Wednesday 20 June 2018

4 ways to take a room from bland and boring to bold and beautiful

Because life's too short to be bland and boring! True story: I moved into the blandest of houses with magnolia walls which I first chatted about here. This particular shade of magnolia looked like it was once white but had aged over time. It just looked tired. Getting rid of the magnolia walls is still a work in progress. So far two rooms have been re-painted rejuvenated. How you ask? Well, read on to find out! Today I bring to you... my guide for how to take a room from drab to fab.


If faced with a rather large and intimidating wall which you dread painting or wallpapering because quite frankly, it would take forever - how about a wall mural? Usually fitted as a few larger panels making it much quicker to fit than your typical rolls of wallpaper, and a lot quicker than spending days painting. You can hang prints and patterns like you would with a wallpaper, except murals allow you to go a bit bolder as you can essentially have large scale photography on your walls. So if you like galaxy print, marble, forests or sunsets, this may be a good option for you.

Previously I had been considering a mural for the office (a tiny little box room which needs a bold wall to perk it up a bit!). Forests have a special place in my heart (I have very special memories at a French chateau with the most incredible woodland) so a woodland mural would be fitting. I have been searching the web for the perfect forest mural and my favourites I have found so far have been from a site called Wallsauce. Don't believe me? I'll show you.

How inspired would you feel working with a view like that right in front of you??! Admittedly I do also really like this one also from their forest mural range. However a bookcase mural like the one below could work well in a study or home office too.

If like me you love all things marble, then you may like some of these incredible marble wall designs. I prefer the softer designs which have a white background and either black or grey veins of marble (I could really imagine them in my kitchen or in the entrance hall behind a mirrored console table!). And how amazing would this galaxy mural be in a bedroom?


If you've got the patience for it, one of the easiest ways to transform a room is with a lick of paint. One of my proudest before and afters so far has been transforming the magnolia lounge into a dark inky blue heaven. Always colour swatch paint samples and put them up on the wall for a week or so to see how they appear in different lights. As much as I love Stiffkey Blue and Hague Blue by Farrow & Ball, I learnt from my swatches that they wouldn't have suited that particular room. Instead I was drawn to Teal Tension by Dulux which could easily be one of those two F&B paints in low light.

As well as colour, you need to consider what kind of finish you are going for. Gloss gives a shinier look and allows light to bounce around the room, whereas matt does what it says on the tin (quite literally!). Farrow & Ball has a good reputation in that it's supposedly meant to be a creamier paint which only requires the one coat. However the Dulux paint I used is from their Once range which is the same concept, but at a fraction of the price - great for a decorating novice like myself!

The transformation from magnolia to bold and beautiful was amazing.

I love how it's a darker shade in the evenings, creating a cocoon effect. To be honest, you wouldn't even know these walls are teal until the sunlight hits it and transforms it into the loveliest shade of blue.

Next on the agenda: the magnolia walls in the bedroom

I found the perfect grey paint which is now up on the bedroom walls, but just requires the finishing touches i.e the skirting boards, windows etc. However recent nerve damage to my back and neck means the project is on temporary hiatus until I can get full movement back in my arms again!


With a statement wallpaper there are two roads you can go down 1) wallpaper the whole room or 2) just paper a single wall. Only covering the one wall doesn't necessarily mean less impact. Why not paint the remaining walls a contrasting colour? Or alternatively pair a statement metallic wallpaper with muted colours on the other walls.

The latter being my latest project. I had been obsessing about admiring the below wallpaper for ages and then one day I went in-store - for something entirely different - and found a small amount of said paper in the clearance section (just enough to paper the main wall in my bedroom... it was fate!). The silver trees catch the light and help bounce light around the room and as luck may have it, the grey we managed to colour match to City Break by Crown. Now all I need is for my neck and back to clear up so I can get this up on the wall!


If you like the New York loft feel, how about an exposed brick wall? One way of achieving this is by chipping away at the plaster already on the wall. But this can be time consuming and risky (after all, you don't know what state the wall is in underneath). Alternatively there are such things as brick tiles and brick slips which are thinner versions of brick to give the same sort of allusion, and brick effect wallpaper and murals to get a similar look for less. Some examples of brick murals here for example. These are a lot more authentic looking these days and look a lot less 2D, so are worth bearing in mind!

What are your favourite ways of transforming your home?

* Post written in collaboration with Wallsauce but as ever, all words and opinions are my own

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