Design Tips

What Are Your Walls Saying? by Elena Neirink

If these wall could talk…..

They would have much to say. 

From soft hues of white to deep shades of grey, color and trends are continuously evolving in the world of wall covering. Whatever your style or desired shade, wall coverings can either be a back drop for furnishing and accessories or can make a statement all on their own.

There are three main ways to cover a wall. One can use paint, wallpaper, or fabric. These methods provide a countless ability to add color, texture and dimension to a plain surface.

Throughout history, Venetian plaster and hand painted murals have been a way for painters and artists to enliven an indoor setting. Luckily, a look that used to take years of training and apprenticeship can now be achieved with updated materials found at most paint stores and home improvement centers. 

For example, sponging and rag-rolling were often used over the past decades as faux finish techniques. Troweling and the use of dimensional overlays are currently a popular trend and add old world elegance to the home. Bold geometric stencils are a new way to add a touch of glam to the modern abode.

Wall coverings can be a backdrop or make a statement. Wallpapering has recently undergone the most dramatic growth in regard to the number of styles to choose. Gone are the days of small floral prints and repeating fruit patterns. Beaded papers, metallic prints and distressed finishes are new ways to add sophistication to a dining room. Parisian script is an example of a versatile print that could either add softness to a cosmopolitan loft or write a story for a shabby chic décor. Grass cloth wallpaper is a way to introduce warm natural texture to any room.

Fabrics, such as velvets and embroidered silks are a stunning way to add texture and sensuality to a room. Fabrication can be the most costly technique, but there are advantages. Textiles provide insulation, they sound proof walls and help you create a truly unique style. As well as being alluring for a powder room, padded upholstered walls or gathered fabric ceilings give warmth to a nursery.

No matter which type of wall covering is used, all three provide limitless design options. A large pattern for a vestibule or closet can open the space. A dreamy damask in a master suite, whether it be wallpaper or fabric, creates a peaceful surrounding. Bold colors or prints for a powder room have a powerful effect. Incorporating the ceiling with paint or paper adds the right touch to a small room. With all of the wall coverings available, we have an endless ability to update any room in the home. 

These walls can talk, in many different languages and volumes, and the conversation never has to end.

Elena Neirink is an owner/designer with Anna's Interior Design and Anna's Drapery Shop. She's been a design professional for nearly 30 years. Her specialties include manufacturing and design of custom window treatments, bedding and furnishings. She also provides consultations for new construction and remodeling. Elena has extensive experience in both residential and commercial decorating. You can reach her at 248.245.3505 or elena@annasinteriordesign.com.