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Seriously, I need feature wallpaper / general decorating advice

(67 Posts)
GrendelsMum Mon 28-Sep-09 10:24:01

So, if feature wallpaper is out, what are we all supposed to be doing next?

I tried doing a bit of research and it seems that following current trends, you can put wallpaper on all walls of your room, on some walls of your room seemingly at random, or just have painted walls.

It seemed that possibly what was out is having a very striking feature wall combined with very muted other walls - there seems to be much more equality of focus / colour from wall to wall, and a use of much brighter colours.

Responses from the design savvy? And what magazine is it best to read in order to get ahead of the game in design terms?

In case it seems I'm taking this too seriously, I actually see it as a money-saving exercise - if we can know what's trendy, we can either knowingly avoid it or go for it and avoid the problem of things dating rapidly.

GrendelsMum Mon 28-Sep-09 21:09:27


AitchTwoToTangOh Mon 28-Sep-09 21:16:16

but what do you LIKE? grin

one tip would be not to paint any room all the same colour exactly. by all means use the same colour chart, iykwim, but mix it up a bit by having a few notes of difference on the walls. we used a farrow and ball colour chart and had paints mixed (cheaper and more durable paint). the good thing with those colours is that there are hardly any of them so you don't get that paint blindness that happens in homebase.

i have some feature wallpaper, btw. in my bedroom, it's amazing. i have it on two walls, though. cole and son trees in black and white.

GrendelsMum Mon 28-Sep-09 21:26:01

Sadly I have a deeply held belief that 'likes' and 'dislikes' are merely the result of a more or less conscious desire to associate ourselves with cultural norms and powerful groups. Thus, I wish to associate myself with the group with trendy wallpaper. smile

No, to be honest, I love the Cole and son trees wallpaper and want to have it on my bedroom wall.

AitchTwoToTangOh Mon 28-Sep-09 21:34:13

stick it up there, then, freaky lady, if you want it. grin
now, are you a crafter? any help with red riding hood cape gratefully appreciated.

it's a good tip about the f&b paint, btw. there are only about fifty colours so you can#t go faaaar wrong.

mamijacacalys Mon 28-Sep-09 21:49:03

I have muted taste and quite low ceilings so like a feature wall but only if it is a different shade of pastel paint to the other three walls.

Not really into wallpaper at all (too traumatised by my 70s flowery overdose rooms of childhood that carried on into the 80s). Also my SILs love of big print bold coloured B&Q feature wallpaper in bizarre colours which is in every downstairs room - this would appear to be the evolution from what was previously the border and stripey wallpaper combo of the 80s/90s. My hairdresser also has a big print 'trendy' feature wallpaper in 70s orange and brown with added bits of diamante stuck hither and thither (WTF?)hmm

Anyway, as Aitch says, what do you like?
I used to subscribe to BBC Good Homes and found that quite inspiring.

If you are doing a number of rooms, Laura Ashley used give free Interior Design advice if you spent over a certain amount - a friend of a friend had this done a couple of years ago. Not sure how much the 'spend' has to be though, I think maybe £500?

We used to get the Farrow and Ball colours copied in a trade paint, but I have recently used the real thing for our lounge and kitchen and am impressed by the quality and finish - it is definitely worth the extra tenner or so per 5l tin.

Sorry it's long, HTH.

GrendelsMum Tue 29-Sep-09 20:21:17

Thank you! Maybe I'll just keep going on being freaky? Bizarrely, mamijacacalys's description of wallpaper she doesn't like has reinforced my love of wallpaper.

And thank you for the F&B tip - the other good tip I've been given is to buy Kevin McCloud's colour book, and to base colour schemes around that. Not that it helps with the whole wallpaper thing.

AitchTwoToTangOh Tue 29-Sep-09 21:43:50

i have that book, i didn't actually find it very useful, weirdly enough. (actually, i got it yonks ago and only found it after we'd done the work, but in retrospect i wouldn't have found it useful.)

go for the wallpaper, if you want it. i love mine, it's a strange room with enormous height and a big return into a mirror... looks ace.

GrendelsMum Thu 01-Oct-09 10:51:28

That sounds wonderful - what do you have on the other walls? We have a dark purple leather bed, and I was thinking about going for a lavender coloured carpet, and having the other walls in Pawprint or Donkey Ride from Earthborn:

Having said that, the bedroom is quite liveable at the moment, which quite a bit of the rest of the house is not, and we are due to have some building works in there some time next year, so it may be quite a while before any of this happens.

HerHonesty Thu 01-Oct-09 10:54:11

sorry did you say lavender coloured carpet........

and dont get f and b copied. finish is never the same, it is genuinely worth spending the extra on f and b paint.

HerHonesty Thu 01-Oct-09 10:55:04

as for magazine, house and garden and homes and gardens. the former is for the super rich but lots of ideas to steal. the latter just very good.

princessmel Thu 01-Oct-09 10:58:35

I have loads of feature walls and couldn't care less if they are not in fashion.

One in lounge that makes the room look so cosy.

