Interior Design - Why Wall Treatments Are Important

Wall Treatments Are Key In Creating A Finished Space

This powder room is adorable....but what makes it so?  Of course, the natural wood vanity, miror, and sconces but what elevates this look and catches your eye?   It's  the shiplap.

Adding a detail to walls that may otherwise be uninteresting is a trick designers use often. The key is knowing when to use a detail such as paneling, wallpaper, shiplap, faux finish, wall upholstery, and more.

Whether you are a DIY type, hiring in professionals to install details or a designer...knowing when to use a key detail and create a feature in a space is very important.

I added this board and batten detail to a niche in an otherwise nondescript entry way.   It was part of a larger space and needed some help defining the area.  How did I know this?  And how did I decide on board and batten?

Here are 5 tips to help you:

1)  Creating a feature wall is sometimes necessary and adds another layer of color or texture to a space.   It provides a bit more importance and adds to the overall scheme of the room.   Entry areas, dining rooms, powder rooms, master bedrooms, commercial properties all are elevated and create interest and balance when wall treatments are added. Everyone may not know WHY but they know it looks great.  It is the "underneath" layer of a great room.

2) A wall that is seen often but is ignored or is lackluster -  is a missed opportunity to become a "feature wall" A feature wall makes a room more gracious, well designed and enjoyable with a well-placed feature.  Lately, my clients love using paneling or shiplap on many of their walls and it sets a tone .....coastal or farmhouse....and is immediately appreciated.

3) For a room that needs to be a bit more special and communicate the design of the home. Wall treatments matter.  Everyone knows the powder room needs to have panache and style.  This is where wall treatments are a big win.  Whether you add a treatment to the mirror/vanity wall or surround the room, it is always a winner.  I have used leathered marble slabs(modern design), wallpaper, upholstery, faux finishes, and paneling.  It's an area that can be given an extra bit of attention and will receive a huge return in value for its ability to continue to delight guests...and you.

4) How to know what to use??  I always incorporate the overall home and what the scheme/style is.  Then I add to it and elevate the look. Think about nature...the layers and undulating scale of proportion and color.  We never tire of looking at it. 

Examples: The board and batten style paneling(above) was in a Laguna Beach retreat that I had created for a client.  That niche was dull and provided an opportunity to communicate that this was a coastal property, an easy chic residence and a classic look without being too stuffy.  Another property was very curated, upscale and modern...I used leathered marble slabs - book matched - to create drama and luxury.  The perimeter of that room was covered in a silk wallpaper.....super luxe!!

5) Design is a way to communicate without words.  If you want to set the tone and make your space - or your client's space - feel well designed and gracious, definitely consider boosting the look with wall treatments, feature walls and even using a perfect paint accent when the budget is tight.(this has been done a lot but still gets results)


If you are thinking of becoming an interior designer, want to learn how to be an interior designer, or just love design.....continue to get plenty of tips and insights with the Friday 5

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Elizabeth Ribons is a creative entrepreneur and interior designer.  She has owned creative businesses most of her life and created Better by Design Academy as a resource for others who want to leverage their creativity into successful businesses and careers.

Elizabeth Ribons, ASID, CID, NCIDQ