dark accent wall alongside gold striped wall of living room

10 Creative Accent Wall Ideas And Tips

Morgan McBride4-Minute Read
February 10, 2021

If you’re looking to take a room in your home from boring to totally on-trend, consider adding an accent wall. Select just one wall – or even a ceiling – in your room to make a big statement, then go easy on the rest of the room. Focusing on just one wall allows you to go for a bolder look than you might normally choose for an entire room.

These accent walls are sure to inspire you!

What Is An Accent Wall?

An accent wall is one wall in a room that’s decorated in a way to stand out from the others. This could be a difference as simple as paint color or as bold as textured molding or large built-ins. Accent walls add dimension and style to any room, from the kitchen to the primary bedroom. Accent walls are a major design trend for 2021, but can often be timeless in look and feel.

Tips For Designing An Accent Wall

Adding an accent wall to your home can be a nerve-wracking venture. However, it doesn’t have to be a big deal. Take time to research and plan the exact look that you want so you’re sure to love the results.

Think Outside The Box

Don’t feel like your only option for an accent wall is to paint one wall a different color in a bedroom. This is your chance to get creative and explore unique options. Remember that you can add an accent wall to less-common rooms of the house, such as the bathroom or a mudroom. There is no limit to the possibilities!

Take The Color Of The Other Walls Into Account

Be sure to consider the color balance of neutral walls and the accent wall. Accent walls typically work best paired with walls of light to medium paint shades. Remember, you want the accent wall to be the star of the show.

Highlight A Wall That Doesn’t Have Architectural Features

When selecting a wall to accent, it’s easiest to choose one that doesn’t have architectural features, such as windows or doors. Having a completely blank rectangle makes it easier to fit in your design and really transform the wall.

1. Pop Of Color

pop of light blue wall color in restroom

The easiest way to accent a wall in your home is to add a bright paint color to make a statement. If the rest of your walls are light, a bold navy or black can really stand out.

Select a paint color that coordinates with the furniture and accent pieces in your space but has enough contrast to pop. A cream-colored wall next to three white walls won’t be much of a statement.

2. Accent With Natural Stone

natural stone wall in living room with fireplace

Adding a natural stone wall can elevate a room. A wall of stone is particularly popular on the backside of a kitchen peninsula or around a fireplace. This is a great way to bring a natural element into any space and instantly give it a rustic feel.

Stone can have a higher price tag, but budget decorators can explore less-expensive stone materials, such as slate or marble.

3. Add A Wood Statement Wall

wooden accent wall

Creating a wood accent wall can make any room feel rustic and warm. Wood walls can be made with tongue and groove planks, thin lumber or even wood (or faux wood) flooring.

Be sure to select a shade of wood that complements – but doesn't match exactly – any wood flooring in the room. Too much of one wood can be overwhelming and claustrophobic. And be careful going with a wood that’s too distinct if you aren’t going for the log cabin look.

4. Don’t Shy Away From Wallpaper

printed wallpaper on far wall of small bathroom

Another popular decorating trend is adding printed wallpaper to one wall. This is a milder statement than wallpapering an entire room.

If your wall is small, look for wallpaper with a smaller-scale print. If the wall is larger, you can look for a paper with larger designs. Renters can even join this trend by using temporary wallpaper. Installing wallpaper is also much easier on a wall with no windows or doors.

5. DIY Paneling

dark paneling wall behind brown couch

Homeowners can build or add paneling to a large wall to add dimension to a room. The current trend is to paint the paneling the same color as the accent wall.

Molding can be added in many designs, including squares of wainscotting, vertical board and batten, or even interesting geometric shapes.

6. Consider The Ceiling

kitchen with pine ceiling, white walls, and grey cupboards
Homeowners can even make the ceiling the accent area by painting it a different color or adding wallpaper. If you really want to take your ceiling to the next level, consider adding beadboard or tongue and groove boards for a really bold, textured look.

7. Deck Out With Decor

gallery wall in living room above couch

Renters and commitment-phobic homeowners can make a less-permanent accent wall by decorating with movable objects, such as mirrors and picture frames. For a bold look, hang an intricate gallery wall that goes from floor to ceiling. Get a cohesive feel by repeating the same colors and materials throughout the hanging decor, such as all black-and-white photos or all gold frames with assorted items.

8. Build A Showcase Wall

living room with showcase wall with built-in bookshelf and fireplace

Another way to highlight one wall is by creating a built-in entertainment center or wall of bookshelves. This is a popular idea for a living room or anywhere where you might put a TV. When possible, add some hidden storage such as cabinets with doors to keep this type of shelving from looking too cluttered.

9. Try Out Tile

living room with zig-zagged black and white tile floor

You can also use tile to create an accent wall. This is common in a kitchen but could also be done in a laundry room or bathroom. Floor- or counter-to-ceiling tile makes a bold statement and is easy to hang yourself. Consider peel-and-stick tile if you aren’t interested in messing with grout – you can get a look that’s just as nice.

10. Highlight The Edges

bright white bedroom with lighting around the window

A final way to create an easy and subtle accent wall by painting the trim and moldings of a room. Having white walls with colored molding is really on trend and is a great way to bring color into a space. It’s a subtler touch that can really look very high-end and elegant.

The Bottom Line

If you want to add an accent wall to your home, jump in with both feet! Accent walls are a great opportunity to be bold and stretch your DIY skills and personal style without committing to a project that’s too big. Be sure to review our guides to 2021 home trends and popular decor styles.

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    Morgan McBride

    Morgan McBride is a DIY-lover and home decor enthusiast living in Charleston, South Carolina. She has been blogging at CharlestonCrafted.com alongside her husband since 2012, where they empower their readers to craft their current home into their dream home through the power of DIY.