Interior designer Aly Velji and his partner Jason are hard to catch. Whenever possible, the globetrotting couple’s off exploring interesting locales and staying at equally-captivating hotels. Like most of us, though, they’ve been grounded in their Calgary, Canada home quite a bit as of late. Tired of staring at the same four walls (aren't we all?), Velji recently embarked on a bedroom refresh and, with a few simple tweaks, has made it feel like they were in a totally new place. No passport required.
It wasn't as if the bedroom was in bad shape, says Velji of its textural gray accents, brass detailing, and geometric wallpaper—the results of a 2010 renovation; it just needed a facelift. Enter: A fluted accent wall, which a team of tradespeople helped bring to life using plywood’s softer cousin, MDF. Velji explains: “The flutes were sliced right into the MDF boards. The boards were then spritzed with Benjamin Moore’s Aegean Teal, mounted, and voilà!”
Along with the MDF wall installation, the designer also swapped his moody silk curtains—they were weighing the room down a bit—for a brighter taupe alternative.Photo by Klassen Photography, Klassen Photography
Velji's on-trend installation—fluted decor is everywhere, from kitchen islands to sinks—wasn't a budget do-over because the biggest piece of the pie went to three days worth of labor. “But if you love DIY projects though you can totally handle this on our own, though,” he interjects, adding that he only hired professionals because he’s not the most handy.
To tackle the project yourself, Velji says, head to your local hardware store or lumberyard and snap up a miter saw and sheets of MDF in your desired depth. Then, cut the sheets into strips and sand them. You can also use half-round molding or trim (you'll need many, many pieces for an entire wall), or, if you're looking for a less-involved option, you can also find decorative (textured or fluted) MDF panels that are ready-to-go. Finally, mount the strips or panels right to the wall using nails or glue and give them a lick of paint. You’ll get the same look for much less.
The eye-popping piece altered the space so drastically the designer could’ve called it a day, but Velji didn’t stop there. In order to truly transform the room he doubled down and iced it in even more textural layers. His toppings—some old and some new—include cut crystal, alluring velvet, and enticing wool. “These final touches always make a space come to life,” he explains. Now, after a long day commuting to the living room, the couple needn't hop on a plane. With the opening of a door, they’re transported.
How are you fluffing your nest this spring? Tell us in the comments below.