The kitchen actually has 2 walls in paper. Bright pink with silver leaves. Sounds very Barbie but is lovely.

In my bedroom we have red wine coloured walls and behind the headboard paper with the wine colour on, in a lily design.

Do what YOU like, not what you read is in fashion.

AitchTwoToTangOh Thu 01-Oct-09 11:07:00

the finish is never the same, thank god. grin who wants to spend a lifetime telling kids they can't touch the walls?

as i recall we've got elephant's breath (a very flattering foundation-like colour) on the wall where the light bounces and something else a bit paler on the other walls. it is a strange room with a mezzanine, so you need some light and shade in it.

HerHonesty Thu 01-Oct-09 11:34:11

just saying dont bother copying f and b then. colour and paint designed to give a certain look. just go with dulux, there are thousands of colours to go for.

if you dont want things to date - then stick to neutrals on the bits which costs money and faff to change - carpets, walls, maybe curtains and then you can accesorise to your hearts content and make the rooms look completely different.

cremolafoam Thu 01-Oct-09 11:41:21

I say 'down with neutrals'. If you watch any of those Property Ladderesque programmes you will see that the whole of Britain's interior landscape is now beige.Dull Mc Dull
get it on with the colours.
have a feature wall- the trend is for Texture not loud prints.Orange bathroom suites are now all the rage.

HerHonesty Thu 01-Oct-09 11:45:34

beige is not the only neutral cremola. and from a longevity perspesctive, lavender carpets are not the best idea.

i actually have lots of different whites and real wood in my house and have different rugs, furniture, carpets, pictures etc. but i have travelled quite a bit and have inherited stuff here and there so have not accessorised from the high street.
but if you are starting from scratch thne its difficult not to make your house look like dullmcdull.

feature walls are boringmcboring. what is wrong with nice art?

cremolafoam Thu 01-Oct-09 11:48:15

Ok i know. i have a griege colour scheme too.
It is easy to live with, and feature walls are quite useful as you can change the colour scheme easily if you get bored with it.
Howeve I was not joking about the return of coloured sanitaryware

AitchTwoToTangOh Thu 01-Oct-09 11:59:18

no, you are missing the point re f&b. the good thing is that there are onl+y -about -fif+ty colours, all of them good, whereas just looking at dulux's thousands of colours melts yer head. i'm saying use the F&B colour charts, that's all.

AitchTwoToTangOh Thu 01-Oct-09 12:00:57

i have sagey greens and green-blues and blues and clotted creams and foundationy colours. and radicchio red in the kitchen ON ONE WALL! <aitch realises she has a feature wall she'd forgotten about. it makes a teeny kitchen look bigger, imo.

cremolafoam Thu 01-Oct-09 12:05:48

Agree Aitch about F&B colour palette.

HerHonesty Thu 01-Oct-09 12:11:30

yup i totally get the narrowing thing, have just come across lots of people who copied and were disapointed. so then just use the crown card or homebase card or something, who have a similar number as f and b.

cremolafoam Thu 01-Oct-09 13:14:27

the copying of f&b colours doesn't work because the base of dulux/crown is of a different will just not get the chalkyness of f&b colours right.close but no cigar

AitchTwoToTangOh Thu 01-Oct-09 13:27:45

it was precisely the f&b chalky thing (ooooh, the handprints) that i sought to avoid. getting them made up in leyland paint meant they were more durable. and i dunno if the colour match was exact or not, but i've been able to do touch-ups with the f&b tester pots so they must have been near as dammit.

GrendelsMum Thu 01-Oct-09 13:32:45

But surely wallpaper is or can be an art work, just as any piece of furniture within the house can be a piece of art / craft? Maybe it often isn't a very good piece of art, but then lots of paintings aren't very good either smile. Someone can screenprint an A4 print, or a whole roll of wallpaper, and I think it can still have the same level of artistic integrity.

I do take your point that art and antiques can prefer very quiet surroundings to let them 'speak', but that's actually why I'm so keen to know what's looking more on trend. Our house is C17 and I inherited a lot of antiques, so I'm trying to stop it looking very fuddy-duddy, which was how it looked with the previous owner. I'm always trying to balance the contemporary and the antique, if you know what I mean. DH's fear is that we're going to end up looking like Snowshill Manor!

I would have thought that lavender carpets are quite practical - not too dark, not too bright to be overwhelming, not too pale to show footprints. We actually got the idea from a hotel DH and I stayed at, which had lavender carpets upstairs (not bright or pastel coloured, but more lavender grey) Is there something I'm missing?

Thanks for the magazine tips - I'll check them out next time I'm in the bookshop.

wasabipeanut Thu 01-Oct-09 13:37:20

Ooooh this is very exciting - we are moving into a new house (wasabi crosses fingers> next Friday and I am itching to get decorating.

Tips on F & B colour charts noted.

I just love colours, warmer colours too but we gte loads of colout from our furniture & rugs - reds, purples, oranges (trust me it looks fab). But if we go beserk on walls it will look too much.

What to do???? I rather like the ideas of sagey greens and v pale mocha/almost orange but not quite sort of shades.

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