One of the hardest things about living in a new rental condo or home is the lack of character and charm. A new space is often designed in a simple, clean style, and is not conducive to adding moldings, French doors, fancy mantels or ornate light fixtures.
Adding a focal wall of colour can help to ground a space — and add much needed charm to a world of beige that is void of personal style.
Finding your focal wall
The focal wall is most often the first wall you see when you enter a room. In the bedroom it is always the head of bed; in the living room it’s the wall where a fireplace or television is placed and in the bathroom it’s where the vanity mirror hangs.
What not to turn into a focal wall
Hallways — paint it all a fabulous colour or leave it alone. Small kitchen — adding another element into a small kitchen will visually cramp its style. A mirrored wall acts as an opposite to a focal wall. Stairwells — having one wall painted different will set off your equilibrium.
How to choose the right paint colour
Select the opposite colour in the main fabric of a sofa, duvet or shower curtain as your paint colour. This will help the largest, most fashionable items in the room stand out.
If you don’t have a variety of colours to choose from, then choose a richer, darker version of the neutral you currently have in the room. If you are a creative type, you can use a fashionable colour like pink and then add contrasting coloured accents around the room. It’s a great way to make an otherwise boring room come to life.
Other options for focal walls
Fabric — either draped or padded. They create a cozy feeling to a room and are great options for insulating a room for sound. Wood paneling — my favourite is painted beaded board. A rich paneled wall of wood can really help to give a library-look to a room. Wallpaper — this is on the way back. I suggest big, bold patterns; paint the remaining walls the same background colour as is in the wallpaper.
Fill a wall with tons of art. Mix and match your art but keep the frames somewhat similar. Hang oversized maps, blueprints or clocks for a better sense of grandeur and size. This can make a small room appear larger.