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Wall Stencils

Wall stencils are a simple yet delightful way of adding a pop of colour or pattern to a feature wall or room, especially if the budget is tight or you'd rather not get the roller out. Wall stencils can also lift the most plain and ignorable corners of your house such as alcoves, sprinkling a little whimsy around. Choose from a dizzying array of designs – Moroccan stencils, damask stencils, ornate flower stencils and leaf stencils are popular, while fantasy nursery stencils and animal wall stencils are big hits among little kids.

How do I choose a wall stencil?

Look around your room. Where does it need a visual boost? A clever way of adding impact while complementing what's already there is to choose a wall stencil that plays off a particular motif in the carpets or rugs. Scale the pattern up or down to suit the proportions of your room, and when you come to use the stencil, choose a paint colour that coordinates with both your wall paint and the fabric. (Test out the combination on a piece of cardboard first, perhaps.) Alternatively, if the focal point is a piece of furniture such as a bed, why not use a wall stencil to apply an intricate pattern around it, forming a headboard?

How big should my wall stencil be?

Again, it comes down to how much attention you want it to draw. Some wall stencils span entire walls or mimic floor tiles; others function as small pieces of artwork that nod to a particular interest such as butterflies or birds. Don't be afraid to play with contrast. If you already have lots of smaller patterns in the space then try a larger wall stencil. If you have a blank canvas of walls to work with but you are anxious about devoting a large area to one particular wall stencil design, then consider creating a series of smaller stencils around the room – a panelled effect of damask stencil shapes, for example, will frame a room nicely. An elegant and subtle variation is to combine flat and glossy paints in the same colour or similar shades. This works particularly well with Moroccan stencils and will change appearance throughout the day as light comes and goes.
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