By Lynn Byrne. Accent walls are a decorating device often heralded as the perfect DIY project. Take a room without any distinguishing features and try to conjure something up with paint. Paint is cheap and it is easy to change. But doing an accent wall right takes more than a little finesse.
I think just slopping on a contrast color can really stop the eye in a room and make a wall stick out like sore thumb. From the Stuff I like blog, here is something that I personally don’t like. What is the point of this green wall? If you are going to do an accent wall, at least accent the focal point. In this scenario, that would likely be the wall behind the bed.
In my humble opinion, accent walls work best when you have something to accent, such as a fireplace, bookcase or a bed, as per my suggestion above. New York City designer, Rob Stuart has a great accent wall in his apartment. Most of the walls are done in a neutral grass cloth and he sets off the fireplace wall with a fiery red. To see more of Rob’s apartment, click here. Photos by Rob Stuart.
You can also do the reverse: paint your walls in a bold color and accent in a neutral, as was done successfully (in my opinion) in this living room. Photo via Porter House Designs.
An accent wall may be useful if you have an open plan home and you want to create the feel of a separate area. By painting this computer nook milkweed green, it feels like a separate study even though it is found in a large kitchen/family combination room. Photo by Denise for Decor Arts Now.
To do an accent wall successfully, you must always be mindful of color. Seems obvious, of course. But, I think it takes a skilled colorist to make an accent wall work well.
The next two photos illustrate what I mean. In the first, sure, purple is a bold hue (and my readers know I like it from my recent purple post), but it detracts rather than adds to the room below. Photo via The Adventures According to Kristen. Do you know why it was chosen? It doesn’t relate to anything else in the room.
Ditto with this red. Another example of why careful thought to color coordination is crucial. Photo from Virtual Tourist.
Here is an example where consideration of placement and color are effective. The orange wall really sets off the black furniture and gives the room needed depth. I also like how it relates to the art hung in the room. Photo from Apartment Therapy.
In addition, when it comes to the color of your accent wall, a high contrast hue is not always necessary. Sometimes it works well to use a deeper or similar shade of the hue found on the other walls as Denise and I did here for this gallery wall. Photos by Denise for Decor Arts Now.
Finally, remember that your accent wall doesn’t necessarily have to be done in paint. You could accent with tile or wallpaper, although this is harder to fix if you don’t like the results. Photo by Domenica Comfort for Lynn Interiors, LLC.
Accent walls: love them or leave them? There are no absolutes in decorating. Are you ready to try one?