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How To Pick An Accent Wall

How To Pick An Accent Wall


How To Pick An Accent Wall: Embarking on the journey of selecting an accent wall is a fascinating exploration that invites you to become an artist of your living space. This guide illuminates the intricate process of how to pick an accent wall, a key decision that can redefine the dynamics and aesthetics of a room.

An accent wall isn’t just a design choice; it’s a strategic endeavor that involves selecting the focal point that will serve as the heart of the room’s visual narrative. The artistry of this decision lies in the balance between creativity, functionality, and the harmony it brings to the overall ambiance.

This guide navigates through the considerations that guide the selection process. From identifying natural focal points and assessing light exposure to harmonizing with existing decor and understanding the room’s layout, each facet contributes to making an informed choice. It’s about more than just a wall; it’s about orchestrating an entire space with intention and flair.

As we delve into the nuances of how to pick an accent wall, you’ll uncover the art of harmonizing personal style, spatial dynamics, and design aspirations. This exploration is an invitation to transform walls into canvases that reflect your personality and enhance the allure of your living environment.

How To Pick An Accent Wall

How do you pick an accent wall?

To decide which wall you want to make an accent wall, take a step back and look at the room as a whole to see which walls first grab your attention, built-in room features, and any existing focal points. Choose a wall that you want to stand out or become a focal point.

Choosing an accent wall involves careful consideration of the room’s layout, purpose, and design goals. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Room Function: Determine the room’s purpose. Identify areas that naturally draw attention, like the fireplace in a living room or the bed in a bedroom.

Architectural Features: Look for unique architectural elements such as alcoves, columns, or textured surfaces that could benefit from accentuation.

Focal Point: Choose a wall that can serve as a backdrop for a focal point, like a piece of art or a statement furniture piece.

Room Layout: Consider how the accent wall fits into the overall room layout and what areas it will be visible from.

Color Harmony: Pick a color that complements the room’s existing color palette. Consider the mood and ambiance you want to create.

Material and Texture: Decide on the material or treatment you want to use, whether it’s paint, wallpaper, wood, or something else.

Natural Light: Consider how the wall’s location affects natural light and shadows.

Personal Style: Choose a design that reflects your personal taste and enhances the room’s overall aesthetics.

Balance: Ensure the accent wall doesn’t overwhelm the space and maintains visual balance.

Sample Testing: Before committing, paint a small area or use a sample of the chosen material to see how it looks in the room’s lighting.

By considering the room’s layout, architectural features, color palette, and your personal style, you can select the perfect accent wall that adds depth and character to your space.

What is the rule for accent walls?

Typically its best to follow the 60-30-10 rule which states that 60% of the room should be the dominant color, 30% should be the secondary color, and 10% should be an accent color. So when choosing a color you’ll want something that’s different from the 60% and 30% colors to make it pop.

While there’s no strict rule for accent walls, there are guidelines to create a balanced and visually pleasing result:

Focal Point: Choose a wall that naturally draws attention, such as one with a fireplace, TV, or prominent furniture. This wall will become the focal point of the room.

Color Contrast: Opt for a color that contrasts with the surrounding walls. This creates visual interest and makes the accent wall stand out.

Complementary Tones: Ensure the chosen color complements the room’s existing color scheme. It should harmonize with the overall palette.

Placement: Consider the room’s layout and which wall will have the most impact. Often, it’s best to choose a wall that’s visible upon entering the room.

Proportions: Avoid overwhelming the space. The accent wall should be proportional to the room’s size and not dominate the entire area.

Texture and Patterns: If using textures or patterns, ensure they’re consistent with the room’s style and not overly busy.

Lighting: Consider how lighting affects the accent wall. Natural and artificial light can influence how the color appears.

Balance: The accent wall should create harmony and balance within the room’s design, rather than disrupt it.

Function: Think about the room’s function. In bedrooms, the accent wall could be behind the bed; in living rooms, it might highlight a seating area.

Personal Style: Let your personal style shine through. Choose a design that resonates with you and complements the overall aesthetic.

What is the best accent wall?

You can’t go wrong painting your living room accent wall color on the wall behind the couch, and we’d recommend avoiding any walls that have large windows or doors, because they attention draw away from the accent wall itself. Interior designers share their expert advice below to help you decide.

