The Art of the Accent Wall

    Photo: daBinsi/Flickr.When decorators are asked what is the easiest and least expensive way to make a big change in a room, the invariable answer is, “Paint it!” And this is true. Paint is reasonably inexpensive and most people are able to paint a simple room by themselves. However, even easier than painting a whole room is to paint only one wall as an accent wall.

    Creating a single accent wall in a room can have a huge impact on the entire space. Perhaps you’ve been trying to muster up the courage to go with a vibrant red or a sexy dark chocolate wall? Doing so only on one wall will have high drama with minimal muss or fuss. You could always do it just to test out a wall color prior to painting the entire room. You might find that one wall will be enough to satisfy your need for a little pizzazz.

    Wallpaper Accent Wall

    Creating an accent wall is also a great way to introduce an expensive design element like wallpaper into the mix without the cost of installing it on four walls. Whether it’s a bright floral or bold graphic or perhaps a textural grass cloth, a single wall feature will be a fraction of the cost with multitudes of impact. A client of mine recently installed grasscloth paper on one long wall in her open concept family room/kitchen. It would have been difficult and expensive to paper the entire space and it wouldn’t have had the impact that the single featured wall had. This accent wall serves to designate the area in front of it as the “seating area” as opposed to the dining space and kitchen.  

    Themed Accent Walls

    In addition to sporting a strong color, pattern or texture, the accent wall can be theme oriented as well. A collection of pottery or other similar item can become a showstopper, as can a single piece of quality art. Install an accent light aimed towards the wall for maximum effect.

    Which Wall is Best as an Accent Wall

    So, which wall makes a good candidate for an accent wall? The easiest and most common choice is usually the wall opposite the door into the space. This can serve to draw people into the room out of curiosity (is that pattern on ALL the walls?) or simply the attractiveness of the design. The accent wall can also draw attention away from something less interesting or aesthetically pleasing in a space as well. For instance, if the room has a wall that is filled with doors, windows and electrical plates, you might wish to de-emphasize these unappealing elements by highlighting a beautiful picture window or fireplace. Or, as mentioned above, in a multi-use space, an accent wall can be used to define the “zones” of the space, creating rooms within the room.

    How to Avoid Design Cliche

    Accent walls can be a fantastic design element in any room, however, as with any design concept, a little goes a long way. I wouldn’t recommend having an accent wall in each room in the home as it will ultimately become more of a cliché than a surprise. And it’s in the surprises that we find good design.

    Get Free Quotes

    Looking for a Pro? Call us at (866) 441-6648

    Get Free Quotes
    • Service Needed
    • Zip Code
    Get quotes from qualified local contractors