Arguably one of the best ways to spruce up the interior of your home is to give your walls a makeover. There are a number of ways this can be achieved, and with spring in full swing, there’s no better time than the present to make your walls work in your home’s favour.
For a simple revamp, consider a traditional paint-job. Before arbitrarily painting though, look at the size of the room and amount of light that penetrates it. If the room is small and doesn’t receive much natural light, it makes sense to paint the room a light, warm colour. Generally speaking small rooms and dark colours don’t go well together as the room ends up feeling pokey and unwelcoming. Conversely if the room is generously proportioned and naturally well-lit, dark hues can work well, especially on accent walls. It’s always a good idea to paint some sample colours first before going all out with a certain colour scheme only to discover it doesn’t suit the room at all.
In terms of current, trendy colours, Pantone’s Colour of the Year – emerald green - has proven highly popular and diverse. According to Pantone, emerald green’s “jewel-like hue will create a luxurious feel in an entryway, powder room, dining room or study and bring life to a living room as an accent wall.” The release of The Great Gatsby has also inspired a shift towards pastels and soft, ice-cream colours. Such colours work well in small and large spaces alike and create an all-round sense of calm.
Of course it goes without saying that if you’re not keen on the latest colours, don’t fall into the trap of using them just to stay ‘on trend’. Similarly, don’t go overboard with the latest colours as they could date your home. If you’re unsure about certain colour schemes or are planning to move house within a relatively short space of time, rather go for a neutral palette incorporating colours such as cream, white and light grey. Not only are neutral colours soothing and practical, but they acts as a useful backdrop against which future owners can envision their own decor.
Whatever you do, when adding colour to your home, apply the 60/30/10 rule. I.e. 60 percent (the walls) should comprise the dominant colour, 30 percent should comprise the secondary colour (upholstery) and 10 percent should be made up by accents (soft furnishings and the like).
If a mere once-over with a paint brush doesn’t do it for you, why not give wallpaper a go? The range and quality of wallpaper is such these days that there really is no limit as to what can be done with it. Wallpaper can be used in just about any space in the home to impart that special ‘wow’ factor and achieve what paint alone can’t do. Natural stone, brick and wood, stripes, 3D realism, glitter, linear geometrics and simplified, floral motifs are just some of the wallpaper styles that have gained a following of late. Akin to paint colours, avoid wallpapers that are too trendy or too far out of your comfort zone. Rather stick to classics that won’t go out of style and won’t make you feel uncomfortable in your own home.
On a tight budget? Simply group together a collection of your favourite pictures or artworks or move a large mirror to create a ‘new’ point of interest on your walls. You’d be amazed at what a little re-arranging can do. Another affordable option that has been put to good use of late are decals. Wall decals are vinyl stickers or adhesives that can be easily applied to walls. There are literally countless designs, words and images available which can be used to jazz up just about any wall in your house. Wall decals work best on smooth walls, can be custom designed and best of all, only cost around R250 each on average.