Making wall beautiful not such a tall order
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.