Every home has at least four and so many of us just don’t know what to do with them. Walls are our home’s canvases that are just asking to be decorated and the current trends are leading us in a bold direction. I was walking around Dublin with a friend on vacation a few years back and stumbled across a hot pink wall that read, “walls just want to have fun”. I’ve never forgotten it and I think it’s something every homeowner should embrace. While it might be a little too much to go wild with every wall in the house, there are a few in every home where doing a little more always seems to pay off.
The Powder Room
It’s probably because they’re small, often have the door closed, and tend to be used by our guests more than the homeowner at times, but powder rooms are the perfect place to go a little wild with your walls. Whether it’s bold wall colour or vibrant wallpaper, the unexpected pop in such a tiny space is always a crowd pleaser. They’re one of the few rooms in the house that can easily stand on their own in terms of the design so don’t worry about branching out and trying something different. I’ve seen designers do all sorts of crazy things with powder rooms that would otherwise seem eccentric but still look amazing and in keeping the home simply because of the tiny footprint and isolated nature of the space.
Bedroom Accent Wall
One of the walls in your bedroom could probably use some impact, am I right? And if you happen to have several bedrooms in your home, there’s no better place to try something bold than in a guest bedroom. I love to paint or paper the wall opposite the bed with a vibrant colour or bold pattern. You typically enter a room facing the bed, so the wall opposite the bed is less visible from the hallway and creates a nice surprise when you enter. With a decorative mirror over the bed, you’ll get a glimpse of the drama in its reflection, and with well-chosen art, you’ll compliment your bold choice. On occasion, a bold choice behind the bed eliminates the need for a headboard and is the better choice for the impact it provides in an otherwise boring hallway.
In rooms where we come to do chores we really need to spice things up a little to brighten the mood. Not unlike the powder room, the laundry room is another ‘safe’ room to go a bit wild with since it’s usually out of the limelight. Most of us live in the ‘safe’ zone when it comes to our decorating choices as they’re easier to live with and coordinate another décor around. I love a sunny quote or mantra stencilled on a laundry room wall or even some oversized decals or outdoor wall decorations used in unexpected ways. Laundry rooms are the very definition of routine. Life can be monotonous at times so why not seize every opportunity to ensure your home reminds you that no two days of your life are the same.
GO DARK when it comes to your paint colour. So often when we like a colour we’ll choose the lightest shade because we’re afraid to commit. When it comes to the bedroom especially, just got for it. Most have plenty of light with one overhead fixture, bedside lamps and at least one window so it will be lighter than it appears in the store. You won’t make your space feel any smaller by going a few shades darker but you will create more impact.
GO BOLD when it comes to your wallpaper selection because you may never find another room in the house to be so bold with. Always loved the oversized palm leaf print you keep seeing in those design magazines you browse but don’t buy while checking out of the grocery store? Do it! Oversized floral and fauna have been in for a while now and don’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. I like oversized prints in small spaces as tight prints can be a bit overwhelming in them. Small and highly repetitive prints are more traditional and are best suited for spaces that aren’t already a bit claustrophobic.
TRY SOMETHING NEW when it comes to the colour or colours you choose. It might take a little bit longer to complete, but most accent walls aren’t so big, to begin with. Get out your painters’ tape and play with some geometric and angular designs. Start with some inspiration from Pinterest if you don’t know where to begin, but try something you’ve never done. Maybe it’s never been done? All the more reason to give it a go.
The best wall to be bold with is the one that is calling your name, but for those among us that need some coaxing to get out of ‘safe’ zone, consider experimenting with the options above. We all know our interior spaces reflect us, but they also shape us. Walls may just want to have fun, but so do most of us. Why not start with a wall and see where it takes you?
Kiel has been a member of the BREL team for three years and a designer for UPstaging since its founding in 2019. As a McMaster alumnus in Communication and Design at George Brown, he soon made his life-long dream of spending other people’s money…err.. we mean decorating… into reality with the BREL team! When he’s not staging homes, he can be found searching the Junction for vintage furniture and unique accessories.