top of page

10 Inspiring Feature Walls that Reflect their Natural Surroundings

As international art consultants who specialise in feature walls and finishes, Artelier works with contemporary artists to create innovative feature wall commissions. Each Artist Wall is tailored to its context, and push the possibilities for bespoke feature walls through masterful use of materials. In the first instalment of the Feature Wall Series, Artelier's curators discuss feature wall commissions by our artists, which take inspiration from nearby landscapes and artistically reinterpret natural phenomena.

For projects where outdoor spaces are a key focal point, a specially commissioned feature wall artwork is an effective way to connect an interior space to its external context. Feature wall art can reflect, interact with, and amplify natural surroundings, immersing the viewer in their environment.

Using varied materials, feature wall artworks embrace the outdoors in diverse ways. They can be used to imaginatively illustrate the surrounding landscape, in either a figurative or abstract style. They can represent natural elements through textures, or evoke the essence of being in nature. More broadly, feature wall artworks can playfully interact with naturally occurring phenomena like changing light, forming a relationship between the artwork and the outdoors.

In this first instalment of Artelier's Feature Wall Series, discover 11 projects where each feature wall artwork is deeply connected to its unique context, and forms a relationship with its natural surroundings.

Living Space Inspired by the Ocean

Architectural features can maximise the impact of an exceptional location even while indoors, and artworks can further enhance this by capturing the essence of the surrounding nature. This feature wall artwork speaks to the spirit of freedom that the ocean inspires. The choice of representing a diver directly connects the artwork to the water, and evokes the feeling of escapism that swimming provides. By curating the artwork so that the swimmer is looking towards the ocean, visitors are likewise orientated towards the seascape, and encouraged to immerse themselves in the view.

The artwork is created from etched leather, which requires a precise and labour-intensive process to gradually carve out forms. By carefully etching at varying depths into the leather, the artist is able to create a gradient of light and shadow that enables him to produce photorealistic detail.

Etched leather feature wall installation, created for a ocean-facing residential lounge

Woodland Narratives for Reception Room

Responding to the property's woodland surroundings, this feature wall captures a sense of magic and wonder. The stylised design depicts silhouettes of local wildlife and flora, creating an enchanting feature wall that speaks to the landscape seen from nearby windows.

The artwork is a hand-carved plaster relief mural; through the use of innovative plaster techniques, the wall-covering can be created in-studio, yet shipped worldwide. Bridging the gap between the convenience of wallpaper and the refinement of original artworks, these plaster murals can be rolled up without cracking. The result is a unique, site-specific artwork that has been designed specially for the project, yet is easy to install and promises long-term durability.

Site-specific mural made from plaster relief, creating an impressive feature wall in a reception room

Dining within Nature

To experience the outdoors within the home, dining areas can be opened up to the garden with floor-to-ceiling glass; a feature artwork can further heighten the presence of nature by representing natural imagery on internal walls. This artwork reflects the delicate foliage outside the window, directly responding to and reinterpreting the surroundings. By bringing the garden indoors through both decoration and expansive windows, visitors can dine in nature regardless of the weather.

The mural artwork is created from hand-applied gold leaf, which is particularly appealing in a space with ample natural light. Due to gold's natural reflective properties, the leaves are highlighted by sunlight, which changes throughout the day and gives the impression of continual evolution. In the evening, ambient lighting and candles causes the gold to glitter, creating an atmospheric and warm dining experience.

Hand-applied gold leaf artwork for private residential dining room

Bedroom with an Air of Calm

When a property is designed so that visitors can soak in the environment, artworks which are harmonious with this vision are critical for evoking the atmosphere of the scenic backdrop. This feature wall painting, created from ground natural pigments and shell gold, captures the earthy hues of the garden beyond the window.

The artwork is veiled in hand-applied shell gold, a pigment made from crushed gold leaf. Since the piece reflects the light, it becomes an interactive artwork that responds to the weather: on dim and overcast days the artwork's tones are subtle and pared back, while bright sunlight lends the artwork a luminous brilliance. The artwork therefore has an almost symbiotic relationship with the natural world, as it reacts to the weather and light.

Mural painting created from natural earth pigments and reflective shell gold

Lobbies & Light

As an entrance way, a lobby is a transition point between the outside and inside world. Due to the translucent properties of glass and its ability to play with light, a glass artwork is an intelligent way of drawing a connection to the outdoors by harnessing natural light. Carved glass can refract and scatter light in dramatic ways, creating a striking feature artwork that heightens the experience of natural light in the lobby.

