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Interior Design: Wall Design using Paints, Wallpapers, and others

By: Monica Chhugani

Last time, you got to know me, and how I ended up in this wonderful field of Interior Design. And a little taste of where to start when considering a renovation, or even moving into a new home. Let’s tackle one of these tips, shall we?

One great place to start, are your walls. The options are infinite when it comes to what color, finish and style the walls in a room, or space can be. Should you go dark? Should you go subtle? Or should you go with texture versus a plain color?

Lets start with the most basic finish. Paint. You may be thinking, what could I possibly tell you about paint, that you don’t already know. But don’t worry, I’m not going to go on a rant about the bio hazards of paint, and the eco friendly types you should choose over regular paint.

No. I’m going to give you some tips on using paint, as both a focal point, and jumping off point for the colour scheme in your space. First of all, before painting a whole wall, or even a whole room for that matter, in a single dark colour and committing to it, try it out. And by try it out, I mean pick a couple colors, and paint foot by foot squares side by side on a large wall, and compare the colors. Take a step back and see which colour your eye goes to first. And which colour looks better on the walls.


Option 1


Option 2


Option 3

Contrary to the colour you see on the can, paint tends to dry darker than the colour you see inside the can. So you may be thinking that you want your room to look like the sky, with a beautiful baby blue. And somehow, when it’s painted, you end up with a neon turquoise. Not a pleasant surprise, right?

This technique can also help you pick out other finishes. Before settling on permanent finishes like flooring, and light fixtures, compare them to the paint. See what colour the paint becomes under that light you’re considering, hold up the flooring samples to the paint sample on the wall. And believe me, you’ll be much happier with the end result of your renovation or redesign project.

On that same note, many homeowners usually only use paint to cover up their walls. Now while this is a time old, and widely used finish, it’s not the only option you have.

Wallpaper. Yes. Some people hate the idea of wallpaper, because it seems like an easy way out, or because they feel it might be too bold for them or their taste. Understandably, most homeowners stay far, far away from wallpaper. But hear me out, because trust me, it’s not all bad. In fact, some of the most beautiful spaces, use wallpaper as a focal point, or as an added texture to please the eye.

How you may ask? Well lets take look. Below, is an image in which the room has a plain coat of paint. Granted it’s a beautiful, neutral color – no arguments there. But take a look at the image to the right, and see how the extra texture, subtly, gives the room a little more life.



One common misconception with wallpaper, is that it is simply glued to the walls and forgotten. But really, wallpaper can be so much more. Wallpaper types range from graphic, to patterned, from paintable to textured and from metallic to matte. The possibilities are endless. One example, which I have shown below, to create interest in the space, is by choosing a textured paper and a letting a light source capture the contrast and shadows cast by its three-dimensional pattern.


So now you know! Wallpaper is more than paper glued to the walls, or a tacky speckled or sponged pattern that belongs in the eighty’s.

Sometimes, however, and I’ll give this one to you, the most simple wallpaper can be too much texture for a space and for the type of style you’re going for. It might also be too modern an approach for older homes, or for homes in which you’d like to see more character.

But there is a solution to that as well. Thats right. Old school character can also be created out of thin air. Nah I kid. But there are wall details that can be added to give the illusion that the space you’re playing around with was always that full of character.

And that will be on the next post! Hope I helped, and gave you a place to start your renovation. And if you’re still confused, stay tuned! Lots more tips to come right here!