Standout wall will make a statement

An Orla Kiely design for Harlequin.
An Orla Kiely design for Harlequin.
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A feature wall is a wall in a room which has been highlighted in some way.

A few years ago the idea gained momentum and the feature wall mostly consisted of a bold design of wallpaper, normally in a botanical print, very often in strong colours.

Since then the idea has evolved and feature walls now come in various different guises from the very bold to the quite subtle.

A feature wall can be many things; It can be a wall that is simply painted in a different colour to the other three walls and this can be anything from a subtle shade difference on one wall to a completely contrasting colour, like warm brown contrasting with duck egg blue.

It can be one wall in a bold patterned wallpaper or simply in an interesting textured wallpaper. There are many textures and finishes available now including metallic, suede and silk finishes (small patterns don’t really work to create a statement).

It can be one wall that features a bold piece of artwork or repetition of decorative items like photos on one theme or mirrors or even clocks.

The most important thing when considering highlighting one wall in a room is to consider it within the context of the room and not as a separate element.

The other thing is to use feature walls sparingly; one wall in a room can look great, a wall in every room can be overkill!

Most interior designers tend to agree that the wall should be a plain wall, without windows or doors, although fireplace walls and corresponding alcoves can work well.

My advice is, if you’re not confident or sure about whether a feature wall will work then don’t do it. At best it can look fantastic, at worst a complete disaster.

If you want to see some fantastic wallpapers then look at Cole & Son ( They have a magnificent archive of hand block printed wallpapers dating back 300 years.

Collections include the Fornasetti collection of panels inspired by the visionary Italian artist.

Common features in Fornasetti’s work include heavy use of black and white, the sun and time. His style is reminiscent of Greek and Roman architecture, from which he was influenced.

Cole and Son also work with the acclaimed designer Vivienne Westwood.

Harlequin ( started life as a wallpaper company. They produce a massive range of flamboyant statement papers and they also specialise in imaginative finishes to make your walls a work of art in their own right.

They have recently collaborated with internationally acclaimed Orla Kiely to create a striking collection of bold, modern designs that have a nostalgic retro quality.

Osborne & Little ( is another well known name in the wallpaper market.

They have everything from exotic lizards printed on holographic foil to silhouettes of your favourite dog breeds in pure flock!

Simone and business partner Jane Patterson run The Interior Trading Co, Southsea,