When it comes to home décor, this is one of the simplest and most affordable ways to add some personality and aesthetics to a room. Yet, how do you pick the right color or the wall, for that matter?
In our in-depth guide on how to pick an accent wall, we’ll walk you through the entire process step-by-step. In addition, we’ll provide you with some neat life hacks on how to make the wall stand out without much fuss.
Without further ado, let’s dive right in!
What’s an Accent Wall?
Simply put, it’s a statement wall that stands out from all the other walls in a room. It could be designed or painted differently, and its main purpose is to be the focal point of the whole room.
Accent walls are also an excellent opportunity to experiment with different colors and patterns without commitment.
For example, if you choose an accent wall in a living room that’s quite large, it can make it feel a lot cozier. In a smaller room, an accent wall can make it feel more spacious. Likewise, you can mask the distortion in an irregularly shaped room with an accent wall.
Why You Should Have an Accent Wall
Before we teach you how to choose an accent wall, the question remains — do you actually need one?
It depends. For smaller rooms or rooms with bold colors, an accent wall might not be necessary. On the other hand, if you’re looking to add some extra oomph to a bigger room, an accent wall is an ideal choice.
Namely, an accent wall can do a lot to improve the look of a room. It can add some much-needed pazzas, color schemes, patterns, texture, etc. Not only that, but it can also up the value of your home if you ever decide to sell it.
How to Pick an Accent Wall to Paint
Not all walls are created equal. Here are a few tips to help you pick the best one:
1. Use the Focal Point of the Room
Usually, this is the very first wall you see when you enter a room. It could also be a wall that catches your eye due to some unique architectural positioning or marking. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.
For instance, the TV wall, although definitely the focal point of the room, isn’t always the best choice. Namely, it could distract you from the TV and vice versa. Hence, you should choose an accent wall in the living room that makes more sense for your particular living space.
2. Complement Furniture and Design
A large fireplace, a unique statement piece, beautiful furniture, etc., are all ideal spots for your accent wall. The general rule of thumb is that your accent wall should (if possible) complement the existing features in the room.
For example, if you pick an accent wall in a bedroom, more often than not, it’ll be the one behind the bed’s headboard.
3. Pick a Wall That (Almost) Never Leaves Your Sight
Accent walls are meant to be seen. How else are they supposed to add some drama to your space?
For big rooms, pick the wall that you’re most commonly facing. This could be the one opposite the couch, the one behind the dinner table, etc. That way, you’ll not only break the monotony of the room but also make it more aesthetically pleasing.
4. Avoid Walls With Large Doors and Windows
Large windows and doors already break up the room, so adding an accent wall would only be overkill. Moreover, an accent wall works best for one solid, cohesive piece without any interruptions.
For instance, when you want to choose an accent wall in the bedroom, the one behind the bed is usually the most appealing. The same goes for the living room — namely, behind the couch.
5. Emphasize the Symmetry
The worst thing you can do is make an already prominent wall stand out even more; a wall that has an irregular shape, for example. This will not only make the whole room look messy, but the wall could also be a real eye-sore.
Therefore, try to pick a wall that underpins the symmetrical features of your space.
How to Pick an Accent Wall Color
Once you’ve decided on the ideal spot, it’s time to start decorating!
You can go as bold or as subtle as you want; the sky (read: ceiling) is the limit. Here are a few neat tips to help you out:
1. Contrast the Dominant Hue for a Bold Look
To pick a color for an accent wall, you must first consider which hues are dominant in your space.
In case you mostly have neutral colors, bold hues will do wonders for your room. Just be careful not to go too crazy with the idea. A general rule of thumb is to pick a color that is at least two shades darker or lighter than the rest of the walls in the room.
2. Go Neutral or Monochromatic for a Subtle Look
Accent wall colors dictate the overall mood you’re trying to create.
For instance, earthy notes like hunter green are a perfect pick for large living rooms, especially if you have high a ceiling. Light colors, in general, will make the room more solemn and homely.
If possible, find a shade that complements the flooring, countertops, and other design features in the room. An indoor garden or a Zen room with lots of greenery are the perfect fit.
Playful notes like orange can also work well if you choose an accent wall in the kitchen.
3. Be Mindful of the Wall’s Texture
For example, a high-gloss paint finish won’t look good on a heavily textured wall. Use a flat or eggshell finish instead.
This is not only practical (you can spread the color out more evenly without any drips) but also more aesthetically pleasing. Likewise, use a primer designed for textured walls. This will help the paint adhere to the wall and give you the best possible finish.
It’s also worth noting that you should always clean your accent wall before painting it.
On the other hand, if your accent wall is smooth, you have a little more leeway when it comes to paint finishes. For one, you can pick an accent wall color with a high-gloss finish, which will reflect light and make the space feel larger.
4. Room Dimensions and Layout
The size and space of the room will also determine the optimal color for your accent wall.
For small spaces, you want to use light or neutral colors to make the room appear more spacious. Hence, if you’re struggling to choose an accent wall in a small bedroom, go for cool hues like green, blue, and purple to make it look bigger.
Conversely, larger spaces could use bolder colors to give them a more intimate and cozy feel.
5. Consider the Ceiling and Floor
Stay away from dark colors if you have a low ceiling. They will make the space feel even smaller.
High ceilings, on the other hand, go well with darker accent walls, which help scale the room down and make it less intimidating.
Floor design and color patterns also play a role. For instance, a wooden floor and warmer colors go hand in hand. In contrast, a cold marble flooring design necessitates the use of cooler colors.
Now that you know how to pick an accent wall that will bring more life to your room, it’s time to start decorating! Remember the tips we’ve outlined for you, and you’ll spruce up that home in no time.
Which wall should be the accent wall?
The general rule of thumb is that it should be the focal point of a room. For narrower rooms, the farthest wall is (by far) the best choice. In contrast, choose a wall without any doors or windows for larger spaces, ideally with some features like a fireplace, built-in shelves, and other eye candy.
Can you paint 2 accent walls?
There should be only one (per room). Otherwise, it defeats the purpose. That said, you can have multiple accent walls around your house if you so desire; just try not to go too overboard.
Can you have an accent wall with a window?
We wouldn’t recommend turning a wall with a window into an accent wall, though it can be done and still look aesthetically pleasing.
When teaching others how to pick an accent wall, we most commonly advise them to choose a wall without any visual breakups or “interruptions,” such as windows or doors.
In case you do opt for one with a window, use lighter hues. Dark colors will create a bright spot effect instead of letting the light naturally spread across the room.