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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.