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Living room feature wall ideas are a fun way to jazz up a section of your sitting room space without committing to decorating the space in its entirety. By highlighting one wall or one side of the room, this can actually add more impact than doing up the whole lounge for a less-is-more look.
But not all living room ideas are created equal. Some use paint, others require wallpaper, and whose to say you can’t have a little bit of both if you’re undecided about which wallcovering to choose?
So we reached out to the interior experts who shared some of the best
feature wall ideas for living room to add tonal interest, texture and zone areas – perfect for if you have a multi-functional space that you use for different purposes such as casual dining or remote working.
There are a variety of ideas to choose from, depending on how confident you are with renovating your space. From budget designs for beginners to interesting inspo for intermediate DIYers – we’ve got solutions to suit all amateur decorators whether you own your home or not.
Living room feature wall ideas you’ll love
Creative wall paint ideas are an obvious way to create a feature wall, but not everybody has the patience with a paintbrush. If that sounds familiar you can try a fun wallpaper idea to add impact. There are great peel-and-stick wallpapers if you are renting or don’t want to make a long term change.
Finally, we include some wall hanging options for those who want the least hands on approach to creating a feature wall. Equally wow, but you won’t lose your deposit, or need to spend time decorating.
1. Go for flower power with feature florals
Wallpaper is relatively affordable way to create a feature wall in your lounge. It’s less messy than paint and if you know how to wallpaper hang wallpaper properly – you’ll be done in no time. You won’t have to wait for paint to dry, and if you decide you don’t like it, you can peel it off or paint over wallpaper too.
‘Feature wallpaper makes a dramatic statement of any living room wall, and floral wallpaper Helleborus is our pick of the bunch,’ says Joa Studholme, color curator and author, Farrow & Ball.
‘It adds an exuberant contemporary touch to this traditional living room, its oversized botanical motif working beautifully with the bare wooden floorboards and clean white trim.’
While Lauren Kavanagh, creative designer and trend researcher at Hovia says: ‘Floral wallpaper is the perfect way to bring some spring freshness into your home, and there are so many different, beautiful designs around to suit all styles. If you are a color lover, try a bold and bright daisy or sunflower print – or if you have a more understated style you may prefer a vintage style design.’
2. Introduce a mural for maximum impact
‘If you are looking for truly spectacular wall statement, you can create a mural.’ suggests Justyna Korczynska, senior designer, Crown.
‘Murals generally work best in large, uncluttered spaces. If the space is limited, go for one based on simple geometric of free hand shapes. It will still work well providing a high impact.’
If you don’t think you could create a mural by hand, look for the great range of bespoke printed wall murals, made to measure online.
3. Let your feature wall spill into other rooms
Your feature wall need not stay within the confines of your lounge – especially if you have an open plan space where you entertain. We love this punchy cocktail of orange and rusty red tones which have been color blocked in a geometric design across the kitchen.
Make your open plan living room pop by choosing accessories that are the same color throughout the space to create a cohesive overlap. Here, the red bar stool and orange plate on and around the kitchen island play ball with the scheme, while a geometric cushion and small wire tray sync in the sitting room.
4. Transform a plain wall with texture
If your previous living room feature wall efforts have fallen a bit flat – try switching up your choice of emulsion. Rather than focusing on just the paint colors for the living room, try swapping your usual eggshell or matt paint for chalk paint to give you that textural difference. This wall has been painted using Napoleonic Blue by Annie Sloan for a smart-looking wall that has a Regencycore feel to it – especially when paired with the decorative molding.
5. Make your ceiling the feature
When thinking about feature walls for the lounge, we typically think of them surrounding a fireplace or being used as a backdrop for the best TV in the home. But rather than creating a statement on the back wall, why not make use of your fifth wall?
A living room ceiling idea like this is one way to draw the eye up (which is perfect if you have high ceilings or will distract from a small living room).
6. Create a feature wall with framed art
Paint and wallpaper aren’t the only options when it comes to living room feature wall ideas. So if you’ve got a strict landlord, or aren’t a dab hand at DIY – cover your wall in prints for a picture-perfect gallery wall idea.
