No longer mocked as a 1970s throwback, the contemporary feature wall can inject colour and personal style into any living space. We explore the options to make a space in your home really stand out and the costs that come with it.
The words “feature wall” may seem synonymous with sunken lounges and fondue sets; a vestige of the decade that style forgot.
But feature (or statement) walls have made a real comeback in recent years with interior designers and savvy DIYers reclaiming them from the rubbish tip of history and transforming them into statements of style.
From classic paint to high-tech fibre panels, there’s a wide range of materials for renovators to utilise in the creation of feature walls; here’s a rundown of some of the most popular products on the market.
Paint is a simple means by which to enhance the mood of any room. There are a huge range of colour options and advice on mixing and matching colours to suit your taste and your colour scheme.
Bold colours such as red, dark blue or even black offer a dramatic contrast against neutral-coloured walls. Once the wall is painted, you can use cushions, curtains and other decorative items to bring the room together visually.
Resene have a convenient tool called Ezypaint that allows you to download an image of your room and then virtually “paint” a wall with the colours you like to gauge the effect on the space. It’s important that you also try out a test pot of paint before you cover the entire wall to ensure that the colour works with the light and shape of the room.
Paint is a good option for those on a budget – for a small wall you’ll probably only need two litres of paint for two coats.
From $30* per litre, excludes installation
From $24 - $33+* per hour, according to careers.govt.nz.
Offering a wide range of colourways, patterns and textures, wallpaper creates a striking visual statement in a living space. From traditional William Morris-esque designs, to geometrical modernism, or stark minimalism, the wall paper you choose can help inject your idiosyncratic aesthetic into any room.
Suzannah Tonascia from Bolt of Cloth says that wallpaper has become a very popular option in recent years.
“We feel that it has taken over from painted walls in popularity. We are finding people are using wallpaper in all sorts of creative ways – behind splashbacks, as a detail behind a bed. Wallpaper is a great way to add personality to your home without great risk – it is relatively a small cost and if you decide you don’t like it down the track it is very easily changed.”
While high-quality designer wallpaper isn’t cheap by the roll, you don’t need many rolls for a single wall – probably just two 10m long rolls per wall.
From $30* per roll.
Cost to hire a painter/decorator
From $24 - $33+* per hour, according to careers.govt.nz.
Technology has transformed the way we use glass in our homes. Glass is safer and more durable than ever, and can be used to create colourful and striking design features.
Graphic Glass feature walls offer almost limitless options for imaginative decorators with a slightly bigger budget. Their manufacturing systems allows for glass to be cut to any size a customer requires, and have a bespoke pattern of their choice applied to it. This ensures the glass is completely unique.
“Many people choose us to photograph their feature walls, and we work with a range of photographers to provide this,” says Rochelle Hansen from Graphic Glass.
Accordingly, each job is priced differently – the sales team are able to provide quotes based on the glass you choose and your choice of photography.
Euroglass can also create feature walls using a range of decorative devices. Options include coloured interlays, or the insertion of wallpaper or fabrics within laminated interlayers to create interesting designs. The cost of this glass will be dependent on the finish and materials used in the manufacturing of the glass.
From $360m2* per square metre.
Made from specially formulated aluminium, pressed tin panels won’t dent or mark and can be affixed to existing walls to create a unique, textural effect. Di Rosa in Matamata stocks seven designs of pressed tin panels, all of which can be painted or powder-coated to your colour requirements. Available designs include clover, fish scale, and maple.
Becky Diprose from Di Rosa says her company sells the panels unpainted (they come in 1800 x 900mm and 1800 x 100mm sheets). The aluminium is primed for painting, however, and they are easily coloured once installed.
“Seasoned DIYers are able to install them with relative ease,” she says. “But we tell people who are inexperienced in this to get a handy person or builder in to help out.”
The panels need to be glued to a solid substrate such as GIB; Becky says products such as Selley’s Liquid Nails can easily secure the panels. The larger panels retail for $160 + GST, smaller versions for $150 + GST.
From $150+* per panel.
Melteca is a New Zealand made decorative laminate panel – a perfect solution for feature walls. Each colour in the Melteca range has matching PVC edging which protects the edges and gives good impact resistance making it a highly durable material.
You will be wowed with over 75 colours to choose from, and it’s backed by Environmental Choice New Zealand certification.
A fast and durable way to apply Melteca is by using the innovative Button Fix system. Alternatively, the new Melteca Clipwall lining solution is a pre-finished panel using a patented jointing system for easy installation, removing the need for messy plaster joining or painting. Talk to your local professional from Laminex New Zealand to get more information about this.
Melteca comes in a range of sheet sizes: a 2400 x 1200mm panel in 9mm retails from $130*.
From $130* per panel.
This project estimate article featured on page 42 of Issue 017 of New Zealand Renovate Magazine. New Zealand's first and only magazine solely dedicated to home renovations.
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*Costs are rough estimates and are subject to change. For a fixed-quote accurate to your specific project, please consult your local Refresh Renovations specialist. All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.
All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.
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