Photo: Katarzyna Bialasiewicz/Getty Images
If you’re looking to create an instant focal point in any room of the house, consider incorporating one of these accent wall ideas into your space. No matter your interior design style, an accent wall is bound to liven up your home, whether you choose to execute yours using wallpaper, framed art, paint, paneling, or another medium entirely. The best part is that you can work an accent wall—which is oftentimes referred to as a feature wall—into any room you’d like. Why not bring some bright colors into the home office or try a bedroom accent wall in lieu of a standard headboard?
Below, you will find 19 stylish accent wall ideas that are full of visual interest and will inspire you to do something about at least one of those blank white walls that have been bothering you for months and could use a little DIY love. You’ll also find budget-friendly tips on how to execute a great accent wall and learn more about why it’s so key for making a bold statement.
1. Hang an eclectic gallery wall
Nicole Arruda, the founder of Nicole Alexandra Design in New York City, installed an accent wall on the lower level of this Summit, New Jersey, home. “This long hallway was the perfect opportunity to bring in some interest,” Arruda says. “It leads to the office, so incorporating pieces that tied in to my client’s work just felt right.” To make the gallery wall appear fresh, Arruda chose to incorporate a wide range of frame options, alternated the ways in which she hung frames on the wall, and included a mix of small and large scale works. “The finishing touch was the picture lights, which provide function for a dark hallway while highlighting this accent wall perfectly,” the designer adds. “This is a great way to really make your art pop!”
2. Get clever with molding
Kevin Francis O’Gara, the founder of Atlanta-based Kevin Francis Design, added major visual interest to this primary bedroom in his home city by making use of molding while establishing a cohesive color scheme. “I carried the dark brown paint color onto the ceiling trim to accentuate the molding and create a cocoon effect around the bed,” O’Gara explains. “The room itself is fairly long; By emphasizing this architectural detail, I created a focal point, anchoring the side of the room where the bed is positioned.” Sconces from Visual Comfort hang on either side of the bed and contribute to the room’s industrial feel.
3. Make your wall both fun and functional
There’s no rule saying that accent walls can’t be equal parts pretty and practical. Why not think a bit outside the box when it comes to decor ideas? In this downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, residence, area designer Lisa Gilmore, the founder of Lisa Gilmore Design, jazzed up a wall appropriately located adjacent to the home’s wine lounge with bottles aplenty. “This home’s energy was centered around art and entertaining,” she shares. “We chose to color block throughout the space to have that high energy throughout.”
4. Spice up the home office with a mural
In a home office also located in St. Petersburg, Gilmore commissioned a hand-painted mural by local artist Chad Mize. “We originally had a cool wallpaper mural planned for this wall, but due to the scale, desk height, and window locations, it wasn't going to work out,” the designer explains. She drew upon Mize, who put his own artistic spin on the original concept, which Gilmore and her client fell in love with right away. She adds, “The home office is now full of positive energy and the happiness of waterfront living.”
5. Create a focal point in the powder bathroom
We often see accent walls in the living room or bedroom, but they can shine in any room of the home, including the powder bath. In the same St. Petersburg home highlighted above, Gilmore designed a back wall using large format antique mirror glass. “The space is very small, so we wanted to have a big impact without being too overwhelming,” she says.
6. Make a statement with board and batten in the entryway
In a Port Washington, New York, home’s two-story foyer, Danielle Chiprut, the founder of Rockville Centre, New York-based Danielle Rose Design Co., formed an accent wall using board and batten molding. “Our intention was to highlight the room's impressive height and create a warm, inviting entryway,” she says.
7. Say hello to a stone wall
In a Jones, Oklahoma, living room, Kelsey Leigh McGregor of Kelsey Leigh Design Co. chose to incorporate a stone accent wall. “We really wanted to bring texture into this space and make a new home feel older,” the Edmond, Oklahoma–based designer explains. “Adding a stone wall in the living room was the obvious choice to accomplish this, plus it was the perfect way to highlight a rustic modern style.”
8. Implement a curved design
In her own Canton, Michigan, home, Haneen Matt, the founder of Haneen’s Haven, gave her primary bathroom a luxurious looking makeover, creating a 19th-century-inspired accent wall behind her tub. Inspired by molding she spotted on eBay, Matt opted to go the DIY route, working with her contractor to create the arched structure shown here. A top ledge is perfect for leaning art, displaying candlesticks, and the like.
9. Try a two-tone look
Fiona Leonard, the founder of Fiona Leonard Interiors in Darien, Connecticut, opted to create a two-toned accent wall consisting of Benjamin Moore Van Deusen Blue and Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray in a teenage boy’s room in Weston, Connecticut. “We wanted to add a deep rich color but the client didn’t want the room to feel too dark,” she says, explaining the goal was to create a more mature looking room design.
10. Camouflage closets creatively
When working with a client who wished to hide the two builder grade closets in his Philadelphia home office, Michelle Gage “devised a plan to make them nearly invisible,” by installing walnut wood tambour walls. The closets are still functional, explains the founder of Michelle Gage Interior Design in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania—but they’re so much more chic.
11. Select a wall mural for behind the bed
Natalie Papier, the founder of Home EC., created a DIY accent wall in her own Charlotte, North Carolina, primary suite using a mural from Fine & Dandy Co. “Because this bedroom had a recessed wall for the bed placement, it felt like an opportunity to make this nook a focal point in the bedroom,” she says.
