A couple of months back when I was giving a lecture to a team of newbie interior designers, I was asked if interior designing is an art or a science. I said it is both.
In the construction of your house, walls play a crucial role in putting your house design into a structure. This includes your bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms, lobbies, stores, terraces, etc. If you are design conscious (who would not) from day one then you will be able to visualize your dream home (or your client’s dream home) even at the stage when there is no foundation laid out. You will also walk yourself through it to analyze how it would look after construction. If you can’t then don’t worry. A good design architect can help you visualize your dream home to see if it is going to inspire you and others.
Now, the point is what is the most critical aspect to be taken care of at the time of home architecture finalization. The answer to the million-dollar question is the placement and structure of walls. Be it your bedroom, lobby, or terrace, walls play a very vital role in making a particular space of your house fabulous, spacious, more functional, and creative.
Windows in Your Walls
A provision of a wide window on your wall falling between the living room and lawn is a commonly followed wall design practice to augment the ambiance of your living room with the natural beauty of grass, plants, and flowers and also access to natural light. But wait a minute here! You cannot blindly apply this wide window approach on every wall. Your structure may collapse if you are not careful about load bearing walls of your structure. You need to understand that removing a section of a load-bearing wall to create a window requires adding a new beam and columns to support the floor above. So, there needs to be a balance between aesthetics and sustainability while designing the architecture of your house.
Options for Creating Accent Wall
This is the most economical option where you can paint one of your walls in a different color to make it your accent wall. However selection of color matters a lot. If your walls are painted with a lighter color tone then you can paint your accent wall with a darker tone of the same color. Using altogether a different color on your accent wall is also a good option. But this has to be first visualized using a 3D model and feedback should be gathered from 3-5 different people. In addition to painting plain color, you can also choose to paint any texture on your wall.
Wallpaper is the least expensive and quicker way to convert one of your walls to an accent wall. Since wallpapers come in a variety of printed designs from 2D to 3D, this opens a door to a whole new range of choices to make your wall look like a very luxurious and fancy piece of art.
If you are looking for a decent wall design for your accent wall then moulding is a good option. Wall moulding is a technique for drawing a structurally solid and permanent design on the surface of your wall. It is usually made by applying concrete plaster on your wall or it also comes in the form of ready-made panels made of gypsum plaster (aka plaster of pairs ).
Another widely used option to transform your wall into an accent wall is MDF or PVC paneling. PVC and MDF both are good options but MDF has a more vast variety of design options. MDF panels come in a rough surface as well as a very high gloss surface giving your feel glass surface over a textured panel. This sort of paneling is very popular for designing your media wall but it is also a good option if you want to apply it on one of your dining room walls.
The most expensive but more reliable and highly recommended option if your budget allows it. It can not only give you the option to give a very luxurious look to your accent wall but it also increases the life of your wall and its surface. Usually, tiles are scratched proof and waterproof. This protects your concrete structure and gives it a longer life which frees you from worrying about the maintenance issues which you will sooner or later face on all the other options we discussed above.
Similar to tiles, stone cladding is also a durable option and a little expensive but cheaper than tiles. Now, it is up to your interior designer how he makes choices between tiles and stone cladding for different spaces in your house. Stone cladding is ideal for your garden or garage walls to give them protection from the effect of rain or watering of plants. You can also use stone cladding to decorate your fireplace wall but certainly, you should not use it in your bathrooms. Tiles are a better option for your bathroom.
As you now understand that there are many options available to convert one of your walls to an accent wall but there are a few factors that you need to consider before taking any decision. These factors are:
- Your budget – how much you can spend.
- Time – how quickly the job can be done.
- Durability – (Paint: 2-5 years, Moulding: 2-5 years, Paneling: 2-4 years, Wallpaper: 1-3 years, Stone Cladding: 5+ years, Tiles: 15+ years)
- Type of space of your house (bedroom, bathroom, living room, garage, etc.)
- The weather condition of your area (very rainy area, close to the seashore, etc).
It is advisable to speak with a qualified interior designer if you’re planning one or more accent walls in your home design. They can help you make the best decisions for your investment. A qualified interior designer will not only make your accent walls look incredibly beautiful by using the right wall decor material, but also take the right decision in structuring your accent walls at the right time.