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What To Do With Walls

A typical ten foot by ten foot room can have (with eight foot ceilings) 320 square feet of wall. That is a little more than three times the footprint of the room! So what is a homeowner to do with all of that space?

Walk through a model home in a new subdivision, and you'll see exciting things on the walls- from Wallpaper to Tile Mosaics to Murals. Walls are the largest square footage of a home. 

Photo WallPaper
Granted the wallpapers of today are far removed from your grandmother's wallpaper. (Yes, you may still find the traditional patterns and styles, but they do not really resonate with today's homeowners.) And the Tile Mosaics are often utilized in Kitchen or Bathroom Back-splashes, in a larger application, they can become a mural or feature wall. Speaking of Murals, you can hire either an artist/painter, or in true DIY fashion, draw and paint your own- it just takes normal paint- it can be as easy as buying a lot of little samplers and painting a square pattern.

If you're glued/addicted to DIY Network like I am, the I Want That! show features all kinds of cool products- I've specifically seen one for a wallpaper where you can get a street map of your zip-code to apply to a wall. I've also seen an old episode of Make It Right, where the team buys material for a chair rail and turn it into a beautiful paneling treatment for a library space. These options are but a few. 

When it comes to room size:

If your room is small, pick one wall (preferably without an opening of a door/window) and make it the feature of the room. Choose something with a big scale to increase the visual size of your space- or go the opposite to make it cozy.

For that World Traveler
If you have a big room, choose the longest/highest wall to really draw attention to, or scale down. Emphasize the longest direction with a simple line pattern, break it into zones with transitions where necessary (long great rooms are often: kitchen, dining and living).

The main thing about jazzing up your walls - if you're going to do one thing to all of the walls, without one be the feature, make sure your choice compliments your space - small room, small pattern - and if you choose one has the feature - make sure it doesn't overpower everything else in the space.