Creating a feature wall

Trends may come and go, but the feature wall has been an enduring element when it comes to adding interest to a home.

1. Don’t be afraid

First and foremost, don’t hold back, Vos suggests when approaching a feature wall.

“You find that people make a big, bold decision and then right at the end, they kind of back away from it and then regret it,” he says.

“Be brave with your house because at the end of the day, it’s not permanent, and you can change it again, so give it a go.”

2. Use multiple colours

Traditionally, feature walls are painted one colour, but in 2022 people are embracing more eclectic and creative design.

Vos points to the art deco style known as Memphis Milano – which incorporates splashes of colour and intersecting shapes – as a way to create interesting and dynamic surfaces.

“You don’t have to be an artist or a qualified painter to do something really creative”, Vos shares.

“Have an idea, with a good combination of colours, then just have some fun with it.”

3. Plan your colour in context

Cohesion is critical when using colours in a room, so you need to consider existing features when planning.

“Colour needs to be told in a story. You can’t just have some random colour pop,” Vos explains.

“There needs to be a relationship to the rest of the room. Whether that is with your decor, your furniture, your pillows, or even artwork.”

Taking a trip to the hardware store with these in hand is hardly practical, and neither is coming home with a bag full of paint swatches, so instead use an app like Coloursmith by Taubmans.

Using the app, you can snap photos of any item including home features like tiles, fittings or furniture and confidently pair your paint colours. You can even create your own personal colour, name it, and order a sample pot straight away.

4. Add texture

If you really want a wall that stands out, make it three-dimensional.

“Patterns and textures are in,” Vos says.

“I like to see feature walls with added architectural details. Think features like timber panelling or some kind of cladding.”

Although they can be pricey to implement, adding raised layers will boost the energy in the space, creating a whole new degree of texture and individuality – especially when the design concept matches with the overall theme of the home. 

Then add colour around these new textures to create something really eye-catching.

5. Preparation is key

The most important part of creating an amazing feature wall is to start with the right canvas.

“Preparation is everything. A lot of people paint a feature wall in their bedroom, which has often had years of people leaning up against it and all this grease and grime. You can paint over that, but it’s going to look terrible,” Vos says.

Wash walls thoroughly. Also, fill in cracks and holes before you do the undercoat and sand back any imperfections to create a smooth clean base.

Doing shapes will also require some extra prep work, Vos adds.

“Make sure you clearly tape around the areas you want to keep your lines within. Masking tape isn’t always going to cut it with shapes. For the tricker curves, you’ll need cut out the shapes using large sheets of paper.”

Use different paints in your home

Forget about what colour you’re going to paint your walls for a moment.

Before we even get onto the fun stuff (if colour choices bring you joy, which for me they do), we need to discuss the best types of paint sheen for the different pockets of your home.

The paint sheen on your bedroom walls will be vastly different from that of your bathroom. The same goes for your living room and hallway. So let’s jump right into getting you all clued up on the different types of sheen for your humble abode.

Matte paint

This is a great paint for low-traffic areas like your bedroom or living area (depending on how much traffic you have going through these rooms, of course). Matte paint also feels muddier and colours can show up darker than they seem in the tin.

Matte paint is great for low-traffic areas like the bedroom.

The upside: The best thing about matte paint is that it hides surface imperfections. So if your wall is older and looking a little rough or uneven, matte paint is your friend.

The downside: Stains can be hard to remove from matte paint, so it’s a terrible choice for places like hallways or kids’ rooms, where scratches and stains are likely to occur (or crayons end up all over the walls, if your little one is artistically inclined).

Satin paint

Satin is the all-rounder of the paint world and it’ll work in most rooms that aren’t wet. It has a bit of gloss to it, but nothing too over the top. It’s my paint of choice when I work with my interior decorating clients because it ticks so many boxes. 

A satin green makes for a sublime space.

The upside: It has more depth than matte paint does, so it works well in leaving a room feeling warm and inviting, even if the paint colour is on the cooler side.

The downside: You won’t hear me say a bad thing about satin paint. Sure, it isn’t as stain resistant as a gloss paint, but it is truly divine because I want to sell my home in Chandler Az

Gloss & semi-gloss paint

Gloss paint is like Charlize Theron in that new J’Adore commercial; cover it in water and it’ll still look amazing. This is a great paint for any wet rooms like bathrooms, ensuites and laundries.

High-traffic areas will benefit from gloss or semi-gloss paints too. 

Semi-gloss will do wonders for your living space.

The upside: Gloss paint is so easy to clean and stains come off without much elbow grease. It tends to bounce light around a room too and appears more reflective. It’s great for use on doors and trims as well.

The downside: Like kids, drunk people and leggings… gloss paint never lies. It will show up imperfections on your walls. So if you have an older surface with chips, lumps and bumps, I’d steer clear of gloss.

Winning at paint choices

The moral of the story is that your home will benefit from a variety of paint sheens. Now that you know the best ones for the different pockets of your home, the only decision left is colour.

My advice: Go hard or go home. You only live once – buy the brights.