12. Use bright colors and plants to breathe life into any space
When designing a pilates studio in Carson, California, Julia Newman, the founder of LA’s Julia Adele Design, opted to paint the area over the storage cubbies in Benjamin Moore’s Blue Spa. Due to the nature of the space, “I wanted an energizing color, something that was invigorating and brought a good energy and vibe,” she says. A variety of green friends exude additional life.
13. Display a collection of baskets
Diane Rath went 3D with a mix of vintage and contemporary collected African and Moroccan woven baskets and bowls, which shine on one of the walls of her pool house in Fairfield, Connecticut. The founder of the Rath Project says, “I wanted to heighten the texture of the white-painted, unfinished walls while adding some color.” Plus, Rath adds, it was imperative to evoke a “very casual and organic vibe—very much the feeling I want everyone to experience when lounging and swimming on a summer’s day.”
14. Opt for wood paneling in a bold color
Rebecca Plumb, the founder of Studio Plumb in Sacramento, California, incorporated a brightly colored accent wall made from wood paneling into the primary bedroom of a South Lake Tahoe, California, home. “To echo the shape of the mountains and add movement, we installed tongue-and-groove boards in an oversized chevron pattern and painted it a vivid, nostalgic green,” Plumb says. The homeowner, who is an artist and illustrator, actually hand-painted the rowing oars that hang on the wall.
15. Add visual interest to a gallery wall with unexpected finds
The team at Mackenzie Collier Interiors in Phoenix hung a colorful gallery wall in a transitional area between the living room and kitchen. The wall consists of more than just standard artwork—you may spot a bright orange clock and vintage motorcycle license plate, for example. “The frames selected are different colors and sizes to add a curated and collected touch to the space,” explains senior designer Yoselin Castro.
16. Repurpose antique frames
This accent wall is situated at the end of a long hallway in a Raleigh, North Carolina, home and features some of designer Liz Goldberg’s clients’ many maps from their travels. She framed the wall art in various antique decorative frames, each of which had been lacquered in a hue present elsewhere throughout the home. “We loved the juxtaposition of the vintage frames in unexpected, saturated, and modern colors,” reflects Goldberg, the founder of Carolynleona. This is an approach that’s equal parts budget-friendly and full of personality.
17. Try your hand at a DIY floral mural
Bari Ackerman, the founder of Bari J. Designs in Charlotte, North Carolina, hand-painted this floral mural freehand in a Scottsdale, Arizona, guest bedroom. “It had previously been a big chalk board wall with florals I’d drawn on it,” she says of the DIY. “I erased my original art and loved the smeared look of the chalkboard paint, so I left it underneath the new painted scene.”
18. Go bold with black
Dara Beitler, the founder of Dara Beitler Interiors in Potomac, Maryland, says that she worked alongside the builder to install a feature wall to add depth, height, and symmetry to the dining room of a Kensington, Maryland, home. The wall is coated in a saturated version of Sherwin-Williams Tricorn Black and serves as the focal point of the space.
19) Look to your backsplash for inspiration
In the powder room of an Olney, Maryland, home, Beitler covered one wall with a a popular backsplash material: a stunning blue-green Moroccan zellige tile by Zia Tile. “The clients expressed an interest in including handmade materials to enhance authenticity, color, and texture to the space,” she says.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ready to design your own accent wall? Consider these common questions.
Can you DIY an accent wall?
As these accent wall ideas prove, it is entirely possible to design a DIY accent wall, whether you chose to do so with paint, by hanging a gallery wall of art pieces, by installing a peel-and-stick geometric wallpaper mural, applying paneling, or taking another route.
Can you incorporate an accent wall into a small space?
As you can tell by the array of accent wall ideas above, you can certainly include an accent wall in a small space or room for an eye-catching surprise. Accent walls will add instant personality to a powder room, petite apartment living room, and many other spaces short on square footage. A small space is an excellent opportunity to try a bedroom accent wall that mimics the effects of a headboard, for example.
Do accent walls complement all aesthetics?
Accent walls will shine in any type of home, regardless of one’s home decor style. That said, they are more often seen in vibrant, eclectic spaces and appear less often in minimalist homes. Accent walls generally serve to provide a pop of color within a room, according to interior design experts, so don’t shy away from paint colors that make a bold statement.
What is the rule for accent walls?
Home design pros say that when incorporating an accent wall, “Do it with intention or don’t do it at all,” Lisa Gilmore says. This means really focusing on amping up a room’s visual interest. “When it comes to creating an accent wall, my rule is to make a statement,” Danielle Chiprut adds. “I recommend going big and bold. It’s your opportunity to express your personality in your home and create a stunning focal point.”
Are accent walls in style in 2023?
Accent walls are still having a moment this year, designers say. The key is to keep your personal interior design preferences top of mind. “Accent walls will always be in style as long as it feels authentic to you and your design style,” Chiprut says. “It’s about how you incorporate them into your home.”
How do you make an accent wall cheap?
Paint is an affordable option when it comes to accent wall design. “The cheapest way to add depth to a room or emphasize the focal point in the space is to choose a complementary paint color and buy a sample pot of paint,” Kevin O’Gara explains. “Usually this is enough to cover one wall!”
Are two accent walls too much?
The number of accent walls in your home is less important than whether or not the walls you design suit your space. “As long as your accent walls are complementary to your existing decor, I don’t see any reason why there should be a limit on the number of accent walls in a house,” O’Gara says. That said, he advises sticking to just one per room. “Think of it like styling an outfit,” adds Gilmore. “You’re not going to wear all your jewelry in your jewelry box, but you will have a focal piece with some supporting pieces to finish the look.”
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
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