This glass feature wall acts as a partition between the indoors and outdoors, creating a liminal space that the visitor must pass through. The undulating carved surface dramatises the shadows cast by architectural features, which evolve throughout the day with changing light. Due to the inherent blue tint to the glass, the overall first impression becomes otherworldly and ethereal. With this play on light, the feature wall goes beyond being a surface effect, and becomes a structural feature that transforms the visitor's experience.

Glass Feature Wall Installation for Lobby Project

Bringing a Corridor to Life

Artworks in entrance areas or corridors can be cleverly utilised to build anticipation; this aspect is especially important to a spa, where visitors are being led towards a multi-sensory experience and relaxing environment. This textile feature wall artwork has a sculptural quality, which evokes a rippling flow of water, and references the abundance of water in the spa. Integrated lighting re-creates the effect of dappled light on water, animating the artwork through light and shadow.

The tactile softness of textiles lends them to the welcoming and calming entrance of a spa, and provides a contrast to the sleek, cold materials used elsewhere in the spa's decoration. The techniques used by the artist also contribute a practical acoustic solution – this textile feature wall is highly sound absorbent, which cocoons the spa from outside noise and encourages tranquillity.

Acoustic absorbing wall installation for Spa corridor created from textiles

Ancient Elements in Courtyards

In an enclosed courtyard, nature can be recreated through contemporary landscape gardening and by incorporating natural materials. A feature wall made from immense ceramic panels can viscerally bring the element of earth to the courtyard. The panels' textural variety gives them an ancient quality, much like a rock face that has been weathered over time.

This inherent earthiness is only present in organic mediums, and cannot be authentically reproduced by manmade materials. While many projects may therefore be drawn to marble slabs or natural stone, clay is a significantly more sustainable option and is a low-impact material. By commissioning a ceramic artist, the tone and colour of the artwork can also be tailored, so that the artwork is in harmony with its surroundings.

Ceramic wall panels created for an enclosed courtyard

Mirroring the Balcony View

On a balcony that has a remarkable natural view, a feature wall artwork can enhance the viewer's aesthetic experience of the space by reflecting the key features of the landscape. In this artwork, the interaction between sea and sky is highlighted through the abstract composition: expanses of blue are divided by a horizontal line, mirroring the horizon of the sea. In this way, the artwork visually expands the seascape into the balcony area.

Created from patinated silver leaf and finished with a glassy lacquer, the artwork feels alive and is constantly reflecting the outdoor light, which shines directly onto it via the skylight. The crackling of the silver leaf further resembles water ripples, capturing the infinite movement of the sea.

Silver leaf and ink pigment feature wall artwork that shimmers in natural light

Serene Escape in a Forest Spa

A dramatic feature wall artwork can respond to a forest setting through the use of wood. Created from sustainably sourced wood, the carved artwork references expanses of trees, encouraging visitors to engage with the serenity of a winter forest. The artist's visible mark-making leaves behind scallops of carved wood – the artwork seems to recall lines of trees in a mountain forest, as viewed from a distance.

Rather than being artificially dyed, the wood's charcoal and silver tones have been created through a process of flaming and liming. Cool, naturally occurring tones further connect the artwork to a winter landscape, where dark trees contrast with white snow. In a spa context, wood can be specially treated with a special wax, which provides protection against splashes while maintaining a natural finish.

Carved wood feature wall which evokes the charcoal and silver tones of a winter forest

Textures of Nature in En Suite

For a bathroom that opens onto the surrounding garden, a feature wall artwork that feels in tune with nature can add to the rejuvenating atmosphere. By taking inspiration from the organic forms and patterns outside the window, the natural world can be subtly incorporated in interiors. This artist creates carved wooden panels, and sources sustainable wood locally to each of their projects, bringing the surrounding nature into the home.

The artist juxtaposed different abstract patterns that are inspired by natural textures – such as tree bark, leaf forms, and water ripples. The geometric mark-making also references the vertical lines of bamboo, which borders the nearby windows, contributing to a sense of continuation between the garden and the bathroom.

Sustainably-sourced carved panels that bring the textures of nature to bathroom

Discover all the artists included in the Artist Walls collection here, including more feature wall art in situ. As specialists in commissioning feature wall art, Artelier's art consultants can source artists working with varied materials and styles to create an Artist Wall tailored to your project.

To learn more about Artelier's art consultancy services, and our process for commissioning art more broadly, please visit our Art Consultancy homepage.


Contact Us

Do you have a project or want to explore how to invest in art?

Join our Newsletter

Receive exclusive industry guides & behind the scenes of the world's most prestigious projects

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page