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Walls are the largest canvas of a home, use it wisely

  • Interior Design
Jun 17, 2022
Exposed Brick wall designed by studio pka

Wall treatments and finishes that elevate the interior design of a home have become very popular

What are the largest canvases of your home? The floors and the walls, of course. When it came to walls, paint and then wallpapers and textures were the extent of innovation. No longer. We’ve noticed that interior designers are using panelling, wainscoting and texture finishes to really transport interior design of a space to a higher level of sophistication and finish. Mumbai-based designers Mangesh DL and Sarah Sham, Bangalore favourites Vinithra Amarnathan and FADD Studio, Hummingtree Studio in Kerala are some of the many designers that have really explored the possibilities of wall treatments.

A word of caution, though. Wood-based finishes like panelling and wainscotting are done on top of a concrete wall base and often need high levels of maintenance, depending on the location of the home. So decide on the treatment based on the climatic conditions of the city and the rigours it will place on your interiors. For instance, in sea-facing spaces that have to deal with high levels of humidity, wood-panelled wall-finishes can get easily corroded. While locations without such conditions won’t have to deal with the same issue.

When it comes to textures it is simply a matter of aesthetics and talented craftsmen. Designer Shivani Dogra, with studios in Delhi and Goa, works with talented painters to achieve the distressed, uneven textures that are a signature of many of her projects. Choose what works for you and your home, so the walls can speak. Or even better, they sing!

Raised Panelling + Flat Panelling

Wooden panelling is now a commonly used design technique on the walls of the public spaces of the home, like the living room, dining room and even bedroom. Application of the right colours and minimal but classic accessories will highlight the beauty of the walls.

Panels designed by Hummingtree

The two most widely favoured wooden panelling includes raised and flat. Image courtesy, Humming Tree

Fluted panels designed by Maia design

Linearly designed wooden panels for emphasis. Image courtesy, Maia Design

Fluted Panels

Fluted panels are a specific type of panel work with linear designs, used to create an emphasis on a certain area or wall. It can be used on your bedrooms for different design purposes such as, on the wall near to the headboard position, or as the wardrobe shutters or even as a semi-partition wall


Wainscoting is a wall treatment wherein only the lower portion or half of the wall area contain panelling. And here, the Bedboard is a specific type of wainscotting that only consists of vertical grooves. The remaining area can contain textures, designer wallpapers or even regular paint that matches the shade of the woodwork. 

Bedboard designed by Dhvani Shah design studio

Bedboard designs are a specific type of wainscotting done on walls. Image courtesy, Dhvani Shah Design Studio

Shiplap panels designed by Studio GSA

Two similar types of panelling for an entire wall area. Image courtesy, Studio GSA

Shiplap + Tongue and Grove

A vertical panelling technique that is quite similar to one another with a slight difference in how they are connected to each other. While ‘Shiplap’ panelling overlaps one another, a ‘Tongue and Grove’ panelling slides into one another. They are largely inspired from the exterior panelling work which is mostly used for functional needs such as stability and weather-proofing. However, when used in the interiors, they are used for beautifying the overall room appearance and for adding a special old-world charm.

Board and Batten

In the board and batten type panelling, the joints found between the various boards are masked by battens. They mostly generate a feeling of solidity and volume, which is why it is usually used on long and large walls to avoid a sense of congestion.

Board and Batten designed by FADD Studio

Maximal walls that create a sense of solidity and volume. Image courtesy, FADD Studio

Arches designed by FADD Studio

Creating an illusion of another place or setting. Image courtesy, FADD Studio


Arches of different sizes are now being used as a part of interior designs, particularly home interior designs to enhance the entire spatial aesthetics. It creates an illusion of escape while creating an altogether different setting. By removing the traditional walls, the arches also free up space.

Mottled Wall

A unique technique of creating perfectly undone walls to match a rustic setting or any similar kind of architecture. Mottling by definition is a faux-finishing method to imitate the appearance of leather or parchment. These walls can be the perfect background for your black and white photography, artworks or antique furniture and items as they produce a sense of history and memory.

Mottled wall designed by Shivani Dogra

A rustic play of colours to produce faux-finishes on wall. Designed by Shivani Dogra

Relief Sculpture designed by Laki Senanayake

Plaster of Paris is used to create relief sculptures. Designed by Laki Senanayake

Relief Sculpture Work

A rather old technique of art that can be directly applied on walls is a relief sculpture work. It involves the sculpture projecting out of the background wall and is mostly done in POP. This can be a very interesting and personalised way of designing your walls at home. However, such works are mostly pleasing only if used on a single wall and not over multiple areas of a home or room.

Exposed Brick Walls

Walls have the ability to transform and uplift your mood, even through the application of a single material in its most raw form of appearance. Exposed brick or cement walls have the possibility to transport you to a different space closer to unfinished and open areas in contrast to polished and plush interior spaces.

Exposed Brick wall designed by studio pka

Unperfectly finished walls takes you through a trip down the memory lane. Designed by studio PKA

Plastered walls designed by Shijo Thomas

An old treatment on walls with a larger purpose to keep indoor temperatures comfortable. Image courtesy, Shijo Thomas

Plastered Walls

Plastering is an ancient method of wall treatment, mainly used to keep indoor temperatures comfortable. It has recently gained popularity for use inside homes as a way of creating organic and tactile interior spaces.

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