For awhile, accent walls were on their way out. They were seen as dated. But fortunately they are making a comeback, and they’re bolder and better than before. Accent walls can make a powerful statement as a focal point in a room or it can help a neutral room exciting with an interesting pop of color.
Whether you like it or not, we have entered a trend where white paint and white neutral walls is our go to paint color. Yes white paint is the #1 selling paint color right now. Who would have thought! And we see stunning white decorated rooms all over Instagram and the Internet. White interiors look great but they can they look mundane if not styled properly. And one easy way to add a pop to the all white interior is add interest to the room is to add an accent wall.
White walls can look great when styled properly or they can also look mundane and bland. Adding an accent wall can create not only create a focal point to the room, it can add interest and excitement in a room. It gives the eye a place to land.
Which wall should be the accent wall?
If you already have a featured focal point like a fireplace or TV wall in a living space, this would be the most natural choice for your accent wall. In a bedroom, the biggest wall, where you place the head of your bed, becomes your accent wall because the bed is the focal point in your bedroom. If you don’t have a featured natural focal point, like an architectural design, then the accent wall becomes the focal point in the room.
A client of mine felt her room was missing something. She had all gray walls, gray furniture and gray cushions. We wanted to add something to make it pop a bit more and the obvious choice was adding an accent wall. Black accent walls are very trendy and add interest to a neutral room. Paint color: Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black
A portion of the far wall in this dining room was painted in a charcoal gray. Painting only a portion of the wall creates a stunning focal point for the mirror. The color accents the chair & chandelir nicely pulling the room together.
Accent walls for Entryways.
Accent walls are very popular in entrance ways because they can make a positive first impression as you walk into the home. Entrance ways can be dull and bland if they’re painted a neutral white but painting a wall a bold color, or giving the wall a wood moulding treatment can spice up a bland space.
This homeowner above, created a stunning accent wall in a formerly boring stairwell using wood moulding. It transforms the space. Its timeless and it definitely adds value to her home.
Different Types of Accent Walls
There are many different types of accent walls, but the most popular and trending accent walls today are painted, wood, and wallpaper.
Painted Accent Walls
Painted accent walls have come back with a vengeance and for good reason. They’re easy to do, their the most cost effective of all the different types of accent walls, and if you get tired of the paint color or just change your mind, paint it over and start fresh. Another reason we’re seeing a resurgence of painted accent walls is because it adds a splash of color to a room that is painted white or another neutral.
Trending paint colors for accent walls are black, charcoal gray, navy blue, and any shade of green since green is the most popular color right now.
The fireplace above is the focal point of the living room, but its small and outweighed by the TV. Popping this wall with navy blue makes this whole wall a stunning accent wall.
If you were into the whole room gray phase, gray walls + gray flooring + gray furniture, painting out the rest of your room a neutral like white, but keeping a gray accent wall not only ties in with your gray furniture, it gives your house a fresh contemporary updated feel for only the cost of paint.
Photo: Benjamin Moore
Green is the most popular color for 2022 with several major paint color companies naming their version of Sage Green as the Color of the Year. Darker shades of green are also trending and gives a room an earthy and warm feel. An entire room painted this shade of green may be overwhelming for most, but one accent wall in this shade is warm & inviting. What a cosy home office!
Need some color guidance? Check out my online color consults here.
Wood Accent Walls
Wood accent walls have been trending for quite a few years now with shiplap & barnwood being the leading favorite thanks to Chip & Joanna Gains. But this trend is fading and being replaced by moulding which has become the new favorite. Its harder to install than simple shiplap & barnwood, but there are many different styles & levels of difficulty that even a novice could try.
Do you have a shiplap wall and want to update it? No problem!
Nin Williams, photo right, created a stunning feature wall in her Scandinavian styled dining room by painting her shiplap wall a pure black complimenting the other black elements in the room, the chandelier, windows, furniture & accessories. It’s absolutely stunning and a great way to update a dating trend.
