From the category archives:

Interior Design Styles

Part Two Walls – Interior Painting Practical Considerations and Decorating Doors

In certain areas such as hallways, kitchens, bathrooms and children’s rooms, the durability of wall coverings is important. That’s when using interior decorating paint or wallpaper is very useful.

If you find colour selection difficult here is a great House Painting tutorial series with a cheat sheet that never fails – perfect colour templates for every style of home.

Some vinyl wall papers are now virtually indistinguishable for regular papers. Like paint they are highly practical and look great. And today the variety of colours and textures in paints as well as fast drying and non-toxic makes painting an easy, quick and inexpensive to decorate any room.

Always consider maintenance when choosing a wall covering: will you be able to wash or renew it on a regular basis? A dado rail with a hard wearing surface below and a more decorative treatment above is a good way of combining aesthetics and practicality.

If you are using wall paper, buy at least one spare roll from the same batch in case repairs are necessary. This is important not only because the pattern may be discontinued but because the colours from different batches will vary. Wallpaper can be difficult to hand so consider hiring a professional to do it for you.

The same of course goes for paint. Make sure you have some left over for accidents, repairs and touch ups.

If you are looking for name brands at wholesale prices then look for a great selection.

But walls are not the only room feature you should consider when decorating your rooms.

Decorating Doors

When thinking about door treatments, first decide how decorative you want the door to be in the scheme. If you are lucky enough to have a beautiful old door with antique door furniture it is worth making a feature of it.

The most obvious way of drawing attention to a door is to paint it in contrasting shades to the rest of the room, perhaps using a second shade on the panels, if it has them. A more ordinary door can be replaced, customized or made to blend in with the rest of the room.

To make a door blend in, simply paint it the same colour as the walls or two shades lighter or darker.

Consider how solid the door should be and whether it should block out a view of an adjacent space or give glimpses into it.

Stable doors between a kitchen and garden are good if you have young children, because they allow light and fresh air in while also letting you keep a watchful eye on what is happening outside.

Glass panel doors allow you to ‘borrow’ light from outside or from the room next door. If you do not want a clear view, choose plain frosted or etched glass which has the same effect but is only translucent.

Walls that have several solid doors, such as kitchen cupboards or fitted wardrobes in a bedroom, can be claustrophobic so consider exchanging panels for glass or even using tightly meshed chicken wire to give a more airy effect.

Cut outs are a fun way of customizing doors, particularly for children’s rooms. These can be simple shapes such as hearts or diamonds or can take on more complicated forms such as animals or flowers.

Stenciling on doors can also create a decorative effect whether it is a motif echoed from elsewhere in the scheme of a calligraphic device such as a name.

Finally, give a thought to door furniture, handles, fingerplates and so on. These should be in keeping with the room’s style, be it period or modern, simple or decorative. Replacing door furniture is one of the simplest and easiest ways of revitalizing a room.

Interior decorating using paint, wall paper and some door furniture can quickly make you rooms look fresh and new again.


Part One – Walls

Walls, floors and ceiling are the large planes of a room. Because of their dominating proportions they must be considered with care.

These surfaces form the canvas on which to introduce other colours, patterns and textures.  Whereas painted walls and ceilings are relatively inexpensive to alter, a floor is a costly item to change.

The main decision about these surfaces is whether to draw attention to them or use them as a backdrop.

This will determine how decorative they should be – the amount of colour or pattern you introduce onto each one will have a direct influence on the complexity of the decorative scheme.

If in doubt keep surfaces as plain and as neutral as possible; there will be plenty of scope to introduce layers of decoration later through the use of furniture, textiles, lighting and accessories.

Doors, windows skirting boards, cornices and fixtures such as radiators must be considered within the design theme. Although they are proportionally smaller, they play a vital role in defining the perimeters of the room – places where the eye pauses to consider the effect as a whole.Collection art was never so reachable

The key to choosing wall decoration is to think beyond the wall being simply a boundary when it can easily provide a visual bridge between two rooms or a backdrop to a focal point within the room.

Choosing Wall Coverings

Decide whether you want the walls to recede into the background or whether they should have more impact in the design scheme. This will guide you towards neutrals and plain colours on one hand or patterns and stronger colours on the other.

Consider what will go against the wall. If you have paintings, objects and imposing pieces of furniture, the must sit comfortably with the wall colour.

Think of the forest greens and vermillion reds found in art galleries. You will also need to decide how to light such pieces and whether to install picture lights or other fittings before decoration.

If what is going on or against the walls does not pose an issue it comes back to personal preference; paint or paper, colour or neutral, smooth or textured.

Some homes have beautifully textured walls such as tone or rough plaster which can be further enhanced through colour or lighting. Conversely if a room lacks interesting features consider covering the walls with pattern for character or a strong texture, such as hessian. Or opt for fabric walling, such as a moiré check to provide a sense of luxury and warmth.

<Wellesley Sofa- Burke DecorWellesley Sofa- Burke Decor
From: Burke Decor LLC

If you have  inherited someone else’s decorating tastes and are not sure what to do, the best option is to paint the walls white – and choose a shade of white that is soft rather than brilliant – one third of magnolia mixed with two thirds of while is an excellent way of achieving a more muted effect.

With so many shades of white now available, you can even choose three shades of while for the same room, subtly altering the tone and texture.

Living with this bare canvas for a while will give you a greater insight into the room’s good and bad points, while also allowing you to observe the amount and direction of natural light. Colour can be added through furniture, texture, paintings and decorative objects.

In the end it doesn’t matter whether you want to use paint, wall paper or fabric for you walls, the important thing is to take the largest sample possible and live with it for a while before making a decision. This applies to white paint as well as colours – a white paint can appear pinker, yellower or grayer according to where it is used in a room – likewise yellows can quickly turn green or brown depending on how it was mixed.

Good home decorating ideas evolve, they take from many interior design styles and ideas until they become your own.