Walls are one of the most important aspects of interior design. They can make a space feel more elegant and beautiful, and often create lasting impressions. However, on the flipside, if done poorly, they can also make a space feel claustrophobic.
Decorating walls sensibly and meaningfully can have a therapeutic impact on one's life. Regardless of how you choose to decorate them – with the help of a professional or by yourself – it is also important to pay attention to colour psychology because they will have an effect on your mood.
"People in general mostly look at floors and walls, which is why wall decor is such a crucial aspect of interior design. As an architect, I always suggest sticking with subtle designs and avoid multicoloured and ornate decors. Distracting wall decors can subconsciously negatively affect one's mood," said Rehnuma Tasnim Sheefa, Principal Architect of Parti.studio.
Even in the beginning of the 21st century, impactful interior designing was primarily done by updating the furniture. But, over time, society is moving towards a more minimalist lifestyle, and people are now more inclined towards revamping walls in order to bring new energy into the room.
"Unlike the past, when most of us lived in houses, we now live in smaller apartments. In a space of 1,000 to 2,000 square feet, introducing too much furniture will most likely make the place cluttered. Which is why decorating the walls are highly recommended," said Nazirul Asif, a Dhaka-based practising architect.
If you are looking to update the aesthetics of an existing space, or if you're in the process of decorating your new home, here are some options that you can consider.
Wallpapers and stickers
Wallpapers and wall stickers are an easy way to bring a dramatic change to a room. They come in a variety of options to choose from, ranging from different colours to patterns.
They are made of vinyl-coated paper or polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and can be applied quite easily. You can introduce the change you want overnight.
"From preparing the walls to be painted to waiting for the paint to dry, the process can take up to ten days. Installation of wallpapers and wall stickers can be done within a day. They don't create a mess and leave no residue," said Sheefa.
Some wall stickers are made from high gloss materials and tend to reflect light. This can sometimes make inhabitants feel uncomfortable over time. However, they are also available in matte finishes, which are not reflective and can be a good alternative.
But there is a downside to using wallpapers and wall stickers in Bangladesh. According to Sheefa, for humid countries like ours, wallpapers and wall stickers don't tend to last as long when compared to countries with drier weather – the humidity shifts and temperature shifts affect the adhesives.
Using mirrors to decorate walls was primarily done by beauty parlours and saloons in the past. But over the years, due to their inherent aesthetics, they are being used in houses, bedrooms and even office spaces.
Mirrors are not only functional, but they can easily add to the aesthetics of a space. They can be used to create eye-catching designs that can create the illusion of depth in a room.
A mirror can easily double the appeal of a space through its reflection, and even add to the brightness of a room. They are also very easily customisable.
"When I was working on my room's interior, I was looking for a decor piece like a painting. But the space had a very unconventional size and I could not find the right piece for it. So, I decided to hang a custom-sized mirror to fill the void. I love how lights bounce all over my room because of it," said Oishee Shah, a private medical college student.
However, it is very important to consider the positioning of mirrors in a space, otherwise they can lead to accidents.
Wall hangings – such as paintings, photographs and posters – are also good options to consider. All you need is an electric drill machine, nails and hooks.
"While choosing a painting, or poster for a particular wall, it is important to ensure the colour of the wall and the décor create a cohesive aesthetic. The lack of harmony between a painting and the background wall can create visual disturbance," said Sheefa.
Dust is ever prevalent in Bangladesh, so if you're choosing any fabric-based art, they need to be poly-wrapped to protect them against dust.
A gallery wall can add a lot of personality to a space. Displaying a collection of artworks and photographs can introduce good energy. We recommend using simple frames so the focus lingers on the artworks themselves.
Murals often make a great impact. According to Istela Imam, a graphic designer and artist based in Dhaka, a mural in a private space should capture the viewers' attention and add to the sense of calmness. She believes that abstract murals are the way to go.
Istela once designed an inspirational quote mural for a client's gym. This can also be particularly appealing for other workspaces.
"Murals offer a wonderful opportunity for self-expression. However, since they are permanent, careful considerations need to be made before making a decision," she explained.
There are different ways to give your wall character.
A raw brick finish can create rustic aesthetics for a particular space. The warm tone of the bricks can bring warmth to an area. You can also create interesting looks by playing around with textures. Walls can be smoothened, roughened when they are being painted. Tiles are normally used in bathrooms or kitchens, but they can also be used to bring a section of the wall more into focus.
According to Nazirul Asif, wall moulding is a brilliant idea for renovating a space. By definition, moulding is simply a strip of wood (or, at times, made of plaster or other materials) used for decorative purposes. Making geometrical shapes by moulding the walls gives a minimalist, defined look.
"Wall arches are another way to bring new dynamics in a confined space. Arches have a dramatic vibe to it and I absolutely love incorporating them in my designs," he added.