinterest // Mural (wallpaper) Pinterest & (paint by numbers) Pinterest // Limewash Paint Remodelista
All words by me.