The best accent wall is one that complements the room’s overall design while adding a touch of visual interest and enhancing the space’s ambiance. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, as the ideal accent wall varies based on individual preferences and the room’s function. However, a few versatile options are worth considering:

Focal Point Wall: Choose a wall that naturally draws attention, such as one with a fireplace, TV, or a prominent architectural feature. This type of accent wall can create a strong focal point.

Bedroom Headboard Wall: An accent wall behind the bed adds depth and style to a bedroom. It can be achieved through paint, wallpaper, or even a different material like wood or stone.

Entryway Wall: A bold accent wall near the entrance can make a strong first impression and set the tone for the entire space.

Living Room Entertainment Wall: An accent wall behind the entertainment center can frame the TV or media area, creating a visually appealing backdrop.

Dining Room Feature Wall: An accent wall behind the dining table can elevate the dining experience and provide an interesting focal point during meals.

It should integrate harmoniously with the room’s color palette, furniture, and decor, while offering an element of surprise and visual depth.

Are accent walls a good idea?

A thoughtfully created accent wall can make a small space feel cozier or a large space feel more inviting. Now that you know bold colors are expected to be a top interior design trend in the coming months, you may wonder what colors will be hot (no pun intended).

Accent walls can be a great idea when executed thoughtfully and in line with the room’s design goals. They have the potential to add depth, character, and visual interest to a space, creating a dynamic focal point. However, their success depends on several factors:

Balance: Accent walls should enhance the room’s design without overpowering it. Careful color and material selection is crucial.

Room Size: In smaller rooms, a well-designed accent wall can make the space feel more dynamic. In larger rooms, it can help define specific areas.

Purpose: Accent walls work best when they highlight architectural features, create focal points, or add visual depth.

Color Harmony: The chosen color or material should harmonize with the room’s existing palette, creating a cohesive look.

Personal Style: Consider your design preferences. The accent wall should resonate with your aesthetic.

Function: Think about how the accent wall aligns with the room’s purpose. For example, an accent wall in a bedroom can enhance the sleeping area.

Skill and Planning: Proper execution is crucial. Careful measuring, preparation, and installation ensure the accent wall looks intentional and well-crafted.

However, it’s important to approach them with a clear vision, a well-defined design concept, and an understanding of how they contribute to the overall ambiance of the space.

How To Pick An Accent Wall

How do I identify natural focal points for an accent wall?

Identifying natural focal points for an accent wall involves a keen understanding of a room’s architectural features and layout. Begin by assessing the room’s existing elements that naturally draw the eye. These could include fireplaces, large windows, unique alcoves, or any architectural details that stand out. These features provide a starting point for selecting a wall that will naturally become the center of visual attention.

Consider the room’s function and furniture arrangement. A television wall in a living room or the wall behind a bed in a bedroom often becomes an implicit focal point due to the arrangement of furniture around it. Analyze how your eyes are naturally guided when entering the room – these pathways often lead to potential focal points.

Moreover, the room’s overall purpose influences focal points. In a dining area, for example, an accent wall behind a table could enhance the dining experience. Similarly, a wall behind a desk in a home office could command attention and encourage focus.

It’s also worth observing the room’s proportions. A larger wall with ample space to accommodate design elements could serve as a striking focal point. The goal is to select a wall that feels both intuitive and significant within the room’s layout.

What role does light exposure play in choosing an accent wall?

Light exposure plays a pivotal role in the art of selecting an accent wall, as it has the ability to shape perceptions of color, texture, and overall ambiance within a space. Understanding how light interacts with the chosen wall is essential for creating a captivating and harmonious visual impact.

Consider the wall’s position in relation to natural light sources. A wall that receives ample sunlight throughout the day will highlight colors and patterns more vividly, while a wall in a dimly lit corner might benefit from brighter hues to counteract the lack of natural light.

Furthermore, the direction of light is crucial. North-facing walls generally receive cooler and more subdued light, impacting how colors appear. South-facing walls often receive warm and bright light, enhancing vibrant colors. East-facing walls are bathed in soft morning light, while west-facing walls experience warmer afternoon hues.

Texture also interacts with light. Textured materials can cast intriguing shadows and highlights when illuminated, adding depth and dimension to the wall’s design. Conversely, smooth surfaces might reflect light differently, impacting the visual effect.

Light exposure is a dynamic consideration in choosing an accent wall. By comprehending the direction, intensity, and qualities of light within a room, you can make informed choices regarding color, pattern, and texture. This ensures that the accent wall not only resonates with the room’s ambiance but also engages with the changing play of light throughout the day, offering a visual spectacle that evolves along with the environment.

