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What Are Your Walls Wearing? – Nov2015

What Are Your Walls Wearing? - Nov2015

I have always been passionate about colour and texture.

I enjoy the beauty and lushness found in richly coloured fabrics, the coarse texture of rough-hewn salvaged wood and the aged patina of beautifully tarnished metals. These are just some examples of design elements that can be reflected in furniture and accessories — but what about your walls?

Throughout the history of design we have seen many magnificently classic design features for our walls, be it ornately elegant plaster mouldings reminiscent of vintage Parisian apartments, or the rich mahogany paneling of stately English manors. These stunning creations gave classic splendour and charm to our walls. Over time we were introduced to modernism, which brought along its own stark beauty and simplicity.

Our walls have experienced so many different lives. They have seen trends come and go, only to re-emerge once again — like wallpaper. Over the last few years we have seen the introduction of some absolutely stunning wallpapers full of colour, texture and pattern. These are not the wallpapers of decades ago; these are wall coverings that breathe life and excitement in to our spaces. From bold geometrics, to vintage florals, opulent metallic finishes, to the natural uncomplicated look of grasscloth, wallpaper has given us an exciting approach to decorating and the perfect enhancement to spaces large or small.

Richly textured wood continues its trend forward. Whether you prefer the look of rustic, reclaimed barn board or the warm tones of a more classic wood with an enhanced grain, wood can complement many different decorating styles. Wood creates a lovely warmth in a room. It’s timeless; go for a bit of the unexpected by using it on the walls and create a stunning focal point in your living space. We paired it here with a polished concrete fireplace surround for an added impact of texture.

Concrete and brick have their own charming character and are a striking addition to any home. Loft living has afforded us the opportunity to restore many of these wonderful features. However, many homeowners reside in new builds which often lack these great vintage features. There are many amazing options available now in tile that can give you the character of these old reclaimed brick and concrete walls. Install some of these great tiles in a hallway, powder room or master bedroom and create an impactful space for yourself.

This year we have also seen the return of some great colours from our past that will saturate your living spaces. Lush, rich garnet reds, dark organic greens and enticing deep blues, just to name a few. If you find some of these other wall treatments a little too permanent, then try a bold paint colour instead. Whether it’s a single feature wall in your space or an entire room, colour is a wonderful way to stay on trend. Complete the look of the drama and excitement of your newly painted, boldly-coloured wall with a collage of mirrors in warm golds, a simple grouping of vintage frames, or even an assortment of tarnished silver trays. While on the topic of paint, if you prefer the modern simplicity of warm white walls inject some colour to your space with large, dramatic, colourful artwork.

Whether you’re in a condo or a house, a small space or a large, be forward in your thinking and add a bit of drama to your walls and living spaces. Current trends in design are about adding luxury, texture and colour to our homes…enjoy the possibilities.

Photos by Robin MacMillan and Britta Ralph


Designer LINDA MAZUR OLIJNYK is the principal of What’s in Store Home and Design. The firm provides design, decorating and renovation services for both residential and commercial projects, as well as full-scale design-build throughout the GTA.