Dear Debbie: I have a large living room and would like to create an accent wall. How do I decide which wall? - Colin
Dear Colin: An accent wall, aka a focal or feature wall, is the one your eye will be drawn to first. In the absence of a warm fireplace, another major element such as a large armoire or media center might do the trick.
The accent or feature wall can be decorated to heighten, and take advantage of, its importance in the room. A bold paint color might be too much for the entire room, but stunning on just one wall. This is the place to apply an expensive wall treatment, a textured wallpaper, a stone or wood finish, even fabric.
Check out this photo of a large living room that I designed for a new home. The long back wall has a custom-made desk and computer center, and the cabinetry extends almost the full length of the wall, with the television above that. There is no question where people will be looking. The dark hardwood floor and wood built-ins anchored the room, and I chose to lighten the walls with a soft blue-gray paint color. Take cues from whatever you apply to the accent wall to strike an inviting rhythm throughout the space.
The wallpaper on the feature wall has a slight shine to it that is picked up in the chair cushions. There are many incredible wallpaper patterns that are really art, but an entire room in this paper would be overwhelming.
Dear Debbie: I have a small home with two bedrooms and a bath. I have enough money to either update the kitchen, (OK but dated), or add a third bedroom and bathroom (en suite). Which do you think would add more value to the house? - Kathleen
Dear Kathleen: Although a brand-new kitchen is a big draw for most homebuyers, the added space of a third bedroom and second bathroom is a much bigger selling point.
Dear Debbie: I would like to stencil or paint my house number and street in a decorative font to the siding of my house above the door. Are there kits you can buy? What type of paint would I use? Thank you. - Lorraine
Dear Lorraine: A great idea. Use exterior acrylic paint and prepare the surface as you would for any exterior paint project (clean and prime). To make a neat job of it, use stencils and lots of careful measuring and marking to get the best position. You can find letter and number stencils in a wide range of styles online; stencilplanet.com is one source.
House to Home is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Email email@example.com.