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Feature wall dos and don’ts

Project ideas and inspiration from Good magazine

Switch it up with fresh new looks that are high on impact and low on cost.

Black and white feature wall

Tired of looking at the same plain walls? Sometimes we want a change of scene, but lack the time, budget or inclination to do a total room makeover. With a pot of paint and just a few hours of your time, feature walls offer the quick and easy way to liven up a space and inject fresh energy. Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind.

DO: accentuate the space

A dark colour will appear to recede, so you can use this visual effect to deepen a space. A flat wall at the end of a hall provides an opportunity to apply this trick. Resene Bokara Grey is a dark charcoal, warmed with undertones of yellow and red. Painting it on the back wall injects drama, while its dark tone creates an impression of greater depth, making the hall feel longer.

DON’T: forget to play

A cost-effective way to add texture to a surface is by applying anaglypta paper before painting. Alternatively, you can simply add layers of visual texture using plants and ceramics. Add hanging pot plants or position slimline shelves against your wall for an arrangement of favourite collectables.

DO: be brave

Do you adore a certain colour but couldn’t imagine a whole room in that shade? A feature wall allows you to be bold – in manageable doses! An intense wall colour can add the illusion of warmth while forming a dramatic backdrop for art. For instance, the frolicking coral pink of Resene BFF injects a blast of fun into a previously gloomy space with this Wes Anderson-inspired gallery wall (below).

Neutral feature wall in Resene Peace
Pink feature wall in Resene BFF
Neutral wall: Gold deco table, vase, washed woven and linen cushions, Maiko Nagao prints all from Good Thing, goodthing.co.nzCoral pink wall: Wes Anderson-inspired gallery wall in Resene BFF.

DON’T: pick the wrong wall

Not every room has an obvious hero wall. Consider a room’s existing features and look for its natural focal point. For instance, in a bedroom, the wall behind the headboard is often a good option. If your lounge lacks a fireplace, or other obvious focal points, think about where you position the room’s main items of furniture and imagine how colour might provide a backdrop to showcase these key pieces. For example, the muted green of Resene Peace adds tranquillity and substance to this simple lounge space and provides a perfect foil for the room’s greys and golds.

DO: make the most of neutrals

A dramatic accent wall will visually enlarge a space and create a contrast that makes the rest of the space seem brighter by comparison. Make the most of this effect by matching your feature colour with a complementary neutral. For instance, Resene Sea Fog has a hint of grey which makes it an ideal sidekick for Resene Peace. It is used here on the door and skirting board.

 

Resene BFF

Resene Peace

Words and styling Sarah Heeringa. Photography Amanda Reelick. House by Riva Homes. 2020

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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.