Saturday, 21 May 2011

How to... fill a big blank wall

Alun is a man. And his flat has been declared “too manly” by his
new flatmate, who is very female in her 
Calamity Jane makeover
scene urges (Doris Day’s spartan cowgirl shack gets a girlie gingham 
spruce-up). The main concern? Bare walls. BIG bare
walls. Small budget. Tips?

Wall of me Wall of me: clockwise from top left: the home-made art at the Saltoun Supper Club; BHS's chic, cheap standard lamp;  a V&A botanical prints; Deborah Bowness 'Books' wallpaper; 'Pottery' wall stickers from John Lewis; Scandivis 'Raven' clothes hangers.

Stand tall Forget attaching things to your walls. A giant plant and a stylish standard lamp (to create interesting shadows) will go a long way. Love the Elin floor lamp, just £35 from BHS (top right in collage image above).

Stick 'em up I've gone off wall stickers a bit, on the whole I think they've jumped the shark. However, I have long loved the shades-of-green vase-shaped 'Pottery' ones from John Lewis, £19.
Shelve it To fill a whole bare corner in my house I had some wonky box shelves built – different sizes and depths (there they are, above). Painted to match the wall the effect is quite sculptural and, MDF-made by a builder (not a specialist), cheap too. Or try Cubit.


Portraits of you Think you can’t afford a huge portrait? Try Paperface – from £299 for a quirky collaged commission.


Hang up Dangling pretty dresses or giant bits of jewellery from your walls is instant and free (if you already own them, of course). Love the Raven wooden bird clothes hangers, £39 a piece, at Scandivis (see collage image at top).
On the tiles Away from the kitchen/bathroom, tiled walls are a striking statement. Mismatched = more affordable, so pick odd tiles (one colour but different thicknesses) or mix patterns in the same palette. The floral Welbeck Tiles vintage range (above) is gorgeous (thanks, Flowerona, for the tip-off).






Wall for one A papered “feature wall” can look passé. The “books” wallpaper from Deborah Bowness, however… wow. £173 per (generous) drop. Or make a patchwork of favourite samples – again, limit the palette. If you're crafty – or inclined to become so – the lovely, and super stylish Papered Parlour in south London do screen-print-your-own-wallpaper classes. You can see their own design in the PP studio, above. 
Collage days Use what you have: Odd plates, favourite old record sleeves, or cherished postcards and photos. For the latter, frame them using the same types or colours of frame for cohesion, and build a grown-up collage. Love the wicker baskets (above) covering a brick wall at the chic Saltoun Supper Club.


Take art Paint your own: Stylist Pippa Jameson suggests using a giant canvas and painting a loose, random pattern in favourite colours. “The bigger the better: this type of painterly effect looks great in really large spaces,” says Jameson.


Flower power V&A Prints sell gorgeous repro antique botanical prints from £15-£100. Create your own wallpaper by pasting a selection to your wall for the ultimate girlie makeover (see collage image at top). 

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