In the Interior design industry as in any other creative/decorative field trends are big.
We humans, being social by nature, like to identify ourselves with others as we like to take distance from others too for whatever reasons. One way of creating those clusters is through the repetition and ownership of visual elements.
From this perspective “feature walls” have been a “design strategy” that has been used regularly by professional designers and individuals in general for creating individuality in interiors, either becoming the wow factor, highlighting a point of the room or by taking the attention to point B instead of point A, etc.
In these cases there is a clear intention of giving to that wall the power of leading the conversation and in some times being the only point that is worth to talk about.
With a feature wall it does not matter if anything else is not worthy, the feature wall is the main focus.
This way of designing was big during the first decade of the XXI century and still is being used by many people.
Nowadays there is a tendency to create environments where rooms are thought as a whole, where its elements live in unity and mutual dependency. However in some cases the need of creating a focal point is necessary.
The difference between the idea of “focal point” and “feature wall” may be, as I see it, that with the creation of a focal point one cannot forget what is around that point, the focal point emerges precisely because the understanding of the surroundings and the need of adding a piece that becomes the embodiment of that feeling of crescendo that is happening in the room.
The focal point is being justified, created thanks to the nature of what is around it. It is not about arrogance, it is about a beautiful culmination.
One of the easiest ways for me to explain this is with the headboards of beds. They need to be in proportion with the bed but they need to be attentive to the proportions of the room and with what goes around it as well so to fit perfectly and to feel natural and beautiful.
So the wall where it sits becomes a focal point, not a feature wall.
I just recently finished a project where the client asked me to incorporate a wooden panel on one of the walls of the bedroom. Throughout the process he asked if the wardrobe could be in wood too.
The idea of having the wooden panel on the wall where the bed was going to lean against was a beautiful idea but one that for me had to be thought carefully so it works with the whole room and not just with the wall.
Because of this I suggested to the client not to have all the wall cladded but just the area that would frame the bed but with enough high so it feels related to the architecture of the room too.
I suggested the wardrobe to be kept in lacquer so not to make the room darker and additionally I suggested adding some pieces in wood and use colors that would be in harmony with the tone of the mural’s wood in order to create a particular atmosphere of serenity, elegance and discretion.
The ultimate aim was the mural to be the element that makes everything having sense, it is not a feature wall, it is a focal point.