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A living room with a navy blue wall, couch, buffet table and rug.
A feature wall is the perfect way to bring life and energy into your home. Here’s how to find a colour that fits your taste and space.

Embrace colour with a feature wall

There’s nothing like a splash of colour to refresh or liven up your home. A single feature wall is a great way to dip your toes into the water without diving straight into the deep end! Here’s how to make it work in your home.

1. Gather inspiration and build a mood board

Deciding on a colour is the hardest part of creating a feature wall. For inspiration, flip through the Bunnings magazine, check out our D.I.Y. Advice page, and browse online or through social media for beautiful spaces that you love to look at.

Creating a mood board is a great way to assess the different elements of your room before committing to a feature wall colour. You can do this online or by using paint chips, fabrics and flooring materials.

Your ideal colour might even be in your home right now: look at your artworks, rugs or cushions for inspiration. Matching your feature wall to a secondary colour in a piece of art, for example, can help you create a cohesive interior colour scheme.

However you choose your feature colour, remember that it needs to work with your existing flooring, furniture, art and accessories.

Blue and neutral colour palette moodboard - flat lay featuring calm blue, timber and neutral paint swatches, textiles and product samples.

2. Consider undertones when deciding on a colour scheme

One thing that needs a little explanation is a colour’s undertones. Colours are made by mixing various hues together – that produces the colour you first identify with. It also produces undertones, which can be harder to work out. Undertones are what give colours depth and interest, but they’re also the reason some colours don’t look right when placed together.

If you can identify the undertones in your neutrals, it will be a lot easier to choose a feature colour to match. For example, if your white walls have a grey or blue undertone, they could look nice and crisp next to a deep blue, but might appear cold next to warmer tones like pinks or reds.

Our top tip for identifying undertones in white paint is to attach an un-tinted white paint swatch, or even a piece of white printer paper, on your white wall. You will quickly see the difference between the two.

To identify undertones in colours, you need a swatch of true colour for comparison, so pick up a colour wheel from an art or craft store. These show the three primary colours - red, yellow and blue – from which all other colours are made. They also show how colours relate to each other. Hold your chosen shade next to its primary colour, and you’ll see the warm or cool undertones showing through.

Living room during a paint renovation. Drop cloth over a sofa and paint swatches hung on a feature wall.

3. Paint some test swatches

Sample pots are the secret to success. Once you’ve narrowed down your colour selection, grab sample pots of the shades you like, paint them on big pieces of paper and stick them to the wall. Leave them up for a few days and move them around the room. Do they clash with your furniture? Or pull undertones from your walls or floor?

Watch what happens at different times of day, too. Light has a huge impact on how we see colour, and your samples might look beautifully moody under warm, artificial light, but brash and jarring in full sun – or the reverse.

When you’re ready to order your paint, be sure to use our paint calculator to save money and reduce wastage. Then follow our online guides for handy painting tips.

Keen to try some texture?

Try a VJ panelled feature wall to elevate a flat room. Watch our easy step-by-step instructions.

 

Photo Credit: Brigid Arnott

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More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.