Half Painted Walls
Amidst the refreshing new ideas of beautiful interior design in the modern world today, an old Indian custom stands out—half-painted walls. Traditional homes, across the Indian landscape, would have dual colour walls—a different shade on the top and another on the lower half. Sometimes, to add beauty to interior design, the lower half would be painted in bright colours to bring out the sheen of wooden furniture. Often, mild colours were used to accentuate shades of upholstery. Like most traditional methods, half-painted walls were also practical—dirt did not show on brightly painted lower halves.
Half-painted walls break the monotony of a single colour or an overwhelming colour scheme and seem to produce a wainscoting effect (wooden paneling on lower halves of walls) that is also seen in beautiful interior design in Scandinavia.
Beautiful interior design is practical, distinct and aesthetically uniform in its appeal—half-painted walls are all of this. They break tedium and play with light and shade; they add colour to our lives by beautifying our homes.
Featured here is a home we designed in Bangalore choosing colours that were essentially Indian- a combination of Kota stone combined with shades of red and yellow ochre. These were colours that the clients favoured. However, not wanting to overwhelm the space with colour, we chose to treat the walls in combinations of neutrals and ochres. This also allowed for a more interested, layered scheme.
These are a few tips that could help you in your pursuit of the perfect half painted wall:
- If you’re painting an already decorated home, choose tones from colours that will compliment the existing tones in your furnishings
- We often create half-wall painted walls for a select few rooms, letting others walls in the space remain mono toned. I personally find that this makes the space more interesting. For instance, you could only the common areas of a home in this manner and leave the bedrooms with a single wall colour
- You don’t need to stick to straight lines like we’ve done here. An unevenly painted wall is also interesting
- The height used for the colour on the lower half of the walls featured here are 3.5 ft from the floor. We’ve found that this height seems to work well in most Indian homes
Words; Sugandha Das and Shivani Dogra
Images: Shivani Dogra