Home with Dean Sharp

Home with Dean Sharp

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The Wizardry of Wonderful Walls

Ladder and bucket of paint in old building apartment during renovation after moving and Flattened drywall walls

Photo: Rafael Classen / © rcphotostock (16773) / https://rcphotostock.com

This time of year people get the itch to “do something with these boring walls.”

Perhaps it’s because we just took down the holiday decorations and they feel plain now. Perhaps it’s because we have new gifts or

family photos to display. Whatever the reason, our walls are always there, always in our field of view. Which means their structure, color, texture, and contents are a powerful part of the story our home is telling.

1. Make a wall STRONGER

  • A wall is a “flat column.” Taller baseboards PLEASE … 7% Rule = minimum 6 ¾”!
  • Thicken the exposed ends of standard walls.

2. Make a wall TALLER

  • Be aware of horizontal lines - art, draperies, fireplace mantels.
  • Crown moulding is a short room’s worst enemy. If I could I’d put a rounded cove transition at the top of every 8’ wall. Like how photographers use CYC (cyclorama) walls

3. Make a wall MOVE AWAY or COME CLOSER

  • Cool colors recede away from us.
  • Warm colors move toward us.

4. Make a wall the FOCAL POINT

  • Feature walls with bold colors, textures, or wallpapers.
  • Textures need shadows - strafe them with light.

5. Make a wall INVISIBLE

  • The gallery effect - neutral, clean, not too cluttered.
  • Light the art, not the wall.

6. Make a wall TRANSPARENT

• All exterior walls (and some interior ones too) might better serve if they were glass.

Detail of intricate corner crown molding.  a detail of corner ceiling.

Photo: Getty Images

Wonderful Walls - How to Hang It

1. What you need to know first …

  • What’s the wall type? - Drywall, Plaster, Concrete, etc
  • What’s the weight of what you’re hanging?
  • Where are the anchor points on the item?
  • Toothed bar
  • Drilled hole
  • D-Rings (add wire if possible)
  • Nothing - make your own

2. Types of hangers …

  • Angled nail
  • Coarse thread drywall screws
  • Choose hooks with earthquake safety tabs when possible
  • Expansion anchors - great for concrete but not for drywall - gypsum is soft
  • Surface anchors - adhesive, velcro, etc. - if it’ll hold it’s soooo easy
  • Hollow wall anchors
  • Butterfly bolts,
  • Expansion sleeves that spread behind the drywall
  • Monkey hooks - brilliant
  • Picture Rail

3. How high?

  • Eye-level - 57”-63” - take an average of your adult household members
  • Level with tops of other elements - windows, doors, sconce lights

4. How to measure

  • Avoid the gimmicky tools
  • The TWO BEST hanging tools you can acquire … A laser level and a friend!
  • How to measure …
  1. Test the object’s hook position - how far from top?
  2. Find the desired position on the wall.
  3. Mark the top height (blue tape)
  4. Mark the center (on the blue tape)
  5. Measure down from the top height the distance to the hanger.

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