Feature walls have been popular for some time, and professional decorator Alex Holt is increasingly seeing homeowners looking to the leisure industry for inspiration.
Alex is the owner of Cheshire-based Hale Painting Division. He has been in operation for seven years and his team, led by himself and colleague Derek Tose, has been responsible for decorating many of the area’s homes and most well-known commercial eateries, including the famous Altrincham Market and Mackie Mayor, in central Manchester.
“Using one colour throughout a room remains the paint style of choice for most people, but we are definitely seeing feature walls becoming more popular. These walls started as one distinct area of wallpaper, for example behind a headboard or around a fireplace,” says Alex. “We love using wallpaper and the ranges available now are just fantastic.
“However, we’re also seeing a growth in the popularity of painted feature walls, in people’s homes and with our commercial clients. In the last week alone we’ve completed three major feature walls; one in a child’s bedroom and two in the main living areas. We’ve also taken a brief to create one for a restaurant.
“Operating in both the commercial and residential markets, I can see a bit of mutual influence going on. The leisure industry is changing – we’re working with lots of restaurants and eateries that celebrate a home-grown, artisan ethos and this is reflected in their interior design. The overall finish is homely, quite rustic and very warm and welcoming, often against an industrial or basic backdrop. Flat matt walls, accent colours and traditional, darker colour pallets are all very popular, in order to add depth and interest.
“This is then feeding back into consumers’ homes – for example, kitchens are now living rooms; they have less cupboards and more exposed walls. Alongside sofas, sideboards and plants, clients are looking for paint finishes that can be contemporary yet homely – paint feature walls deliver that.
“Paint also works with the people within the home. Textures such as flat matt are great for families, and endurance paints are tough for homes with children and pets. Reflective paints, meanwhile, can really brighten rooms, so we are using these paints more and more.
“Another factor is that the design can be unique. We’ll work closely with the customer to create something truly bespoke, which is key in children’s bedrooms, for example, where a mountain shape or seascape is the brief.
“Paint feature walls can take a little longer to mark out and it’s sometimes trickier on an uneven surface. The key is creating the designs first and, of course, quality tools make the best finish; we always use FrogTape and Dulux paint for the best results and neatest edges.
“With a little planning and of course the measuring tape to hand, a feature wall can add a really impactful and stylish focal point to a room. While wallpaper will rightly always have a place, we don’t see this paint trend fading.”