You can either pick up some ready-made repros (Desenio is our go-to for Scandi-chic, uber-Instagrammable vibes) or add sentiment to your space with family photographs printed using different effects. For example, you could go for monochrome pics in a chic black and white living room, or add vintage charm with sepia prints. Another idea is to frame printed wallpaper samples or scraps from a leftover wallpaper projects.
Your display can span over several walls or if you’ve got a snug space that you don’t want to look cluttered, your amateur art exhibition could be executed as a living room corner idea.
7. Transform wall paneling with bold paint
This wall paneling idea turns an old, tired feature ito a modern masterpiece. And all it takes is a touch of paint.
Here, designers at Annie Sloan have used their magic to create a bold design that certainly makes a difference. To recreate the look, you’ll need to shop for shades Antoinette, Barcelona Orange and Emperor’s Silk. Add some coordinating cushions and a living room lighting idea that works with the scheme for an extra sassy space.
Starting from scratch? Learn all about wall paneling DIY to add the 3D effect to your room.
8. Add tonal interest with an ombre feature wall
With so many paint color choices out there, it’d be a shame to just use one when creating a feature wall. But if the maximalist life isn’t for you, creep into a more creative scheme with an ombre effect decor.
While this room by Benjamin Moore using colors Pink Harmony 2013-60, Salmon Peach 2013-50 and Dusk Pink 2013-40 has quite defined ‘lines’ – you can blur these shades into each other for a more relaxed feel. We think this looks like a holiday in a room… And would work wonderfully with different shades of blue or green for a tranquil scheme.
9. Match your feature wall to your flooring
This living room feature wall is out of this world… Don’t you think? While dark moody colors aren’t for everyone, we can’t help but be mesmerized by this space-inspired scheme with circular shapes which look like planets. If you’re looking for something the kids will like (that is still sophisticated enough for adults to sit in too) – this is it. To make it even more magical, add some glitter paint for a little sparkle. We also love how the carpet color has been matched to the blue wall paint for as a coordinating living room flooring idea.
10. Add an accent
Not into a full-on feature wall? You don’t have to be. Contrary to popular opinion, a feature wall doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as you might think. This playful pink and black triangular motif spans a mere third of the wall to add a fun twist to a white wall.
We love the way it’s been paired with the rectangular living room rug which is decorated with multicolored squares for a kaleidoscopic lounge aesthetic!
11. Add some scalloped detail
Scalloped detail has a way of creeping into everything! From fashion to shell-shaped seats it’s a cute but contemporary take on the nautical feel if you aren’t on board with the more classic blue and white Breton stripes.
This modern living room has splashes of color everywhere. From the sky blue and lime paints to the pink sofa and swivel seat, if you’re looking for a lounge awash with different hues that work together – here you have it!
12. Add a tufted wall hanging
If you thought that wall hangings were left in the seventies – think again. These groovy hung textiles are the perfect way to add a tactile and cozy feel to your living room.
Perhaps you’re not the DIY type, so instead of handmaking this high-pile homeware – buy a small rug to hang instead. That way you can incorporate this boho living room idea without investing in too much time spent crafting… Unless of course you love to get creative with tapestry.
13. Pair your wall with a matching accessory
Geometric walls are the perfect way to inject retro vibes into your living room, and we’re loving this contemporary wallcovering from Next (better still, it’s one of the best peel-and-stick wallpapers we’ve seen).
But, aside from the living room feature wall, what make this make uber-groovy is the teal and mustard matching rug which emphasizes that nostalgic aesthetic of the sixties and seventies.
And if you are looking for living room lighting ideas too, both of these features work perfectly with a curved lighting fixture as seen here.
14. Bring your feature wall to life with a mirror
Easy idea – three dimensional results. If you really want your living room feature wall ideas to stand out (which by nature, they must), add a mirror. This doesn’t have to be a long floor-length mirror idea as shown, but this tall design will have the most impact.
By leaning (or hanging) a reflective pane of glass against the wall, it can create the illusion of your motif or paint color ‘jumping out’ and off the surface.
