Mak­ing wall beau­ti­ful not such a tall or­der

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - HOMES - DEB­BIE TRAVIS

HAVE you got a tall wall chal­lenge? If you live in a loft, a home with a two-storey en­trance or cathe­dral ceil­ings, you’re look­ing at a large space that can be daunt­ing to fill.

I’ve come up with some suc­cess­ful so­lu­tions for my TV shows. And re­cently I en­coun­tered a very dif­fer­ent ar­chi­tec­tural de­sign in a new home con­cept call a PolyGHome. The in­te­rior walls were sim­ple dry­wall and raw wood beams, most ex­te­rior was glass. Very cool de­sign, but I wanted to add some tex­ture to the large ex­panse of blank wall in the kitchen and bath­room. I used faux brick sheets and painted them with a tex­tured white paint for a fresh take on a brick wall.

Faux brick sheets are read­ily avail­able at your lum­ber­yard and they are easy to in­stall. To make a neat cut, ap­ply pain­ter’s tape to the front side of the sheet where the cut­ting line will be. Draw the cut­ting line on the tape and use a hack­saw or jig­saw. Cut slowly for more in­tri­cate cut­ting lines. Re­move the tape and sand the edges. At­tach to the wall with screws. Prime with a high-ad­he­sion primer. In a con­tainer, mix one gal­lon of la­tex paint with ap­prox­i­mately 16 ounces of powder. Leave it a bit lumpy. (This is go­ing to add more di­men­sion to the bricks.) Roll the tex­ture mix­ture onto the walls, mak­ing sure to get in be­tween the bricks. You can choose any colour paint — in this case, I was af­ter a sub­tle divi­sion be­tween the rough sur­face of the faux brick and the smooth, light tone of the wood.

In an­other home, I was faced with the op­po­site dilemma — one en­tire wall of a two-storey liv­ing room was solid brick. It was mas­sive, but my in­struc­tions were not to touch the brick. In­stead, I added bleached wood pan­els that reached to the cathe­dral ceil­ing on ei­ther side of the fire­place. The shift in ma­te­ri­als, brick along­side wood, cre­ated a new di­men­sion of ar­chi­tec­tural in­ter­est.

The large side wall and space over the win­dows were white, too bland for this fam­ily room. Colour was the so­lu­tion. Don’t ever be afraid to use a strong colour on a large area. You will be amazed at how fab­u­lous it looks. Here I chose a vi­brant her­itage red. The char­ac­ter of the room changed im­me­di­ately. Warm and invit­ing rather than over­pow­er­ing, the spe­cial el­e­ments in the room bal­ance each other.

An­other al­ter­na­tive for a large blank wall is wall­pa­per. Large mo­tifs or over­sized pat­terns are as fun or so­phis­ti­cated as you want. This will be a fo­cal wall, the sur­face that sets the tone for the room, or in an open con­cept space, the whole liv­ing area. You can now cre­ate per­son­al­ized wallcoverings. Take a photo or se­ries of pho­tos to a print shop and have them blow up and trans­fer the im­ages onto wall­pa­per.

Large walls are an in­vi­ta­tion, a blank can­vas that holds the prom­ise of so many ad­ven­tures. En­joy the chal­lenge of these wide-open spaces and try some­thing new. You won’t re­gret it.

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