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Feature walls: The do’s and don’ts

Almost three quarters of us are planning to improve our homes in some way this year, according to The Rated People Home Improvement Trends Report: 2020. Plus, we all spent lots of time looking at the same four walls during the coronavirus (or COVID-19) lockdown – so, it’s about time for a much-deserved new interior look!

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to refresh your décor now that tradespeople are working safely in homes, a feature wall is a foolproof option to add some aesthetic flair in just a few hours. Whether you want to break up a large room, accentuate artwork or simply inject some personality into a plain colour scheme, our top tips will help you to customise your space without the need for a full makeover.

Bright blue, pink and grey geometric print feature wall

How to create a feature wall

Here’s what to do – and what not to do – when you’re designing your feature wall:

DO experiment with pattern, texture or a pop of colour

A feature wall is a great opportunity to show off your style. You’re not limited to a single colour, so don’t shy away from bold designs.

Materials like stone add an earthy touch, whilst a gallery wall of photos is great for a family home. If you’re a bookworm or film buff, your feature wall is a great space to show off your collection, too – just take a look at our home library ideas and designs and you’ll see why.

A skilled carpenter can craft and mount a bespoke display cabinet onto your feature wall for some extra storage.  


DON’T forget about lighting

If your feature wall is in a gloomy area of the room, shadows will be cast over it; the same thing will happen with a wall that’s in harsh light. So, aim to choose a wall that has a balance of natural light from the window. Looking to refresh your lighting too? Visit our Homeowner Advice Centre for some living room lighting ideas.


DO choose a wall that is suitable for being highlighted

Obvious flaws or lots of windows will distract from the beauty of the feature, so opt for a plain wall for the perfect canvas. If there’s any cracked or crumbling plaster, make sure you repair it before you start decorating.

If you’d rather get a professional in, a trained plasterer can skim the wall for a smooth finish.


DON’T be scared of using wallpaper

Peel and stick wallpaper is great for wallpaper first-timers out there, because it’s easy to install and can be peeled off and reapplied in no time. If you need some inspiration, take a look at our guide to choosing the right wallpaper design.


DO choose a colour that complements the colour of your other walls

If you’ve got a neutral colour palette going on, a bold feature wall offers a modern look. However, if your walls are stark white, a colour that’s too dark might throw the balance of the room off.

Check out our feature wall ideas Pinterest board to explore some feature walls in different colour schemes.


DON’T forget to look up!

Ceilings aren’t valued enough when it comes to decorating, but for those of you that are brave enough, featuring a ceiling gives an interesting point of focus. Intrigued? Here’s our favourite ceiling decoration ideas.

For some more design concepts, take a look at our top 10 feature wall ideas.


If you’re planning a feature wall or another quick upgrade to your home, share your ideas with other homeowners across the UK by commenting below!

Ready to get started on your very own feature wall? Find a local vetted painter/decorator on Rated People.

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