Art of wall cov­er­ing

Lanas­sir Lawes dis­cusses how to bring in­ti­macy to a room by us­ing strong patterns


Not ev­ery in­te­rior de­sign project in­volves a huge amount of build­ing work; it can sim­ply be putting to­gether a dec­o­ra­tive scheme to up­date an ex­ist­ing room. These small changes can still make a huge im­pact on the home. Usu­ally it is un­re­al­is­tic (and of­ten un­nec­es­sary) to change ev­ery piece of fur­ni­ture in a room when up­dat­ing the dé­cor. Some­times it just takes a lit­tle pro­fes­sional ad­vice to pull off a scheme that in­cor­po­rates ex­ist­ing pieces, mak­ing them look like they were pur­chased for the room’s new look.

Hav­ing moved from a barn to a cot­tage my clients had a good qual­ity din­ing suite with match­ing side­boards that for­tu­nately all fit­ted but looked quite dom­i­nat­ing in the new smaller, neu­tral din­ing room.

Like many din­ing rooms it is rarely used but is reg­u­larly passed through to reach the kitchen and the light and airy break­fast room where meals tend to be eaten, es­pe­cially in the sum­mer. The chal­lenge was to cre­ate a room that was invit­ing to sit in as a din­ing space dur­ing the darker months while cre­at­ing a nat­u­ral flow from the rich pur­ple and green based sit­ting room that we worked on last year.

As soon as I walked into the room I felt that the back wall needed to be dark and in­tense as the op­po­site wall is pre­dom­i­nantly win­dows. This would cre­ate a much more in­ti­mate and cosy din­ing space.

We dis­cussed the dif­fi­cul­ties with plac­ing artwork on the back wall due to the po­si­tion of the high level win­dow and also that we needed to con­sider this should we look at pat­terned wall­cov­er­ings. If a wall lacks sym­me­try I tend to avoid patterns with a very ob­vi­ous re­peat; the same ap­plies when ceil­ing and floors are not par­al­lel, as is of­ten the case in older prop­er­ties, as this draws at­ten­tion to prob­lems.

The wall­cov­er­ing that I sourced is a piece of art in it­self with an in­tense back­ground and vi­brant colours pop­ping in var­i­ous places. The au­tum­nal tones in the pat­tern tie in the fur­ni­ture and make it look much more in keep­ing.

Light­ing has been kept soft with a smart and sim­ple an­tique bronze fit­ting with a ca­sual ar­range­ment of vin­tage style bulbs. An­other big change to the room was the re­moval of the in­her­ited lam­i­nate floor, re­placed with a durable black and cream wool car­pet. This has cre­ated a back­drop for the ta­ble. The room now feels bal­anced without any one piece dom­i­nat­ing but there is an in­ter­est­ing fo­cal point where ever you look.

This page is spon­sored by Swank In­te­ri­ors, Nor­wich. swank­in­te­ri­ stu­[email protected]­in­te­ri­ 01603 617229

ABOVE: The im­pact of the vi­brant wall­cov­er­ing is clear

BE­LOW: Be­fore the trans­for­ma­tion

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