In a past entry I talked about the wonders of upholstered walls. Sparked by a recent client inquiry, I realized that I didn’t discuss much about other upholstered options if a person does not feel comfortable upholstering their entire wall. Creating an upholstered panel is a simple yet attractive alternative to traditional wall coverings.
The process to make an upholstered panel is very simple and do it yourself friendly. Different sizes and shapes of materials can really lend themselves to a completely unique look. All you need to do is take a piece of thin plywood and make it the desirable shape and size. If you want to make a traditional style upholstered headboard, make a paper stencil out of craft paper to ensure that each side is exactly symmetrical. Once you have finalized the design of the panel you then take batting and staple it to the plywood using a staple gun. The batting is what determines the thickness of your upholstered panel and the depth of your tufts, should you choice to put them in. After adhering the batting, and you want to create tufts, you measure the distance of the tufts and mark them on the back of the plywood. After drilling out the holes, you can attach your fabric over the top, making sure that it is tight and stapled on the back side of the the plywood. For the tufting, string a needle through the hole drilled and through the batting and fabric. Attach a button and pull tight into the batting to create the tufts. Since the panel will be attached to the wall, the back does not need to be finished. You can decide the best way to attach the panel based on the individual application.
Upholstered panels are a great way to add interest and a bit of softness to a space. While not the case with fully upholstered walls, panels can be a temporary design feature that you can change with the seasons, or just when you get tired of them. They are also nice on stressful days when you just need something to bang your head against like I usually do, and they do have a nice padded cell chic feeling. Maybe that’s a little much, but upholstered panels can be the design solution to all your unique bedroom problems.
Make your own custom headboard
If you want to get really creative you can upholster a wooden frame and put christmas lights inside and create a lighting piecing.
There are so many wall coverings available it is hard to know what is is the right choice for the desired look. The one difference that upholstering offers is a softness and a three dimensional element. Some people do not have architectural elements in their home that provide movement and interest beyond furnishings and finishes. However this kind of layering is so important to creating a unified space and a visually well balanced home. Upholstering and creating pattern, especially in geometric forms, makes flat walls appear more tangible. There are so many ways to get a great look using fabric and upholstery. The very basic way to get a high interest wall is by using a thick fabric on the walls. This will not be as three dimensional as a padded wall, but depending on the fabric, you can create a surface that makes people want to touch it and lightens up the room. There is a particular way to adhere this kind of wall covering which you can find on the Internet, but for the most part, this can be a do it yourself project if you do not want to hire a design team. A slightly more complicated, but high interest feature, is actually padding the wall with a batting backing. This can be tufted like a piece of furniture or done in strips. You can even making padded walls appear flat from a distance and then create a surprise when people get closer to the surface. Below are some gorgeous interiors that have used upholstered walls that you can use as inspiration for your next redesign.
This is a bedroom that has taken a ceiling height headboard and manifested it into a padded focal wall. They chose to use faux leather.
Here is an example from Elle in a geometrical block pattern. This is one of those examples where the surface appears to be two dimensional but adds a softness. I have seen walls with this same look done in an onyx and you can get that look much more inexpensively.
This is kind of hard to see but this is a commerciaal example of padded walls used in a small seating enclosure. This kind of intimate spaces are perfect to use padded walls because people are close to the surface and can really see the fabrics textural values.
This is a bold color example if a bathroom that I absolutely love. A print would have been too much but that small amount of texture makes this room a surprise for the senses.
If you are not comfortable padding an entire wall, try experimenting with small niches like this one. This space still has a simplistic contemporary feeling that you can maintain even with a traditional diamond tuft.
Panels is always an option as well. Have a great Monday!