How to make bland walls more interesting

The problem with buying a new home is that you are moving into somebody else's colour choices, which may not suit you very well. Also, often these properties are designed with very bland, neutral paint schemes in order to appeal to a wider audience. 

A blank, stale wall is the scourge of many interior designers, especially in a large room. Even if the colour is nice, a large empty space can make an otherwise stimulating room into something dull, boring and – worst of all – sterile. 

Here are some interior decorating ideas to help you spruce up that blank canvas and bring some intrigue to your room.

Paint it

If you have the time and the budget, one of the most lasting ways to decorate a wall is to repaint it with more interesting colours. This doesn't necessarily have to mean a full overhaul of the colour scheme, but if you are changing your room to fit a particular theme, such as Renaissance, then you may decide to.

For starters, changing a single wall, or a prominent feature such as a bay window, to a totally contrasting colour will immediately make it stand out. For example, if the base colour was a soft neutral such as Resene Half Spanish White, consider adding a strong feature wall of Resene Pohutukawa or your favourite colour, depending on the look you want to go for.

Not fun enough? Go a little wild with stripes, spirals, colour washes and other patterns. Think horizontal stripes of Resene Sorbus and Resene Supernova, or big intersecting circles of Resene Anakiwa and Resene Hopbush

If you have a beachfront villa, why not reimagine a wall with wave-like patterns in various ocean-inspired shades of blue?

Hang decorations

Sometimes you don't want to totally repaint the living room straight away. Instead consider starting small and browse through art galleries, antique stores and anywhere else that sells curios and collect decorations that you can hang.

Paintings always work well to bring out colour in an area, and they also show off a little of your personality and taste. That's on top of being a good conversation starter, of course. Numerous small works can be arranged in patterns across different areas of the room, whereas larger paintings can be hung in a prominent feature area to cover a much larger wall space. 

Photographs don't go amiss, either. Working to a certain theme will certainly help you select the correct ones, such as sandy shores for a beach holiday or sepia-toned lodge-inspired snaps for a rustic room, though you definitely don't need to stick with one genre. Allow yourself to go crazy and who knows what you'll come home with.

On top of those, you can also decorate a wall with mirrors (which are great for small apartments and spaces), ornaments and even shelves. 

Wallpaper

Lastly, wallpaper comes in all different colours and patterns and means you can have intricately detailed walls without having to paint them yourself. 

For example, a dull bedroom could be brought to life by the addition of patterns such as those on Resene Glamour 2014 404708. There are many choices of wallpaper available, so you can tailor what you purchase to the design aesthetic you're going for with ease. 

Wall decals are also an option if you don't want to completely coat a space in the one pattern. Or become a wallpaper designer yourself and turn your favourite photo into tailormade wallpaper for a feature wall with Resene WallPrint customised wallpaper.

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