Do’s and Don’ts of a Feature Wall

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Feature walls can be an exciting design element in any room—but make sure you pay attention to some of the simple rules decorating. Ms Décor’s Sonia Hurlot provides some advice.
There is nothing more exciting than a blank canvas. I believe feature walls are a great design element offering endless possibility, so start by working out what would best fit your personality. Here are a few tips to help you get started:


Remember to follow the 60-30-10 rule for your whole room: use light colours for 60 per cent of the space, so it will look brighter and more spacious; contrast with a matching and darker colour for that other 30 per cent; leave the remaining 10 per cent for the detailing.

Study the other materials used in your room before you start on the focal wall. Not everything is about colour—remember that you can combine it with textures too. You can even dress up your walls in a texture.

For instance, if you have a coffee table with a marble top, try the marble finishing from Dulux Ambiance for your bold wall, to complement the small details in your room.


When designing a space, it’s important to plan everything carefully as your first instinct may not always be the right one. Keep it simple and don’t use every colour and material for one design. But also, a bold wall doesn’t mean that you should forget the rest of the room.

The key to getting the right balance is by starting with a mood board. Create a picture of the materials and colours for your wall, trying to use the same atmosphere for the whole room you’re designing.

Try to avoid using more than three materials or colours for your wall—and remember to combine them carefully.


If you have a strict budget and your list of materials is short, you can always find creative solutions with paint alone. In fact, working to a budget sometimes means you have to spend more time designing the best solutions!

One option is to choose a wall with built-in furniture (such as a ledge) and cover it all over in one colour. Be smart and find an alternative way to provide texture to your walls, such as with a textured paint, artwork or ornaments.

TIP: Remember to brush your furniture before you paint it. A good coating is also a must to ensure the best finish.


A bold wall can be a stylish way to highlight your bed if you don’t have a bed frame. Following feng shui guidelines, it’s important to define your bed space in order to feel safe while sleeping.

So complete your feature wall with something like an piece of artwork at the head of the bed, or add some fabric above your bed to act as a frame.

Be careful with your colour selection, both for the wall and for the artwork. Blue and light yellow will help you to rest; while studies say that strong tones, such as purple, and shiny colours will disturb your sleep.


We live in a world with limitless possibility when it comes to construction materials, and sometimes it pays to be creative. A clever way to be different is by changing the rules—using materials that you’d normally see on the floor, on your walls instead!

A trending choice would be laminate wooden panels with a porcelain white floor.


Sun can be our best and worst friend when designing a house. Designing a feature wall doesn’t mean just developing a beautiful wall; we need to be functional.

Check the direction of the sun, and use the walls to protect your room from high temperatures. Embrace natural materials and try a green wall with plants that will absorb the heat.

Or, if you need light in a room to make it look bigger, use darker colours on the wall where windows are placed, and let the other walls absorb the light that comes in.


Use your feature wall to highlight a specific area of a room. This is a good solution when talking about small homes. Try to avoid closed spaces—it’s always nicer to have an open space but be creative with your divisions.

A feature wall can help to separate your living room from a reading corner or a small office area, for example.

And, most importantly…


Go big! Choose that metallic colour you’ve seen in your favourite magazine; try something you thought you would never do. Trends sometimes become old fashioned, but with paint it’s easy to change your walls after a few years if you get tired of them.

Feature walls are a good way of redesigning a space without a big investment.

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