Creating a feature wall

Whether you’re using paint, wallpaper, art or murals, the secret to on-trend feature walls is to ensure it enhances the decor

  1. To give this cinema room a modern yet moody ambience, interior decorator Cheryl Herweg of Changing Spaces chose a wallpaper mural depicting a glamorous cityscape, which she complemented with a grey sofa and yellow scatters.
    cinema room
  2. Faux effect wallpapers that resemble rustic finishes such as wood panelling, distressed brickwork and animal hides are very in. This Bolinao wallpaper from the Mindoro collection by Elitis, available from St Leger & Viney, has a graphic quality which complements contemporary furnishings.
    faux effect wallpaper
  3. One of the simplest ways to create a feature wall is to paint it in a striking colour, like the rich purple chosen for this dining area. It adds depth and brings the furniture to life. Interior design by Derrick Tabbert.
    striking colour feature wall
  4. For this open-plan dining area, Cheryl Herweg wanted a striking wallpaper to define the space. Not able to find the right pattern, she designed this one herself. “When using a bold pattern like this, choose neutral furnishings so they don’t compete with the wall,” she advises.
    striking wallpapers
  5. Unlike normal wallpaper, which can be repeated, large panels give the effect of a one-off handpainted mural. This fun design from Eijffinger’s Black & Light range is 232cm wide and 280cm high and is available from Dreamweaver Studios.
    handpainted mural
  6. An oversized image, such as this dandelion design, can visually enlarge a room.“The design adds individuality and was the starting point for the rest of the room,” explains interior decorator Cie Grobelaar of Media C Designs, who restricted the rest of the furnishings to neutrals and cool shades of blue.
    oversized image
  7. Vinyl is back, but even if you prefer your iPod to a turntable, don’t get rid of old LP covers. Here, a series of framed album jackets hung in a grid design makes a strong statement in this teenager’s bedroom.
    vinyl wall


    Interior decorator Cheryl Herweg of Changing Spaces has this advice:

  • A feature wall should draw the eye immediately. It could be the wall housing the fireplace, or a wall with beautiful wallpaper or cladding, but it must be the hero of the room. The rest of the furniture should complement, rather than overpower, it.
  • Don’t have more than one feature wall in a room or it becomes too busy. For the best effect, choose the largest wall and one that’s not broken up by doors and windows.
  • Use a bright or boldly patterned wallpaper on one wall only and place a good piece of furniture or a headboard against it. If you want to use wallpaper on the other walls, stick to a textured design in a neutral colour.
  • If you’re using art, hang pictures in a carefully planned collage over an entire wall and keep the artwork on the other walls to a minimum.
  • When covering a wall with a blown-up photographic print, make sure the furniture doesn’t obscure an important part of the image. Choose a picture where the focus is above the top of the furniture.