Understanding wall treatments

Understanding wall treatments

Wall treatments are instrumental in elevating a room’s visual and overall impact.

If you aim to create an inviting ambiance in a living room or aspire to create a spa-like bathroom, then wall treatments can do wonders.

The careful use of color, texture, and pattern can add layers of depth and richness to a space. While also creating a unique and personalized feel that resonates with your client’s taste and character.

With an array of materials to choose from, including paint, wallpaper, and tiles, the decorating possibilities are virtually limitless.

Before selecting a wall treatment, consider the room’s existing furniture, lighting, and color scheme.

By carefully choosing a wall treatment that complements these elements, you can create a harmonious space that feels welcoming and inviting.

Types of Wall Treatments


Paint is the most common wall treatment and for a good reason. It is affordable, versatile, and comes in a range of colors and finishes. When selecting a color, consider the mood you want to create in the room. Cool colors like blue can make a space feel calming and tranquil, while warm colors in red and orange tones can make a room feel more energetic.

Before painting a room, it’s essential to prepare the walls properly. This includes cleaning them, repairing any damage or imperfections, and priming the surface ready for the paint to be applied. Use painter’s tape to protect the trim and other areas you don’t want to get paint on.


Wallpaper has recently made a comeback and is an ideal method to add pattern and texture to a room. There are many choices available, ranging from bright and graphic prints to more delicate designs and textures. When choosing wallpaper, consider the pattern size and how it will fit in with the existing furnishings.

While hanging wallpaper, take your time and carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Employ a wallpaper primer to ensure adequate adhesion and a seam roller to achieve a smooth finish.

Wood Paneling

Wood paneling can add character to a simple room and is especially popular in contemporary or traditional interiors. There are various options available, from conventional tongue-and-groove boards to more modern panels. When selecting wood paneling, consider the scale of the boards and how they will work with the existing furnishings.

When installing wood paneling, taking your time, and ensuring the boards are level and correctly aligned is essential. Then, to install the paneling, use a nail gun or adhesive to secure the panels to the wall.


Tiles are a great way to add color and texture to a room, particularly in areas like kitchens and bathrooms. There are numerous options available, from large-format tiles to ornate mosaics. When selecting tiles, consider the pattern’s scale and how it will work within the room.

When installing tiles, ensure the surface is adequately prepared, and the tiles are level and properly aligned. Use a tile saw to cut tiles to size and use spacers to ensure even spacing between each tile.

Determining Wall Treatment

There are several things you might want to take into consideration before determining which wall treatment to choose for a room:

What color walls will look best within the color scheme?

Firstly, you need to have selected the color scheme, determined the flooring requirements, and selected an area rug for the room.

Once you have done this, you will have a better idea of what color to choose for the walls.

The color will need to complement the other elements within the room. 

Are there any defects/imperfections in the walls that should be covered? 

Before selecting a wall treatment, it’s essential to assess the condition of the walls.

If there are any defects, such as cracks and holes they will need to be addressed before applying any wall treatment.

If the walls have minor imperfections, such as small cracks or nail holes, a coat of paint may be sufficient to cover them up. If the damage is more extensive, you can line the walls with lining paper before painting.

Wallpaper is an excellent choice for covering up imperfections. The pattern and texture of the wallpaper can help conceal any flaws in the wall surface.

Similarly, wood paneling can add texture and dimension to a room while covering up defects.

Is it preferable to have a cozy or spacious feel in the room? 

The ambiance you want to create in a room largely depends on its purpose and the mood you wish to evoke.

Some rooms, such as living rooms or bedrooms, may benefit from a cozy and warm feel.

Others, like kitchens or home offices, may benefit from a more spacious feel.

Darker and warmer colors can create a snug and warm ambiance. Rich reds, oranges, and browns may add depth and richness to a room while creating a sense of warmth. Using warm lighting and introducing plush textures, such as soft throws and cushions, can further add to the homey feel.

