Deck the Walls
Walls are what make up and divide the spaces we create. They are integral to the structure of buildings but also act as a canvas which can transform the atmosphere of our interiors. Whether it’s a lick of paint or a fabulous mural, we love to use a multitude of mediums to adorn our walls. Here we’re going to take a look at some of our favourite ways to deck the walls…
Paint is probably the most familiar and common way of decorating a wall, however the power of paint should never be underestimated. There are so many colours available and there’s always the opportunity to mix your own to create something truly bespoke.
Fabric walling is one of our signature design features. We love the warmth and cocoon-like feeling it evokes as it wraps around a room. We are all about texture, so it feels only natural to cover the vast majority of a space with something tactile.
There are two ways to cover a wall with fabric, the first is to paper-back it which gives it a more wallpaper-like quality or you can literally upholster the walls with 12mm fabric panels. Both look great but in a bedroom we love the upholstered feel for added weight and softness – it’s also brilliant for soundproofing and acoustics.
At Haymarket Hotel, we have used one of Christopher Farr’s most iconic designs, ‘Carnival’, on the walls. The colours are so vibrant and saturated which doesn’t translate quite as well on paper. Here the fabric has been paper-backed which is best for a high traffic area as it lowers the risk of pulls and tears.
In this room at The Soho Hotel, we have used a plain linen to upholster the walls, using fixed panels wrapped in fabric. The woven flax always brings a softness to a room and very often has slight variations of colour adding texture and depth.
In this cosy two bedroom suite tucked away in the eaves at Covent Garden Hotel, we have used another one of our favourite weaves by Nina Campbell. The texture and subtle design adds warmth and depth to the space.
Linens and weaves lend themselves beautifully to walling but why stop there. Here in Haymarket Hotel’s Suffolk Suite, we have used an embroidered fabric. Its three dimensionality makes this space feel so special.
Wallpaper is a wonderfully versatile way to decorate a wall. There is a plethora of wallpapers available. You can go wild with patterns in small areas like powder rooms.
Wallpaper is also fantastic on a large scale as you can often bespoke scale pattern repeats to fit your space. But don’t feel confined to extremes, it can look equally striking in a room of any shape or size if you choose the right design.
In the Drawing Room at Covent Garden Hotel, the walls are panelled with wood. Panelling was originally introduced in British interiors in the 15th Century as a way of making stone buildings more insulated and comfortable. However, they also presented an opportunity for intricate detailing. The practicalities of panelling aren’t so relevant to modern day interiors but their decorative attributes remain a go to design feature for adding grandeur and warmth to a space.
Dado rails were originally installed to prevent chair backs from damaging the walls but are now often removed and seen as outdated. For us, dados present a wonderful opportunity to mix multiple colours, fabrics and patterns within a space. See our post Dado Deviants for more tips and tricks for decorating a room with a dado.
In the Oscar Bar and Restaurant at Charlotte Street Hotel, three of the four walls are painted with a mural by artist Alexander Hollweg. The mural was completed the year the hotel opened in 2000 and is directly inspired by the Bloomsbury Group. Hollweg was definitely the right person for the job as he was so familiar with the very specific Bloomsbury palette that makes up this incredible work of art. Murals are a wonderful opportunity to tell a story and create something truly unique and memorable.
Hollweg completed an equally striking mural in our Refuel Bar at The Soho Hotel.
Art plays such an important role in our interiors. The material covering the walls is the foundation but what sits upon it is what makes a room come alive. We are all about layering texture, colour and pattern and our walls are no exception. Artwork and their frames are vital elements for adding crucial juxtapositions and interest to a space.
Walls outside need just as much attention. Whether in a country garden or urban courtyard, think about height, colour and volume. Planting, trellis’, slatted panelling and mirrors can all be used to make your exterior walls sing.