What do you think about accent walls? In the sometimes snooty interior design world, they can be controversial. Some people love ‘em and some people hate ‘em.
I try my hardest to fall on the non-snooty side of things, and I think if it’s done right, an accent wall can add a lot of interest (and even FUN) to a room. They’re especially nice for people who are nervous about committing to a whole room of color but don’t like Boring Builder Beige either.
Here are a few things you should know before you start slapping Granny Smith green on your walls.
Sometimes what NOT to do is just as important as what TO do, so I’ll start with this head-slappingly obvious piece of advice: don’t pick the wrong wall.
Well, duh, you say. That’s probably why you’re reading this thing in the first place. If you know what can go wrong, you’ll know how to avoid that.
So take a look at three photos of the same room that’ll show you how accenting the wrong wall can look odd and off balance.
Here’s the Before photo with no walls painted. It’s a snoozer. The room needs color. So which wall to accent?
If you said the right wall, you get the gong. Here’s a shot of the room with the wrong wall accented. (The right wall is wrong. Ha!)
The important thing in the room is the bed on the left wall, so why paint the opposite wall, I ask you?
(Side note: I used Sherwin William’s Color Snap feature that lets you pick paint colors and see what they look like in a real room. Kinda fun to play around with!)
The wall that SHOULD be featured is the wall the bed and artwork are on. The room now looks less confusing and much more pulled together.
And while I was at it, I "painted" the other three walls a medium gray to coordinate with the rug. And I didn’t even have to wash out any brushes!
So now that you know what NOT to do, here are a few tips on how to choose the right wall to accent in your room.
Choose the most solid wall
In general, pick a wall without windows or doors if you can, or a wall where you’ll see the most of the beautiful color you went to all that trouble to paint.
Accenting a window wall can be iffy since you’ll see much less paint color, plus the light from the windows will make the wall color look really dark during the day.
Work with your room’s natural focal point (if it has one)
Use paint to play up a fireplace wall or an interesting architectural feature. Niches or walls of shelving are also great places to add color.
I know you probably don’t have a spa room in your house, but you get the idea. :-)
Decide what you want to show off
Call attention to something important in your room like a show stopping sofa, a colorful piece of art, a gallery wall of photos of the grandkids, or that headboard in the bedroom. Or the flat screen.
Only one accent wall per room
A room only needs one focal point. Any more than one accent wall and your space will start looking overdone or schizophrenic. Less is definitely more said the girl with 47 pairs of black shoes
The brick and wood walls together are little too much of a good thing, however this looks like a fun place to hang out!
Consider the ceiling
Some rooms just aren’t right for an accent wall. But hey, what about the ceiling? It’s an unexpected place to add a shot of color and style and whimsy, especially in a powder bath or a dining room.
So what’s YOUR opinion about accent walls? Now that you know the best wall to choose, come back next week and I’ll give you some ideas for fun and interesting things you can do to feature it. In the meantime, if you've got questions, you can email me or write a comment below. Can't wait to hear from you!