New looks for feature walls

See how to create a bold and vibrant design statement with innovative feature wall ideas

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Create a bold and vibrant design statement in your home this month with innovative ideas from bold patterns to personal montage, there is a range of wow-factor designs to choose from.

Photorealistic Wallpapers

These designs are more convincing than ever. Pick from clever effects that mimic everything from wood panelling to books on shelves. ‘Wallpaper is the perfect quick fix to add interior style to your home,’ says Debbie McKeegan, creator of Decor Wallpaper. ‘Our trompe l’oeil collection is full of exciting designs – simply paper one wall or a whole room to create dramatic, realistic surface effect, good enough to trick even the sharpest designer eye. Georgian brick has been the most popular print this season, followed by concrete textures.

Above left:  Add peroid detail: Panelling with lengths of MDF pinned and glued to the wall will suit both a traditional and contemporary interior, especially if painted in a single bold shade. For a unique twist, embellish it with a flourish of mouldings, similarly glued to the walls, as in this room. Find MDF to suit the proportions that you need at DIY stores, and for decorative plaster mouldings, try the selection at Hodkin & Jones. This space is painted in shades from Little Greene’s new Colours of England collection: front wall, panel and moulding details painted in Adventurer absolute matt emulsion, £35 for 2.5 litres; back wall painted in Chemise intelligent matt emulsion, £41.50 for 2.5 litres.

Above right: Fake a natural finish: Photorealistic technology is now so good that you can replicate natural materials and textures so that they’re only distinguishable from the real thing up close. So why not create a wood panelled look where the depth of the wall or location wouldn’t normally allow it? There are many designs to choose from, including brick or concrete effect and granite. This Beech Driftwood panel wallpaper costs £40 per roll from Digetex Home.


Personalised wallpapers and stickers

A simple and easy wasy to transform a space, the choices range from stickers featuring your name, and wallpaper that includes images from your own albums, through to Chinese silks from Shimu that you can create to your own design.

Above left:  Use a sticker effect: Wall stickers are quick and easy to apply – plus they’re a really cost-effective way to create a feature wall. But why not go one step further and have yours personalised? This kitchen wall sticker by Parkins Interiors is one of a bespoke range made from matt-finish, removable vinyl, which, once applied, will look as though it has been painted onto the surface. It measures (H)26x(W)58cm, and costs £20 from Not On The High Street

Above right: Make a personal montage: Covering your walls with family pictures is nothing new… unless you have them made into your own bespoke wallpaper. This can be created with one photograph or many – and there are lots of style possibilities for you to choose from. Printed in the UK on a strong, non-woven paper that makes hanging it up easy, it is spongeable, so ideal for children’s rooms, too. £170 per roll at Not On The High Street.

Luxury finishes

This popular trend can be created on walls with metallics or photorealistic wallpapers to look like cushioned upholstery. ‘This year sees wallpaper as the jewel in the crown of home decorating,’ says Claire Vallis, design director at Harlequin and Scion. ‘A richness of textures and alluring, unusual finishes are achieved by pushing the boundaries of modern printing techniques to create a handcrafted look. The aged style of vintage textures and patterns effortlessly adds old-charm grandeur and nostalgic elegance into the home.

Above left: Go for reflection: If you are decorating a small or light-starved space, a reflective wallpaper with a 3D effect will make it seem larger. This Beware the Moon Quantum Foam 3D foil wallpaper, £93 per roll from Rockett St George, takes on the colours of walls, lights and features around it. Great for creating sparkling effects with lighting, its holographic foil topcoat is backed with standard non-woven paper. 

Above right: Create a glamorous backdrop If you want to give a bedroom a luxury feel, a statement wallpaper in metallics is the way to go. And you needn’t use it on all the walls in the room if you are on a budget. Instead, put the wallpaper on the focal wall – such as behind the headboard or on a chimneybreast – then match the background colour to a paint shade for the rest. This paste-the-wall jewel wallpaper by Julien MacDonald, £27 per roll from Isme, features a dark, black background and a golden, diamond-shaped motif with iridescent sequin-like pieces that glimmer in both day and lamp light – perfect for a stunning statement bedroom.

Above left: Play with paints: Make your space more personal by experimenting with paint in unusual colourways and shapes. To create a striking circular effect, position a drawing pin at the centre of where you want the shape, and tie a piece of string measuring the desired radius around the pin, tying a pencil to the other end. Pull the string tight to draw a neat circle and carefully paint your desired shade inside. Use masking tape to create a cross, and wait until the paint is dry before removing. Against a neutral backdrop, such as Cloud Burst matt emulsion, from £18.99 for 2.5 litres, use Chartreuse Mix Feature Wall matt emulsion (circle), from £13.99 for 1.25 litres and Scrumptious Feature Wall matt emulsion (cross), from £13.99 for 1.25 litres, for contrast, all from Crown Paints.

Above right: Opt for artwork: If you would love to cover a feature wall with a large piece of art but don’t have the budget, a ready-to-hang mural is the perfect affordable alternative. This Multi Floral wallpaper mural comes in three sizes: mini, (H)227x(W)125cm (one panel); standard, (H)375x(W)227cm (six panels) and XL, (H)500x (W)300cm (eight panels), from £79 at Digetex Home.