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6 Ways to Create a Modern Feature Wall


No matter the style or mood you’re tying to set, there’s a color out there for your home.

By Kate Burt, Houzz

The feature wall found favor in the 1990s, when a slew of home renovation TV shows started adding this decorative device to made-over homes week in and week out. Perhaps as a result of this overkill, the idea eventually fell out of favor — until recently. But this time, it’s all about using paint and texture strategically. See what a modern feature wall could do for one of your rooms.

Flower Michelin, original photo on Houzz

Cozy up. Charcoal may be a dark shade, but it’s also soft and warm. This makes it perfect for adding depth and coziness to a bedroom. In fact, the atmosphere-changing effect of adding this simple color, something you can potentially do in a day, can be delightfully dramatic.

Whereas an all-dark bedroom would be almost cavern-like (which can also be cozy), this otherwise bright-white space retains something of a crisp feel, even with the addition of wood, a sandy-colored rug and green accents. It’s worth noting that the well-ironed bed linen is also key to the crisp look.

Lightsy, original photo on Houzz

Max out the monochrome. Isn’t it interesting how much difference a few shades can make? This sleep space effectively takes exactly the same idea — a dark feature wall behind the bed in an otherwise white room with wood accents — and yet here the atmosphere is even crisper (although with interesting artwork, rumpled bedcovers and smooth, pale floors it’s incredibly inviting). A restricted color palette and the inky black hue chosen for the accent wall do the trick — one often used in Scandinavian style to great effect.

 Domus Nova, original photo on Houzz

Add a hint of pink. Pale neutrals — oat-colored upholstery, woven natural rug, various different woods — already work well to add texture and depth to this white-painted room. But that gently glowing wall behind the dining table is quite unexpected and really lifts the whole feel of the room, giving it a shot of edginess.

The lesson? Color doesn’t have to be bold to be transformative.

Juliette Byrne, original photo on Houzz

Add a wallop of pink. The impact of this deeper pink wall is on a different scale. Painted in Jaipur Dusk by Designers Guild, it defines the look of the room rather than subtly complementing it. If you’re up for a noticeable revamp, painting one wall boldly can often be all it takes.

Be prepared to swap in accessories to echo your new color — it won’t necessarily involve shopping, either. Here, cherry-blossom-covered branches and a sweater draped over a chair work as well as the rosy tableware. (A vintage dress on a hanger or a prominently displayed hat could offer a less fleeting alternative.)

Snell David LTD, original photo on Houzz

Extend your garden. A room as sunny as this can take a strong wall color — especially on just one wall — without losing any of its airy, outdoorsy feel.

This dark gray-green enhances the garden connection without overdoing it.

Related: Not Sure About Dark Green? Try Kelly Green and More Here

Chris Snook, original photo on Houzz

Tie it to the rest of the room. In this powder room, a cobalt blue wall adds interest to what could otherwise be a plain, unremarkable space.

Blue and white can make for a chilly combination, which is why in nautically themed designs wood, rattan or rope are often used to offset that risk. Here, the Moroccan-style tiled backsplash serves the same purpose, while also connecting the blue wall to the rest of the room. It’s a good reminder to think beyond the obvious link when choosing accessories that tie the palette together.