How to make an accent wall

How to make an accent wall

How do you make an accent wall and what is it?! An accent wall, or feature wall as they are also known, is a wall that has a different colour, shade, design or texture to the ones around it.  It can be either an interior or exterior wall and can really change the look and feel of a house.  Here is a guide on how to do them well.

Why have an accent wall

They are really popular in interior design for good reason.  They allow you to experiment, add splashes of colour and create a big impact in any room.  Done right, they can draw the eye to the feature of the room and show it off wonderfully.

Many people choose a different colour for an accent wall but it can be a different texture or material, like wood for example, the sky is the limit!

You can be as adventurous as you like with an accent wall and the end result can be spectacular (on the other hand, if you don’t like it once you have lived with it for a while, it will take a quarter of the time to redo it as it would had you done all four walls the same).

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Are accent walls outdated?

They first became popular in interior design in the early 2000s as a way to add bold colours like purple into a room, then went down in popularity for a few years.  Then they got trendy again a couple of years ago but with an added twist – not just bold colours but textures and designs thrown in.  Now you will find many examples of stunning accent walls on Pinterest and in design magazines.

Which wall should be the accent wall

Usually, the accent wall is where the natural focal point of the room is; this is not necessary the wall you see first when you walk in the room but rather where the point of interest it.  If you have a statement sofa, the wall behind it makes a great backdrop, or the wall around a fireplace in the lounge.  Any built in furniture like long cupboards can be really effective when used as the feature.  In the bedroom, the wall behind the headboard is the most common choice as it frames the room.

In a room with no obvious natural focus point, consider the shortest width wall so the room won’t feel cramped.

The old rule used to be that you should avoid a wall with windows but that’s not necessarily the case any more.  You may want to go for a lighter shade though, as dark colour on a wall with windows can make the light overwhelming.

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Accent wall designs & colours

You really do have free reign when it comes to choosing your design. You do not even need to be limited to the walls, as the ceiling can look great in a different colour or texture.  Hallways can really benefit from an accent wall too.

If you choose to paint the wall, there are so many options available, from every colour under the sun to metallic finishes which can look stunning.  Just using a different shade to the other walls can be so effective.

Wallpaper looks great on an accent wall, there’s gorgeous textured ones available and even paintable types too.

A photo gallery on an accent wall can be reall eye catching and display your favourite moments in a really special way.  Shelving works to display treasured items in the same way.

You also have entirely different materials to choose from, like a  wood, ceramic or stone finish.

With so many choices, it can be difficult to decide.  A good idea is to paint a part of the wall and hang up materials and/or patterns to help give you an idea of how it will look. Go as bold as you dare with your ideas and if the end result is not what you wanted, a bonus is that it’s much easier to redo just one wall.

Remember, the most important aspect of this design feature is that you love the finished result in your home.

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What is the best colour for an accent wall?

A good place to start is to find something you love, like a piece of furniture or art and take your colour inspiration from it.

It may be wise to avoid matching to the main colour of a large piece of furniture like a sofa as this can be overwhelming in the room.  Instead, go for a complimentary colour that will accentuate it.

In large rooms, a darker colour can make the space feel more cosy and inviting.  For smaller rooms, an accent wall in a lighter colour can give the space a bigger feel.

Colour trends for accent walls are now more muted than they were a few years back, for example the Deep Reddish Brown from Farrow & Ball, as opposed to a bright glossy red.  You can always go bolder in future so consider choosing a muted shade first and see how it feels in your home for a few months.

If you are painting the wall, make sure you have the right type of paint too, as it will make a difference. Check out our handy guide to choosing paint here…

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Herts Decorators provide high quality and professional decorating services to our clients across Hertfordshire, we can help your achieve your perfect accent wall.  Book a free estimate with our team today!

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George Ryland