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In focus - Walls that speak volumes

Let your walls reflect the myriad moods of nature and the spirit of monsoon with the latest designs in wallpapers.

When it comes to decorating your house, walls offer the perfect canvas for experimentation, creativity and expression of your design personality. One of the best ways to spruce up your walls is with wallpapers. With several innovative alternatives to traditional wallpapers such as 3D panels, wall art and decals in the market, it can be challenging to make the right choice for your home. Here's what you should keep in mind.

On-trend

3D foam panels are the latest entrants in the creative wall coverings space. "3D foam panels that can be customised to any texture are trending right now. They are a step ahead of wood and leatherite panels. Unlike traditional forms, these foam panels can be customised and you can play with as many colours and textures to cover the entire wall or just a part of it. They aren't just perfect for your walls, you can even add them to your bar façade, terrace open balcony wall and more. The coating on these foam panels are weatherproof and, hence, work as both interior and exterior options. Pick from greys and pristine whites to offset your bright furniture, or vibrant colours with a dash of neon green and orange," explains Namrata Seth, Director, Sixinch India.

Prints and themes

Nature-inspired themes and materials are finding pride of place in several wallpaper designs. "There is a huge variety of wallpapers and coverings now available in India. You can pick from different types of textures and finishes to complement your décor--from silk and jute finish to wood finish and even mother of pearl. The trend at the moment is veering towards custom mural wall coverings to create a statement wall," says Rushda Hakim, partner at Design Office, a Mumbai-based interior design firm, who is also responsible for bringing Black Crow Studios to India. "Fabric wallpapers have always made a sophisticated statement. Since wall paper allows you to be bold with your choices, one can pick bright colours and patterns to build a focal wall," she adds.

Colour wheel

Neutral and metallic shades are more in vogue this season as opposed to bright and chirpy ones. "Shades of earth, sludge, rust, and metallic are very popular to accentuate the walls. The main themes in many types of wallpaper comprise elegant whites creams as well as rustic and abstract patterns. Patterns with blurred edges, a gradient palette and floral motifs in a green-blue palette are in demand as they add a cosy vibe," says Pallavi Matkari, Chief architect, Runwal Group.

Speaking about upbeat colours, "Bright purple on one wall might look striking, but you need to assess whether it works well with the rest of the décor. Colour wash in tones of beige, stripes in pale yellows, combing techniques in muted gold and sponged tones of khaki are all subtle accents, but can make a wall come alive, without overwhelming the space. Get low on contrast and high on tonal variations. If you are feeling adventurous you may want to consider metallic bronze, leather finish or a natural crackle. When using deeper colours like blue, green and red, you need to find out whether you can merge it with the décor of the room," advises Neelanjan Gupto, interior expert and designer, Neelanjan Gupto Design Co.

Prep your walls

Seepage and other monsoon related problems can ruin your carefully decorated walls. But wallpapers may not be the answer. Rather, it's what you do before applying the wallpaper. "Any kind of seepage cannot be concealed through the use of wall papers. Technically, seepage needs to be fixed before putting up wallpaper. This will avoid any distortion or spillage marks on walls," advises Matkari. 3D foam is another viable option according to Seth, "Unfortunately, wallpapers may not be able to conceal seepage and can get ruined due to it. However, foam panels that are covered in weatherproof coating do not get spoilt even if there is seepage. So there is an added benefit to that. Even if the wall paint behind the 3D foam panels gets cracked, it doesn't hamper the look."

However, among all the various materials available, vinyl would be your best bet. "Wallpapers that are made from vinyl (PVF) and coated with plastic are great for your wall hygiene. This makes them 00 percent colourfast and easy to wash. Dust-repellent chemicals are also added in the vinyl coating, which ensures that dust doesn't settle on the wallpapers," avers Krsnaa Mehta, founder and design director, India Circus.


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