Interior Thinking: That Wall Needs Some Attention


By: Robin Meyer

Choosing a paint color for your walls can be a daunting task. Too many colors to choose from and how do you know if you’re going to like it when you see it on a big wall? What about wall coverings? You certainly don’t want what your mother had on her walls fifty years ago and when removing, tore the drywall off. I have good news for you. Choosing paint does not have to be painful and you no longer have to be fearful of wall coverings.

Paint Selection and Trends

Think about the other elements in the room. What kind of mood do you want to set? What finish do I want? Are there natural breaking points to stop one color and start another? Think about the flow of the colors. It’s a lot to reflect on, so be prepared to do some homework. If you are too busy and don’t trust your judgment, hire an interior designer to walk through the steps with you and show you examples. Painting a room is an affordable way to change the feel of a room, but painting the whole house is an investment so you want to make sure you get it right.

Most of the premiere paint lines have programs on their sites or apps to help you visualize how a paint color will look in a room. I love the one Benjamin Moore has on their site, but I must warn you, colors don’t always appear as you see them on the screen. Always, always, do a paint sample on your wall or at least on a piece of poster board, and look at it for a few days in the room. Light makes a huge difference in how the color will appear so don’t skip this step.

We all like to see what the newest fashions will be for the season. The same goes for paint. Paint companies will put out their color forecast every year. These are fun to look at and could inspire you to change a room color or even an accent wall. We will be seeing more rich, saturated colors, which is fun for accent walls, powder baths or dining rooms. I personally like the Affinity Color Collection from Benjamin Moore because it gives you a wide variety of colors and they feel current. Sherwin Williams has color collections reflective of various company styles, such as West Elm, Pottery Barn and HGTV.

Wall Coverings

We are seeing an explosion of wall coverings in the market. There are wonderful textures to choose from, such as, re-energized flocked paper, a reinvention of grass cloth, and an industrial flair with papers made to look like concrete, stone, metal and even cork.

According to Monica Fox of MDC Wall (a source in which designers can get a variety of wall coverings), the industry is making more innovative and sustainable wall coverings. Well-known designer, Barclay Butera has put out a collection of prints on grass cloth and paper weaves. MDC has a collection called Restoration Elements, which has raised the bar for industrial looks. Their rich mylar backed and natural textures are so remarkable, they will have you perplexed on which ones to use. If you want to add a luxurious effect, in rich warm neutral colors for your walls, choose the fresh look of flocked wall coverings that offer raised velvet-like patterns.

I have clients often tell me that they don’t ever want to do wallpaper again. “It is too difficult to remove.” Not anymore, since todays wall coverings have non-woven backings. Chris Shannon, of Shannon Wallpaper and member of the Wall covering Installers Association (WIA), says, “Wall preparation is very important. You need a clean, dry, smooth surface while using a universal wallpaper primer or strippable adhesive. When prepped correctly, these papers can be pulled off in one sheet.” If you decide to use in an area of higher moisture, like a bathroom, make sure you prepare the walls with a mold suppressor, like Kilz.

Whether you choose to touch up a few small spaces or completely refinish every wall in your home, make sure to explore your options. Careful consideration and prep work will ensure you avoid costly mistakes and create the atmosphere that represents your own unique personality.

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