The wood moulding above, done by mom & daughter Steph & Michelle is a great way to add a focal point to a bedroom. This moulding is classic and relatively easier to do than some of the more intricate patterns that you will come across. Read about their experience & their tutorial here.
This style above, source unknown, is one of the more intricate wood moulding patterns but worth the challenge! Its absolutely stunning and turns any ho hum room into a stunning space.
Like the accent wall idea but not sure you want to commit to a whole wall? This wall above, by Brooke of Cribbs Style, create a great focal point in the room which replaced the need for a headboard for the bed. It can be made as wide or narrow depending on the side of your bed. Read her full tutorial here on how she achieved this creative look.
Another interesting wall above with a unique pattern that you won’t find in every living room. I’m sure it would be among the most complicated I’ve seen, but if you paid attention in your high school geometry class, you’re good to go. Photo: Whimsical September Brooke from Cribbs Style gives a really good tutorial here on how to do this.
This moulding is one of the simpler ones to install but you can have a comforting look for a boys room like here, or it can be dressed up and look stunning when you choose a bold accent color like navy blue or black. Check out Abbots At Home here for a full tutorial.
Wallpaper Accent Walls
Wallpaper as a trend disappeared for awhile. The styles were dated, it was really difficult to put up and more difficult to remove. There was an old saying that a couple that can wallpaper together stays together. Its a bit of a dry joke, but putting up wallpaper was NO joke! Fortunately, some very smart & creative people have invited removable wallpaper and its now made a once challenging job very easy, so much so, that you may be adventurous and try it.
Floral wallpaper is back in all shapes and sizes. You will see big floral feminine wallpaper like in our darling nursery above, to tiny floral prints below that remind you of your grandmother’s house but are back stronger than ever. Both photos: ProjectNursery.com
Delicate floral patterns are making a comeback for a warm, cozy, inviting feel to a room.
Adding fun wallpaper to one wall in a boys room can make the room go from okay to wow. This was my tween son’s room who requested a sk8park room and wanted his room painted black 😮 He got his wish, but I added this great graffiti wallpaper to the far end of the room
This accent wall above is so pretty. Its actually stencilled but it looks like wallpaper. If you’re game, stencilling a wall is also a great way for a bland wall to make a statement in the room. Brianna from Bloom In the Black gives a great tutorial here on how to stencil an accent wall.
If you enjoy doing some DIY projects, you can stencil your accent wall, draw an accent wall or whatever your heart desires. You can get really creative and have fun with it if its your kids bedroom or maybe you want to make a funky powder room to surprise people when they enter.
If you’re styling your home to live in and enjoy, the choice of colors and styles is endless. However, if you’re getting your house ready to sell, you want to choose a type of accent wall & color that would be pleasing to 90% + of potential buyers in the market, and appropriate for your demographic. Accent walls can break up a really normal room and create a stunning space will enhance your house and add value to your home at the same time.
Are you now inspired? Are you willing to try one of the above ideas? Which one? Please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you!
Hi! I’m Debi Collinson. I’m an interior stylist, color expert, stager and real estate investor.
My design advise to the world is … styling your home is the BIG secret in having an Instagram worthy home as opposed to a ho hum look.
My superpower is about styling to make your home stunning all while adding value to your home at the same time!
It all started back in 2006, at the request of a realtor, where I nervously staged my very first home. The sellers liked their newly styled home so much that they turned down an offer for full asking price and stayed. I went back to design school and the rest is history. I’ve been working my “magic” with hundreds of clients to create a stunning retreat whether they’re styling to stay or staging to sell! In my spare time, LOL, I buy “fixer uppers” to fix up & either sell for a healthy profit or to rent. I’m currently flipping my 9th “fixer upper.” Sign up to receive my e-mails on how to make your home your stunning retreat, how to sell your house for top dollar AND how to become financially independent one fixer upper at a time!