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How To Build A Fireplace Feature Wall

By Lawrence Macmillan October 25, 2021

One of the toughest things about redecorating is managing all the empty wall space in a home. Do you fill them with photos of the family?

Maybe your favourite movie poster, that you found a really nice frame for? Or you could put some shelves up and cover them with books, and plants?

Decisions like these can really make or break your home, and so can often be one of the most overlooked but important aspects of the renovation process.

This is especially true when considering how to redecorate your living room, or bedroom, as they are often focal points of the home.

One of the best ways to fill your space is the feature wall, an idea that is becoming increasingly popular in modern homes. The feature wall concept took off as flat screen TVs became more accessible in the mid-to-late-2000s.

The main idea of the feature wall is that the room it's in has a decorative centre point, with one wall standing out amongst the others.

The colour of the wall can simply be a different shade from the other walls' hue, or it can have a unique colour and material design.

Many homeowners opt for the space-saving option of mounting their television to a wall, or chimney, rather than placing it on its own stands.

In the case of a chimney breast, this is quite frequently found above a gas, open, or electric fireplace.

So let us be your guide, as we explore how to build a fireplace feature wall.

Step One - Planning

With most decorating projects, the key is in the detail, and this is exactly the case with this type of build. It is imperative that you know exactly what you’re looking for, and how you’re going to achieve it.

The best place to start is by identifying which room you want to build your fireplace feature in, and from there you can figure out which wall will be the best for your plan.

You will typically want to have the fireplace stand out amongst the other aspects of the feature wall, so you will likely want a large, open space to work with.

It should also be noted that, while it is not a mandatory requirement, fireplace feature walls typically sit in the middle of wall space.

This is usually the standard with the placement of chimneys in the home, and so if you already have a chimney, you probably have a good place to start.

This will create an equidistant space on either side of the fireplace in the room, with the fireplace being the centre point of the feature wall.

Having your feature wall sit centre in the room will also make planning the rest of your space much easier, as you will know you have the freedom to experiment with different accessories, whilst maintaining a symmetrical space in the room.

If you are planning on using a chimney as a starting point for your feature wall build, it might be an idea to incorporate some kind of shelving or bookcase on either side.

If done properly, this can create an addition to your wall that sits flush with the chimney, whilst having space inset into the wall.

This can create a better sense of continuity in the space, whilst also allowing you to mix up the colours, or even materials used, to build out the wall.

Remember, one of the best ways to plan your space is to research how other people might have used similar spaces or ideas. Social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram can be greatly useful for this.

It is also important to understand the dimensions of the fireplace and anything else that will be placed on the feature wall, as this will be necessary during the building process.

You don’t necessarily need to have bought anything for your feature wall at this stage, but having this knowledge will be imperative if you are building a new wall, or setting a space inside an existing wall.

Step Two - The Build

It is important to seek professional assistance when it comes to the actual building process unless you are very experienced in home renovations.

Even still, it can always be helpful to ask a professional builder or tradesperson for assistance, when working with construction tools.

The majority of feature walls, where the television and fireplace will be situated, are stud walls. A timber frame is commonly used to build a stud wall, which is then plastered over.

The stud wall will project into the space in the same way as a traditional chimney breast and fireplace would, making them ideal for feature walls.

When building a stud wall, it's necessary to have specific recesses for the fireplace and television. As such, you'll need to know the measurements of each of these aspects, as we mentioned earlier in the planning stage.

Make sure all appropriate electrical cables are run into the stud wall before you finish the project. One of the reasons why stud walls are so popular is because they hide all of the bothersome wires that come with large televisions.

They give the impression of being smooth and tidy. Plus, because modern televisions and fireplaces are narrow and unobtrusive, your feature wall should be as well.

Step Three - Decorate

One of the best things about having a feature wall is that they can be whatever you want. They don’t just have to be a home for your fireplace and television, they can be filled with all sorts of things.

Why not have some dedicated shelving for all your old books or a cabinet for drinks? You could even add more decorative elements to the wall, such as plants or mood lighting.

Remember, you want the feature wall to stand out in a room, and to draw the eyes of all your family and friends.

You might even find that making a bezel around your fireplace adds just that little touch you need to bring everything together.

All of these things can come together to make your home feel just that bit more unique. Full feature walls can really make the world of difference, and when you’re putting the effort in, they will be a part of your home to love for years to come.


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