The Do’s and Don’ts of Feature Walls

It’s fair to say that feature walls have had a bad rap in recent years. A beloved decorating device of the Noughties, they fell out of favour because they became ubiquitous and were often done badly; looking random or like a half-hearted attempt to be daring. Done well however, feature walls can be a brilliant way of adding interest to a space. Paint company Little Greene recently reported that sales of their 1 litre tins of strong colours have doubled as customers experiment with more daring hues in small spaces and we predict that feature walls are set to be big design news again in the coming year. With this in mind, here are our 5 do’s and don’ts to ensure a perfect feature wall.

1. Don’t choose any old wall

If you pick a random wall as your feature wall, it will look exactly that - random! Instead, your choice of wall needs to be guided by purpose and intent. For example, feature walls are a great way of drawing attention to an architectural feature such as a window or chimney breast. Choose blinds or curtains in a colour that echoes the wall around them; that way your eye will be drawn to the window. If you have a fabulous fireplace, paint the surrounding wall in a contrasting colour so it really stands out. Similarly, if a wall is an unusual shape, make it a feature. Quirky can be very good.

2. Do use to zone a space

Feature walls are an effective way of defining an area for a specific purpose within a larger room. Perhaps you want to create somewhere to work, read or eat in an open-plan space; a feature wall will provide the perfect backdrop, grounding the area and ensuring it has its own identity.

3. Don’t use in a small room but do use in a narrow one

As effective as feature walls can be, they will never make a room look larger. A strong colour on one wall will make it appear to advance and draw attention to the boundaries of a room. So, if space is at a premium, use the same colour on all walls and woodwork.


In contrast, the visual illusion of an advancing wall can work a treat in a narrow hallway or room. If you paint the end wall and woodwork in a stronger colour, the space will feel squarer and wider.

4. Do draw attention to joinery

If you’ve gone to the trouble and expense of bespoke joinery, show it off by making it the feature wall. Painting a set of bookshelves and the wall behind them in an accent colour is a great way of creating a feature wall and will really make books and other display items pop. Why not go for gloss paint for maximum impact? If a television is incorporated into your joinery, a dark colour behind will do a great job of camouflaging it when it’s switched off.

5. Don’t stop at paint

Although paint may be the obvious way to create a feature wall, there are many other materials to consider. What about wallpaper or tiles for example? And while the word ‘cladding’ may conjure up images of saunas and 1970s design gone horribly wrong, a panelled feature wall can be very effective indeed, introducing texture, character and depth to a space.


Discover our range of beautiful fabrics to complement any feature wall here