On the other hand, if you want to create a more spacious feel in the room, cool and pale colors can help achieve this effect. Light blues, greens, and greys can create a sense of openness while also reflecting natural light, making the room feel brighter and more expansive.

It’s important to note the size and shape of the room also play a significant role in creating the desired ambiance.

If a room is small and cramped, warm and dark colors may only make it feel more closed in. Conversely, if a room is large and open, cool, and pale colors may make it feel stark and empty.

Does the room need more texture? 

Texture is an essential element in interior decorating as it can add depth and dimension to a room.

Adding texture to a space can make it visually interesting and engaging while also creating a more tactile experience.

When selecting a textured wall treatment, it’s essential to consider the existing elements in the space.

Textured wall coverings or finishes should complement, not compete with the other design elements in the room.

If the room lacks texture, there are several wall treatment options you can consider.

Wallpaper with embossed patterns can add depth and dimension to the walls.

Tile is another option that can add visual texture to a room. Tiles come in various shapes, colors, and textures and can be used to create unique patterns and designs on the walls. 

A faux finish can imitate the appearance of textures such as stone or wood without the cost of the actual materials. This can be an appealing alternative if you want a subtle way to add texture to a room.

Is it necessary or preferable to have tiles on the walls?

Tiles are a popular choice for decorating kitchens and bathrooms because they are long-lasting, water-resistant, and simple to maintain.

In addition to their practical merits, tiles provide various design options, from simple monochromatic patterns to elaborate mosaics.

Tiles can be used as a backsplash in a kitchen to protect the walls from food preparation and cooking.

The backsplash can also be made to be the room’s focal point. A distinctive and visually appealing element can be made using vivid colors or complex patterns.

Furthermore, tiles can cover the entire wall or just a portion, providing texture and dimension to the space.

To prevent moisture from damaging bathroom walls, tiles are recommended for creating a waterproof barrier. They are mostly used in shower, bath, and basin areas.

Some clients, however, may prefer full tile coverage on the walls.

Wall tiles can also be used as a decorative feature. Larger tiles, for example, can give a sleek and modern appearance, while smaller tiles offer a more intricate and detailed touch.

When choosing tiles for a kitchen or bathroom, consider the existing design elements in the room, such as the color scheme, cabinetry, and countertops. Tiles should always complement these elements rather than clash with them.

Don’t forget kitchens and bathrooms are high-traffic areas prone to spills and splatters. So, remember to choose tiles that are easy to clean and maintain.

Would the style of the room suit wood paneling? 

The style of a room determines the type of wood paneling on the walls, but it entirely depends on the overall design aesthetic and the desired look and feel of the space.

Wood paneling can add warmth and texture to a room, making it particularly well-suited to contemporary or traditional design styles.

Similarly, in a traditional home with elegant furnishings, wood paneling can add a touch of sophistication and refinement.

Wood paneling can also be used in contemporary room styles, mainly when used in a minimalist way.

In a modern home, wood paneling can add warmth and texture while maintaining a clean and uncluttered aesthetic.

Are any wall moldings required? 

Moldings can be an excellent addition to a room, as they can add elegance and visual interest to the space.

Moldings can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, plaster, or composite materials.

They also come in a wide range of styles and sizes to suit all interior styles.

In addition to traditional moldings, more contemporary options are available. These are often sleek and simple metal moldings or sculptural, textured moldings that can add a unique touch to the room.

When considering whether to use moldings in a room, it’s important to consider the overall design aesthetic and feel of the space.

Moldings can add elegance and a finished look to a room. If the design style is more minimalistic or modern, moldings may not be necessary.

Collaborating with the client to gather essential information is crucial in recommending the best wall treatments for a room.

This involves them answering questions relating to the color scheme, the need for texture or moldings, and the overall style and feel of the space.

By taking these factors into account, you can make informed recommendations regarding wall treatments.

Ultimately, the wall treatments you choose can have a significant impact on the overall look and feel of the room.

From paint and wallpaper to wood paneling and tile, many options are available to suit your style and budget.

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