Unique Feature Wall & Ceiling Ideas For a Rental + Help Mallory Decide Which One To Choose

Unique Feature Wall & Ceiling Ideas For a Rental + Help Mallory Decide Which One To Choose

Hey all, Mallory is back and ready for more apartment action. This is Mallory, I’m just talking about myself in the third person for some reason. I already showed you guys my initial studio apartment design plan + shared all of my “stupid” questions that I needed answered by a professional (aka Julie), but I still have one more major question that haunts me in my sleep. It’s a question we all face when designing anything, but especially me as a new designer. It’s that bratty blank white wall behind my bed. What the heck do I do with it?? Yes, I probably could just add some cool art eventually, but I’m greedy and want more. I want it to be a loud, fun statement and I’m striving for my before and after photos to have two things: 1. Shock and 2. Awe. So HOW do I achieve this when I’ve never designed anything before in my life? After staring at thousands of inspiration photos I realized the missing link between my apartment and the rooms I want my apartment to look like – COOL ARCHITECTURE.

Let’s address the elephant in the room…I live in a rental. BUT I think there are ways to add a totally unique, brilliant, never before seen, showstopping, feature wall (if you’re confused why I have so many adjectives in this sentence, click here). We’re ready to go balls-to-the-wall (and even to the ceiling) to figure it out. Trust me, I’m not just going to show you 1,000 different moulding options, but prepare yourself for this post to get a little wild. As Emily would say, let’s get weird.

Before I forget (again), I realized in my last post, I showed you photos of our naked studio apartment, but I never introduced you to the people living in and (trying to) design said apartment – HOW RUDE OF ME. So here it goes, I’m Mallory and this is my boyfriend, Chase, and here are photos of us to prove that we are real people:

I picked photos of us in Palm Springs since the design vibe we’re going for is very much Jonathan Adler’s Parker Palm Springs and Martyn Lawrence Bullard’s The Sands Hotel (these photos were taken at The Sands) –– gotta stay on brand, you know? 🙂 Now that we know each other a little better, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Here’s the LATEST version of the main room design plan (the last one you saw was pretty different and here’s where we’re at now…please note I’m sure this will change again before I show you the final plan).

Bar Cart |Art |Dining Chairs| Dining Table | Pendant | Nightstands | Bed | Bed Area Rug | Lamps | Sofa | Living Area Rug | Credenza | Ottoman | Sofa Pillow | Throw | Pendant Light Shade

Okay now, let’s talk about the reason we’re all here…what are our feature wall options for behind the bed? Let’s start with what Julie suggested:

Box Paneling

design by angela rose home

This option is super solid. It has a lot of texture without being too distracting, plus it easy for renters because you don’t have to shove nails in the ENTIRE wall. Just build it off of the wall then just use a couple screws in the middle + edges and badabingbadaboom, you’re done. I’m sure it’s not actually as easy as I just made it sound, but it’s also not overly hard.

Hot Tip

Julie informed me that the wood has to be a skinny lumber because if you go too thick on the moulding it would require a lot of nails and therefore wouldn't be as renter-friendly.

PVC Pipe Wall

design by anne sage and caroline lee | via design sponge

Remember at the beginning of this post when I said it was going to get wild? This is the beginning of that. I saw this DIY on Design Sponge a while back and I came into an editorial meeting basically screaming “HAVE YOU GUYS SEEN THIS” and then I told Emily I wanted to write a post about unique and “easy” feature walls. Then everyone laughed at the fact that I called this “easy” and they were right, but we all agreed it’s VERY cool. So as you can see I didn’t end up writing about super easy feature walls, but instead, I think this post is more like “the ballsy renter’s unique feature wall” post. Maybe easy feature walls will come later. But I digress. You guys. Seriously how cool is this???

I think this photo is what originally sparked the need for me to create my first design plan mood board for our apartment. When I showed Chase our first-ever future “bedroom” design with a wall full of PVC pipes, he was utterly confused. But, I still think it’s a contender and this idea catapulted our collective strong urge for a feature wall.

