Walls: design ideas, inspiration and photos

The walls contribute a lot to the overall structure and design of your property. The exterior walls not only define the shape of a house, but they also support the floors and roof. They provide security and protection from the harsh elements outdoors and durability from potential calamities in the area. Equally important are the interior walls that don't keep weather out, but they often do more technical work than just define spaces.

Walls are vital to your house, thus choosing the right materials is a necessity for the ensured durability of your structure. Technicality aside, choosing the perfect designing ideas for your walls are also of the essence. Here are great considerations to look at when it comes to materials, designing, and even energy efficient ideas for the walls of your house.

1. Types of wall materials for your home

The materials you use for the walls in your home will affect how your home looks, how it'll stand up to fires, wind and physical stress, and how energy efficient your home is as a whole.

Framing materials can be used to create the frame or structure of a home that will have a big impact on its strength, insulation and cost. For a frame that is both stable and durable, look at metal, straw bale and structural insulated panel framing options. Steel is increasingly used in modern house framing, and is valued for its versatility, longevity and strength.

The materials that you use to create the internal walls will have a significant effect on the visual appeal of your home, as well as on a number of practical aspects. From an aesthetic perspective, the texture and style of the walls will affect the way light is reflected. The materials will also determine how easy walls are to clean, how strong they are, how well your house is insulated, and how sound is able to travel through your home. Plasterboard is by far the most common interior wall surface in the Philippines, thanks to its tremendous versatility and low cost. Tiles also feature in almost every home, and are particularly common in bathrooms and kitchens.

Aside from holding up the roof and allowing you some privacy, your exterior walls should elegantly combine your personal taste with the appropriate response to the local climate. You might be the sort of person who wants to be surrounded by earth-loving mud brick, or maybe you have reclusive fantasies about a rustic log cabin. Perhaps you want to keep the neighbors out with your imposing stone fortress, or you’re just looking for the suburban dream in a conventional weatherboard. The choices you make about your external wall materials will define the entire look of your home.

2. A guide to DIY Interior painting

While hiring a professional painter saves your more time and work, painting your walls can be a fun, creative way to spend your extra time with the help of family and friends. Get ready to get down and dirty in colors with this simple guide in DIY wall painting.

Don't fear the bold colors! Select colors that add depth and texture to a room. Understand the psychology of color and use it to your advantage. A calming color, such as one in the blue family, is great for a bedroom. Of course, testing samples wouldn’t hurt. It's better to spend just a few pesos on a sample than go big on gallons only to find out the color won't work. Additionally, a good tip is to purchase a primer and paint all-in-one mixture to cover up colors and stains for a better result.

Doing the math doesn’t have to be complicated when you have the right measurements and a list of the painting essentials. You'll need to know the total area you're going to paint, but you'll also need to account for multiple coats, primer and the porosity of the walls. It's best to have some paint left over for repair work later on, so get more than you need.

Prep work will be the vast majority of your time spent painting the interior of your home. You'll need to tape off areas for sharp lines, move furniture and furnishings, repair and patch any imperfections, protect the floors, and remove things like switch plates and doorknobs. At least three-quarters of your time will be spent doing these tasks.

The finish of your paint, or sheen, will have a major impact on your walls. Gloss, satin, egg shells – with these options comes many considerations. High-traffic areas do well with gloss or satin as they hold up better to touching and can be cleaned more easily, but they can make wall imperfections much more pronounced. A more matte-like finish, such as flat, will not clean or endure touches as well, but you won't see imperfections as much.

3. Resourceful wall décor ideas

Decorations are vital essentials as they bring life to the walls of your home. While decorations require to be creative and appealing to the eyes, it doesn’t have to cost much.

Quotations taped on your wall are great decorating ideas too. You can find a plethora of inspirational signage in stores, but you can make your own, too. Try using different colors and patterns of washi tape for a funky way to display your favorite quote.

An eclectic mix of vintage plates is an easy, inexpensive way to decorate a bedroom wall in a nursery, a playroom, or a little girl's bedroom. Include a framed baby photo and an initial for a true personal touch too. Try displaying your hat collection and hanging vintage finds right above the bed for an unconventional focal point. It will add a twist on the traditional gallery wall.

You can also give an old map a modern spin with a multi-frame application. Choose your favorite destination spots, or use a map of your hometown. If you travel often, cut out pictures of yourself in the shape of the city or country you were in and paste it for a more creative and personalized touch

Don't forget about the staircase wall. If you're living in a small space, you can make a workspace underneath the stairs by installing a floating desk against the staircase wall. Try installing a corkboard to the wall for a convenient spot to attach memos, cards and photos.

Even your kitchen walls could use some sprucing up. Print your favorite photographs. put them in basic frames and hang them at varying heights for an art gallery look right in your own kitchen.

The ideas are endless when it comes to decorating your walls! Just make sure all the important components of the room compliment when you add wall décor so it’s all one tied-up space.

4. Wall lighting ideas

Wall lights can instantly turn a flat wall into something decorative and worth noticing. Specifically designed to add ambient lighting in a variety of spaces, more of today's wall sconces and wall lamps are specifically shaped to add dramatic up and down lighting effects, really adding depth and structure to a room. Adjustable picture and display lights draw attention to a painting or work of art; while art glass sconces can provide a splash of color and artistry.

Wall mounted lights should throw their light backwards, creating a wash. With many wash type fittings the light is thrown in one direction only, but for a modern look go for one that projects in two directions.

Lanterns and lamps are the traditional fitting you might think of for wall mounting. However, there is little that is old fashioned about them. Lanterns often diffuse their light with beveled glazing, which creates a bit of a glamorous sparkle.

Spots are not just for ceilings! Recess them in an uneven wall surface, or a false wall, to create downward flowing washes. A good tip is to be able to turn some of them on at a time, rather than all together, as this allows more flexibility to adjust the look, depending on the time of day or mood you want to create.

5. Energy-efficient walls for your house

In today’s housing market, energy efficiency is no longer a consideration, it’s a requirement. In new home construction, the walls of the house present the greatest opportunity to prevent energy loss. Fortunately, building energy-efficient homes are easier and less expensive than you might expect with wood-framed walls fully sheathed with plywood.

Wood wall systems are easy to insulate and provide exceptional shear and racking strength to withstand the forces of high winds and rain, and earthquakes. Wall cavity insulation will also fill the gap between exterior and interior walls, thus reducing heat flow through the wall system. Proper installation is important for this cost-effective method, as it will avoid the compression of insulation and gaps in the wall.

High performance windows and doors can reduce energy costs by maintaining uniform energy temperatures and lessening cooling demands. Houses that are built for energy-efficient have reduced peak heating and cooling loads, allowing for smaller, more efficient HVAC systems. Moreover, it provides improved structural performance and building durability.