Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Seeking a Quiet, Relaxed Spot? Try Upholstering Your Walls

There’s something extraordinary about a room with upholstered walls — and it’s not just the visual stimulation. When you walk in, you can immediately notice the difference in sound, too, or rather lack of it. Footsteps don’t resonate, speech is quieted and that hollow echo that sometimes fills a room is absent, resulting in an intimate, relaxed experience.

Wall upholstery evolved from medieval times when hung tapestries helped keep drafts at bay. Fixed wall upholstery was introduced in the 17th century when opulent fabrics became more readily available.

While upholstered walls help with insulation, today they’re primarily used for aesthetics and acoustics,either by enhancing sound within a room or muffling unwanted outside noise. To be clear, though, upholstered walls aren’t your everyday, run-of-the-mill sort of wall treatment. They’re something quite special.

If you’re considering upholstery to wrap an entire room, adorn a single wall or cover a simple niche, there are a few things you’ll want to consider in terms of cost, installation and more.

Scope of Project

Upholstering an entire room. 
In this bedroom design, the entire wall surface is devoted to padded upholstery. Instead of a continuous, smooth installation, there is repetition of form with a paneled look. The effect is striking. Reflected light subtly drawn across the fabric enhances the slight pillowing between the panels.

This type of installation requires a solid, textural fabric. A pattern, in addition to being overwhelming in such a large installation, would visually suppress the geometry of the panels.

All four walls of this bedroom are upholstered in a fabric with a medium-scale print. The higher contrast (black and white) of this fabric makes it perfect for enveloping a smaller space.

If you’re considering a full-wall installation, be extra cautious about leaving a slight gap between furniture pieces, such as beds and nightstands, and the fabric wall surface, so as not to damage the fabric. Also, be careful when vacuuming, especially if your baseboard trim is shorter than your vacuum head. And be especially mindful when using candles.

Seeking a Quiet, Relaxed Spot? Try Upholstering Your Walls

Seeking a Quiet, Relaxed Spot? Try Upholstering Your Walls

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