Retro Midcentury Wall

photo via inhabit

Let me be honest about something, I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen this fully fleshed out and executed in a studio apartment, but I think that’s why I’m so interested in maybe trying it out. I found this idea from Sugar and Cloth, and it seems super easy since it looks like it only requires a couple of nails on the corners of each panel. Also if you’re not into this exact panel style, there are a bunch of options over on Inhabit you can check out. Overall, this option seems the most in theme with the palm springs vibe, but Chase and I are worried it’s a little TOO retro for our style. When it really comes down to it, we don’t live in the 60s or in Palm Springs, so we don’t know how far to lean in there. What do you think?

Cane Wall

design by mandi gubler of vintage revivals

After I wrote this post about the best DIY bloggers which featured this DIY cane wall, Jess personally called me to say this could be the one. Jess, I like it and I agree. I mean, it’s basically the box moulding with a lil something something. If we were going to go for it, I think going for the caning with the little tiny circles in it would be more my speed, and then maybe we could paint the wood part white? Or all of it white?? Check it out below and let me know what you think…

Wood Slat Wall

unknown source | photo via house and garden uk

WE ARE VERY INTO THIS. It feels very contemporary, and we like that. Not to mention all of the common areas throughout the apartment complex has this sort of stuff EVERYWHERE so we think it might be fun to incorporate this. Should we paint this too?? Or leave a wood kinda texture? Again…the photoshopped version is down below!!

Faux Beam Ceiling

design by brian paquette interiors | photo by laure joliet

It’s about to get even crazier now, guys. Our apartment complex name has the word “Bungalow” IN IT, so when we were trying to get some design inspo, we searched “hollywood bungalow” on Pinterest and we got incredibly jealous and obsessed with what we found. THEY ALL HAVE THESE VERY CUTE AND BEAUTIFUL BEAMS. We too would like some cute, beautiful beams. I thought it was impossible (it still might be), but as we were looking through these photos and I was feeling discouraged, Chase convinced me we should keep this option open because he thinks it can be possible. He’s very persuasive and also very right about me having an ego sometimes when his ideas are better than mine, so Chase, I’m publically sorry for shutting you down about this beam idea at first.

photo via elle decor | photo via sfgirl

We started doing some more research about the beam concept and came across this video about faux beams. In the video, this girl literally describes these beams to be “light as foam.” This could work because if it comes crashing down on our heads there’s likely to be no death by beams, right?? There’s a high risk for this to go very wrong, but if it works, it’s going to change the space drastically like it did in this apartment therapy blog post. But do we think it will even look good? There are white and black beam options photoshopped below…

DRUMROLL PLEASE… The Photoshopped Options

Box Paneling

All I’m going to say is Julie is always right. This is the option I’m definitely leaning toward since it looks clean and has a ton of texture. I just like that it’s not too much (but is still a wow:)).

PVC Pipe Wall

The amount of vertical stripes in this makes me feel straight overwhelmed. I still love this idea and concept, but I’m not sure if this is quite right for the space. Do you guys agree??

Retro Wall

She’s fun, flirty, and VERY palm springs retro. I think this option is very cool and unique but is it too much? Does it beat out the box paneling option?

Cane Wall

This is definitely leaning into the “bungalow” idea like I mentioned before. Plus, it’s very similar to the box paneling, it’s just a little warmer since it’s a natural color…is it sleek enough though for the overall vibe we’re trying to achieve?

Wood Slat Wall

Again with the vertical stripe thing…I’m not sure if I 100% love it, but this is why we photoshop and try things online so we can figure out if it’s worth pursuing. The wood slat thing might be my least favorite. What do you think?

The Faux Ceiling Beams

Please enjoy these renderings that I unprofessionally created on top of a regular photo in photoshop. If we can swing this without ruining the ceiling, I’d be all in. What do you think? Should I attempt it? And which color…white or black? So many questions and I desperately need your help. PLEASE COMMENT BELOW WHAT THE HECK WE SHOULD DO!!

El Fin.

Opening Image Credit: Design by Anne sage and Caroline Lee | via Design Sponge

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