Feature walls are a fun way to express ourselves even more creatively. And you can make incredible shapes mostly with things you have around your house.
So, I decided to paint a feature wall at the Color Studio just to show you the basic steps. (Pardon the poor video quality! With Covid19, I just sat up my camera in the studio by myself and tried my best to capture the project.)
Ok, here we go!
STEP 1: Find Inspiration
I scouted Instagram, Pinterest, design publications, and online home goods shops for inspiration. I'm loving the art deco, abstract, and surrealist styles we're seeing in art and interior right now. I wanted to incorporate these playful themes into my wall design. Here are a few images that inspired me:
As surrealist themes creep onto the scene, we can't help but notice this stair shape emerging in everything from lamps to wallpaper and architecture. I couldn't resist including this bookend lamp in my inspiration pics. It's a great piece and shows much flexibility!
STEP 2: Map out your ideas
I wanted the mural to feel playful and fun, so I actually planned very little. I knew I wanted a dark green wanescoting band to ground the design and a tall yellow arch in the center to add optimism. After that my plan was to add other shapes, likes stairs and circles, spontaneously.
STEP 3: Choose your colors
We recently launched our 2021 Color Trend Predictions on our new online store so I decided to work with these hopeful fun hues. Choose any colors that work with your home and furnishings, and consider something unexpected to add some fun to your design.
STEP 4: Tape off your first shape then paint the inside edge with the existing wall color.
This first step is the same for almost every shape you'll paint. When you tape off an area to paint, use the existing wall color and a small brush to paint along the inside of your tape. If any color bleeds under, you won't see it. PLUS, this seals the tape so when you apply your new color, nothing bleeds under and you get a crisp clean line. It's so gratifying :-)
I started with the biggest element, the bold green band I wanted to paint across the wall. Adding a dark color like this can define a room with cozy calm. I made it about 32" tall so it would peek above most any table, desk, or headboard that would go in front of it. Choose any height you want, but consider what furniture and lighting will go in front of that color.
STEP 5 Make homemade compass to draw the arch
Decide how wide and tall you want your arch to be then find the center of the wall and make a mark for the top of your arch. Measure half of your desired width to the left and right and draw verticals lines down from those points.
For example, if you want your arch to be 30" wide, the marks to the left and right of the center will be 15" each making the overall width 30".
Now, find some string, a thumbtack, a pencil, and some tape to make a homemade compass. Make a knot at one end with the tack through it, and tape the pencil to the other end at your 'half distance' measurement.
Place your pencil at the top center mark with the thumbtack straight down, pushing it into the wall at your half distance. Keeping the string stretched straight and pencil perpendicular to the wall, draw the arch to meet the two vertical lines completing the arch shape.
Did you catch those tips? To help ease the tape over the curved shape, make small tears on the outside edge to allow the inside edge more flexibility.
Notice we painted the white wall color on the inside edge at the top half of the arch and used the dark green paint on the inside edge of the lower section where we changed the design.
Whatever you're painting, use the existing wall color to paint the inside edge first. Let it dry while you create your next shape.
STEP 6 Add the rest of your shapes (here's where the salad bowls come in!)
With our two key elements in place, we started adding more shapes without much planning. I wanted the design to feel symmetric but spontaneous, so I balanced a tall rusty colored stripe with playful steps in the same color on the opposite side.
Next, to balance the strong straight lines, I added some circles to echo the arch and bring softer colors into the mix. I brought several bowls from my kitchen and just held them up to the wall until I saw the sizes I liked. It's really that simple! Use a small brush to fill in those shapes- take your time and remember, it's just paint- you can always fix it.
Finally, I added a thin vertical stripe on the right to balance the circles, and a soft pink tone at the top to frame the look in a comfy color that keeps your eyes looking up.
In the end, I'm happy with this design and can imagine this mural as a cheerful easy backdrop for a bedroom, breakfast nook, dining room, home office... even a zoom meeting!
I hope you give feature walls a try and find lots of great things around your house to create something special.