By Katie Marks, Networx
I've been spotting a new trend popping up on more and more home design, home improvement, and home fashion blogs: wall patterns. These bold paint effects are easy to do, they're far more reversible than wallpaper if you decide you don't like them, and they can dramatically change a room -- for the better, we promise. I took a closer look at some painting trends to see what people are doing across the US to make their living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and more just a little more exciting...
I'm a sucker for a good chevron, especially when artfully done. You can make them narrow or wide, in brightly contrasting colors or more subtle ones, textured and plain, ornamented with lace effects and other touches or just straight up, no twist. Lowe's has an excellent tutorial on painting chevrons to get you started. It might look a little scary, with all those lines and angles to potentially mess up, but don't worry, you can do it!
Vertical stripes, horizontal stripes, big fat stripes, skinny stripes, all kinds of stripes, people got 'em! Over at Real Simple, they've got a basic guide and some ideas for striping it up zebra-style (or any other way). If you're a little nervous about giving chevrons a shot, stripes might be a way to ease into things -- they're simpler and less prone to disasters.
I am a little dangerous when it comes to polka dots. I'd put them on everything if I could. (I even have a polka dot cat!) So polka dot walls make total sense to me, whether you're decorating a bedroom or creating an accent wall in the office. Try teal on brown for something cool and modern, or hot pink on grey. Working in a kids' room? How about big chalkboard paint polka dots for a little extra fun?
Squares, Triangles, and Other Tessellated Shapes
If it fits together in a pattern without overlapping or gapping, it's a tessellation. Check out M.C. Escher's work for some pretty wild examples...and when you come back, think about how they'd look on your walls. You could try an ombre effect with a tessellation that slowly fades as it climbs towards the ceiling, or you could use alternating colors, or you could play around with any number of other paint effects.
Stencils provide a whole new world of wall patterns, as they allow you to create complex, detailed repeating patterns. Wall stencils are available from a number of interior design firms and you can also make your own -- maybe you're inspired by vintage wallpaper, something you see in nature, or a cool vintage advertisement that you want to enlarge and put on your wall. Be bold: the great thing about paint is that if you don't like it, you can just paint over it!
Before you start painting wall patterns, make sure you have your tools and supplies ready. You'll want rollers, brushes, drapes, protection for your clothes, stirrers, trays, sponges, and other equipment. Remember: once you start, taking a break to run to the store isn't very fun, so try to think ahead. Don't be afraid to take advantage of paint samples for a few weeks to play around with different colors and ideas, but remember that paint can look really different when it's covering a whole wall.
If you end up with a big mess, you might have to call in a cleaning team to take care of it for you. Try to avoid that! Being careful while you paint is definitely less costly than having to mop up afterwards, and in some cases it's not possible to salvage paint-damaged carpeting and furniture.
While you're at it, you might want to consider using low VOC paints. These paints don't offgas as much, so they won't smell as awful while you're working, and they poses fewer health risks to you and your family.