Accent walls, at first glance, seem to be just another design element dependent on current trends. But this relatively simple feature, whether you opt for paint, wallpaper, or even stone, ties together color palettes, balances large windows, makes big spaces feel cozier and small spaces feel brighter. They can act as an anchor in an otherwise blasé room, or add that little something extra to make a well-designed space feel special.
The key to choosing your accent of choice is looking closely at the other finishes in the room: do they need something to counteract them? A bright paint or textured wallpaper fits the bill. Or, are they begging for a feature that ties them together and gives them weight? Darker shades and unexpected textures provide a solution.
Adding Texture with Wallpaper
A charcoal jute-textured wallpaper grounds this light, airy space, creating a frame around the television and acting as an anchor for dusty blonde floors and a bright white sofa.
Brightening Small Spaces
This diluted turquoise accent wall holds its own against stunning wood floors and modern furniture. The grouping of the sofa and chairs creates a frame-like effect around the wall, transforming an ‘accent’ into the star of the room.
Getting Away with True Purple
A purple accent wall is easy enough to work around when the shade leans more amethyst or eggplant, but true purple can pose a design challenge. Here, gorgeous striped wood floors prevent the wall from overwhelming the room, while a neutral white and gray color palette, large ottomans and a sectional bring balance without adding another starring element.
Gorgeous blond wood paneling with a decadent grain pattern gets a punch-up with chartreuse stripes, livening up an otherwise all-white space.
Accenting with Brick
Brick accent walls don’t have to be red. Here, a neutral taupe brick works to add texture in the absence of carpet or grain-heavy wood floors, and helps to give this otherwise large living room a more intimate feel.
Combining white floors with white furniture could easily look a bit too futuristic, but the soft blue accent wall brings the space back down to earth.
Wallpaper goes in and out of style, but always makes for a beautiful spin on the accent wall typically done with paint. This classic pattern acts as a bridge between the shabby chic sofa, 70s style shag rug, and modern coffee table.
Accenting in Bright Spaces
An accent wall doesn’t have to be the only strong feature in the room. Here, a black and gray wallpaper pops against bright red walls. On their own, both styles would work as an accent; but together, they create a bold statement.
Grounding Airy Rooms
Floor to ceiling windows are often a plus in the world of design, but they can make a living room, which should feel at least somewhat homey, too bright. A matte black accent wall prevents this, tying the color palette together while adding a cozy element.
Accent walls do much more than add a strong design element to a room. Here, the suede-like dark gray separates an open concept space, making the living room feel tucked away rather than exposed.
A wall cutout begs for built-ins, as just paint could make the space feel empty. Here, the use of stone rather than standard paint or wallpaper beefs it up without clutter, adding dimension and a strong focal point.