Walls - they are what enclose your home from the outside world and separate rooms within your home. The dictionary defines walls as "a vertical structure forming an inside partition or an outside surface of a building." For the purposes of this article, we will be discussing the interior walls of your home.
This part of the series will be broken down into Paint, Wallpaper, Faux Techniques and Other Options. I hope you will visit some of the websites listed to get more of an in-depth idea of these different treatments.
Paint ~ Paint is probably one of the least expensive improvements you can do to a room and really get a large impact from it. You can change the whole feel of a room just from paint. However, if you take nothing else away from this section, please take this: do not buy paint for a room just going by the little paint swatch you've picked up from the paint store. Please invest a few dollars in purchasing sample pots/cans of the paint color or colors you have narrowed your choice down to. It will be much cheaper than having to buy gallons of a new paint color because you just hate the way your first choice turned out.
What I do, and what I suggest to my clients, family and friends, is to paint your sample colors in square sections on all four walls. Each wall receives different amounts of light during the day and evening, and this affects how the color appears. You may find that you hate the color you loved on the paint swatch once the sun hits it. Or the one you felt was your third choice may turn out to be the winner once it is actually on the wall.
Choosing a color can be as easy as looking at what you already have in your home - an area rug, a picture, your furniture, your bedding. Paint a color that makes you feel good and that you enjoy being around. You can get some ideas from Sherwin Williams' Color Visualizer (http://www.sherwin-williams.com/do_it_yourself/paint_colors/paint_color_palette/), but note that colors vary from monitor to monitor and may not be accurate.
Wallpaper ~ Wallpaper is becoming popular once again. Although, you may not want to wallpaper any room if you are planning on putting your house on the market, wallpapers can add color, texture and pattern to the rooms in your home.
Thibaut (http://www.thibautdesign.com/default.aspx) carries collections of wallpaper and fabric that work together in either an exact match or to complement each other (i.e. a stripe and a floral). The website shows wallpapers and fabrics in room settings, features new collections and decorating ideas. The current wallpapers have large scale patterns with colorways that can work in any home. Again, choose your wallpaper based on what you already have going on in your home as far as décor.
Photos courtesy of Thibaut
I have found that apartment rules vary, so if you are renting and would like to do wallpaper, check with your landlord first. They may be okay with it as long as you return the walls to the condition they were in when you rented. As an alternative, see some of the options listed in Other Options that may appease your desire to do something different in your apartment.
Faux Techniques ~ Faux techniques can range from applying plaster treatments to evoke a Tuscan feel to painting a wall to look like marble. There is also wood graining, ragging, sponging, faux leather, color washing, and the list goes on. This is another area where, if you are planning on selling your home in the near future, it would be best to stay away from. These treatments can also extend to crown and base moldings, changing your everyday basic wall into something magical. Make sure you discuss with the faux painter you choose what your vision is for the room.
Photo courtesy of Susan Gonzalez
Murals fall into the faux technique category. There are different types of murals, tromp l'oeil (which look "real") and pictures (such as cartoons) painted on your wall. These can take up all four walls or just one as a focal point. They are sometimes done on canvas for easy application and removal. The pictures below show some of the work of Susan Gonzalez (www.paintmywalls.com). My thanks to Susan for the explanation on the differences in murals.
Photo courtesy of Susan Gonzalez
Other Options ~ The following options will work well for those who call an apartment (or even a dorm room) home. These items are removable, which makes it easy for you to return the walls to their existing condition.
Wall Words (www.wallwords.com) is where you can have your favorite quote made up in the font, size and color of your choosing, or choose one of their quotes, and apply it to your wall. The website has the easy directions for applying your quote. Removal is simple enough with tweezers (possible heat from a hair dryer if they have been up a long time) and some Goo Be Gone or rubbing alcohol to remove any residue.
Photo courtesy of Wall Words
Wallies (www.wallies.com) carries pre-pasted cut-outs and murals, vinyl decals and murals, dry erase and chalkboard. They are removable by applying water to the cut-out or decal and peeling off. The adhesive is water soluble. They can not only be applied to walls, but to tables, chairs and lampshades.
Photos courtesy of Wallies
This series of articles is intended for entertainment purposes. The resources listed are not an endorsement, but resources I have researched personally and professionally for ideas, trends and client projects. I welcome comments, e-mails or questions about the articles, or even your own home décor dilemmas.
Copyright 2009 Kathy Passarette, Creative Home Expressions
Kathy Passarette and Creative Home Expressions are based on Long Island, New York, and offer interior decorating, home staging, interior redesign, color consultations and much more. Please visit our website at www.creativehomeexpressions.com for more information on our services and fees.