15. Go 3D with an interesting wall panel design
These days, panel designs go beyond DIY board and batten walls, so if you want to create a living room feature wall with a difference, think outside of the box.
‘Incorporating a textured wall into your decor is a great way to create a feature wall and update a space,’ says Poppy Peace, group creative director, Milc Interiors.
‘Dependent upon the pattern or form you choose, it can bring architectural shapes and interest into a room. Whether it is more traditional paneling or a modern spin creating geometric shapes, planning is key ensuring the wall works cohesively with the rest of the rooms design. The addition of a textured wall in a neutral color scheme adds a stylish touch and helps create a relaxed and intimate setting.’
16. Let there be light with a lit feature wall
Many of the aforementioned feature wall ideas for the living room have included paint, panels or printed wallpaper, but have you ever considered highlighting the contours of your walls with LED lighting? Installing strip lights as a wall lighting idea for the living room is cheaper than you think but can add a sultry atmosphere that looks super expensive.
As long as you have basic electrical knowledge, go ahead and source some warm LED lights (these GuoTong strip lights on Amazon have good reviews), cut them to size and fit them around the edge of your wall. Note that some options are dimmable so you you don’t have to have them on constantly if you’re worried about your electricity bill!
How do you decorate a living room feature wall?
‘In the past, a typical living room feature wall approach was just a wallpaper or stronger color on a chimney breast or the wall around it,’ explains Korczynska.
‘It is still a very popular approach today as a fireplace and the wall surrounding it are natural focal points in a living room, and choosing that wall is a logical thing to do. But today we are far more creative and feature walls can take many forms, shapes, textures, and materials.’
‘Still, using paint is the quickest and easiest way for creating a feature wall. Paint is a very easy to use and versatile material that can produce very effective results. When choosing colors for an existing space, you need to consider the color themes that are already there, so the feature wall will accentuate that theme and not clash with it. If you are looking for creating a subtle calming space, go for complementary colors that do not necessarily have to be very bold. It would give that space a gentle flow and focal point without being overwhelming.’
‘If you’re looking for a wow factor, you can go for more contrasting and bolder colors. Dark, saturated colors work best for high impact, but avoid the colors that are too bright as they can be overpowering and make the space tiring. If you work with the existing space and furniture, pick a color that would go with that space. If you’re starting from a blank canvas, you can build your room around the chosen feature wall color that would become a theme setter in your space.’
‘If you’re looking for something more impactful than just a color, you can use textured or metallic paint, patterns, paint effects or even create a mural.’
Are feature walls in living rooms still in fashion?
‘Living room feature walls are here to stay.’ assures Korczynska.
They add interest to a room and could be especially helpful in a space lacking any natural or architectural features. Another very important job they do is provide a focal point and a sense of direction to the living room.
‘So, when choosing a space for your feature wall you need to consider the layout of that room and the furniture in it. You need to pick a wall that won’t be covered by too many furniture or wouldn’t have too many windows, as it would make the feature disrupted and overpowered by those elements.
‘If you want you feature wall to be a focal point of the room and to be appreciated when you’re there, pick a wall you will be facing most of the time when using that room. So, it could be a wall with a fireplace or a TV. If you use a feature wall to create a zone in your living room, for sitting down or dining, then use the wall behind the sofa or against the table. When entering the room, the feature wall will make that space visually attractive and will guide you to that zone. This could be especially helpful in large open plan spaces.’
‘If the room is quite spacious with high ceilings, you don’t have to follow the architecture of the room and stop with your color where the wall ends. You can be more adventurous by continuing the paint around the corners and across the ceiling, enveloping a whole section of the room in the feature color.’
‘If you don’t want to accentuate just one wall in your room, but you’re looking for injecting some color and creating a focal interest on your walls you can go for two tone paint effect and paint all your walls half-and-half. It works best in medium sized and smaller rooms as it would lose its impact in a large open space. With high ceilings you can put a darker color at the top to visually lover the height of the room, but in a room with lower ceilings, is better to keep the darker colors at the lower half of the wall.’