How to Choose Your Accent Wall

An accent wall can make a plain room look architecturally interesting, or it can jazz up an already interesting room.

The question is, which wall should you make a feature of? Following are some tips.

Which Wall To Choose

The first place to start is to look around the room and consider if any wall has a natural focus. Does an open fireplace draw your eye as soon as you enter the room? Is one wall fitted with an in-built bookcase that commands attention? Or is there a nook in the room created by its proportions, the wall behind of which would make an ideal accent wall?

If there is no outstanding architectural feature that suggests the ideal accent wall, you can create one yourself with furniture placement and decor. For example, the wall behind the headboard in a bedroom makes an ideal accent wall. The bed, being a dominant piece of furniture, draws attention already. Adding the accent wall will further emphasize this area of the room.

Alternatively, you could decorate the accent wall in a living room with your favorite painting or series of prints so creating a dominant focal point. The accent wall will accentuate these decorative elements so they really pop out.

Creating One Main Focal Point

When painting an accent wall, you should avoid creating several different competing focal points. For instance, one wall has an ornate built-in fireplace, with a large painting overhead that pulls your eye as soon as you enter the room. And another wall, accented in a different colour, highlighting some amazing plants, equally draws your eye. These two walls are having a tug-of-war for your attention, and this can create a disorganized or disharmonious feeling.

By creating one major focus, and other supporting, less dominant points of interest, there will be no confusion about what the main show is. A good way to become aware of the dominant feature of a room is to just observe yourself when you enter it; where do your own eyes travel? Do you feel any conflict?

Room Proportions

Also, consider the room proportions. In an oblong or rectangular room, if you accent the end wall, this will usually have the effect of bringing it forward so balancing out the room proportions. This does depend on the color used. On the other hand, If you accent the long wall in a rectangular room, this can further elongate the room.  Which wall to accent in such a room will depend on the effect you want to create.

Other considerations when choosing which wall to accent, is the location of the doors and windows. It is more traditional not to accent walls with doors and windows but again this depends on what you want to create.

While an accent wall creates interest within a room, you need to be careful about which wall to feature. There are no cookie cutter answers as every room is different, with varied proportions, architectural elements, and furniture. An accent wall is a good way to be creative with interior painting.