How can I ensure my chosen accent wall harmonizes with existing decor?

Harmonizing your chosen accent wall with existing decor is a delicate art that requires a thoughtful approach to ensure that the overall room design remains cohesive and visually appealing. Begin by assessing the room’s color palette, furnishings, and decorative elements. Look for hues, patterns, or textures that are already present and consider how the accent wall can complement or enhance them.

Take inspiration from existing focal points or standout pieces. If you have a piece of artwork, furniture, or a rug that serves as a visual anchor, let these elements guide your accent wall’s design. Choose colors or patterns that echo or resonate with these features.

Consider contrast as well. While harmonizing with existing decor is important, a subtle contrast can add intrigue and depth to the room. For instance, if the room features predominantly neutral colors, a strategically chosen bold color for the accent wall can create a striking visual impact.

Sampling is crucial. Obtain paint swatches, fabric samples, or wallpaper samples that match your chosen decor elements. Place them against the wall to observe how they interact and ensure they harmonize without clashing.

Lastly, maintain a balanced visual weight. If the room has a dominant color, ensure the accent wall doesn’t overpower the space. Similarly, if the room features intricate patterns, a simpler accent wall design might work better.

Harmonizing your chosen accent wall with existing decor involves a synergy of colors, patterns, and textures. By carefully considering these elements and observing their interaction, you’ll ensure that the accent wall seamlessly integrates with the room’s design, enhancing its aesthetics while maintaining a cohesive and balanced environment.

What considerations should I keep in mind regarding the room’s layout?

The layout of the room plays a significant role in determining the optimal placement of an accent wall. Considerations related to layout ensure that the accent wall enhances the room’s functionality, aesthetics, and overall flow.

First, evaluate the room’s dimensions and proportions. In larger spaces, an accent wall can help define zones or areas within the room, creating a sense of intimacy. In smaller rooms, an accent wall can make the space feel more open and dynamic, as long as it doesn’t overpower the limited area.

Next, observe the room’s furniture arrangement. The accent wall should align with the arrangement to create visual balance. Placing the accent wall behind a key piece of furniture, like a sofa or bed, enhances its impact and directs attention toward the focal point.

Traffic flow is another vital consideration. Avoid placing an accent wall in a way that disrupts the natural movement within the room. Ensure that there’s ample space for people to navigate without feeling obstructed by the design.

Architectural features such as doors, windows, and architectural details should be factored in. Avoid covering essential features or making the room feel cluttered by choosing a wall that complements these elements.

Lastly, the layout should guide the scale of your design. In open-concept layouts, consider how the accent wall interacts with adjacent areas. Ensure the design maintains a visual connection while defining distinct spaces.

The room’s layout acts as the blueprint for accent wall placement. By aligning the accent wall with dimensions, furniture arrangement, traffic flow, architectural features, and overall spatial dynamics, you ensure that the accent wall harmonizes with the room’s functional and aesthetic aspects seamlessly.

How To Pick An Accent Wall


As the tapestry of selecting an accent wall nears its completion, the intricacies of this process unveil a fusion of creativity, intentionality, and spatial awareness. The journey to pick the perfect accent wall transcends beyond mere decoration; it becomes an art form that transforms rooms into immersive narratives of personal expression.

The considerations explored in this guide underscore the significance of making informed choices. From identifying natural focal points and harnessing light exposure to harmonizing with existing decor and navigating the room’s layout, each facet contributes to a symphony of design that resonates with the heart of your living spaces.

As you stand on the threshold of choosing the ideal accent wall, remember that this decision encapsulates the essence of your style, aspirations, and the character of the room itself. The chosen wall becomes a canvas upon which your artistic sensibilities are woven, impacting not only the visual aesthetics but also the emotional ambiance of the space.

In this journey, you’ve learned that the art of picking an accent wall is a harmonious interplay of creativity and practicality. By integrating these elements, you curate an environment that reflects your personality while enhancing the room’s dynamics. With each thoughtful choice, you transform walls into visual stories that captivate, inspire, and make a lasting impression.


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Sophia is a creative and passionate entrepreneur who is the founder and CEO of Bubble Slides, a rapidly growing company that designs and produces innovative and eco-friendly children's water slides. She continues to innovate and improve her products, always keeping in mind the well-being of children and the environment.

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