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Feature Walls Defined

I get lots of questions about this topic which means, it need more attention.  Feature walls are wonderful when done well but horrifically unsettling when they are not.  I say “unsettling” for a reason.  If the wrong wall is used for a feature wall or the design element isn’t correct it unbalances the room resulting in a physical reaction by those who enter.  So how does one get a feature wall right?

Let’s first define feature wall.  A feature wall is a singular wall in a room offering a special attraction.  Feature walls often have a magnetic pull on one’s attention and therefore becomes the star, focal point or most important aspect of a room.

Feature walls are distinguished from other walls by architecture,

by a significant color change,Via Elle Decor

and also by pattern or wall treatment.Via House to HomeVia Lonny Magazine

Photo via Dreamwall

Feature walls are meant to be purposeful.  They common in commercial interiors because a business want to focus the inhabitants attention on a corporate name or product.  When used in a home, the purpose is visual enjoyment.

A feature wall stops your eyes and begs them to stay.

Before creating a feature wall it is important to consider why.  What is the reason to feature a particular wall in a room?  The answer to this question is the starting point for any feature wall.  Never, ever, never is the correct answer… to use a different color or because one doesn’t want to commit to a whole room of wallpaper.  If there is no purpose to feature something, don’t.

As a designer when I get hired to fix an existing room, the problem is often misuse of the feature wall concept.  If one has four walls in a room and wants to paint one a different color there has to be a reason (to feature something) otherwise it becomes indulgent which results in an uncomfortable room.  In our next Feature Wall post when we discuss what wall to use.

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