Accent Walls Accentuate Your Style

Want to create some interest in a room with a pop of color? Try painting a few accent walls. This wall will serve as a great focal point and may be the perfect remedy for a drab room. It is also a great compromise for those who are timid of color but want to take that next step.

Pick a coordinating color that fits the room's overall theme. You want to make a dramatic statement so bold is better. Just as you may have used an inspiration piece to determine some initial paint colors for other rooms, you may refer to one again for the wall color.

Accent Wall Color Inspiration
This fabric inspired the wall color choice and the overall gothic styling of this bedroom. The wall color, pumpkin spice, was chosen from the darker square in the diamond pattern.

Accent Wall Color

Accent Wall Colors

This deep color makes a bold statement when surrounded by the neighboring, neutral walls and ceiling. It creates an anchor for furniture and becomes a focal point for the room.

Besides defining an area of interest in a room, accent walls can amplify architectural details.


Accent Wall

Notice how the wall color accentuates the detail of this bedroom's cove ceiling and the ceiling angles of the kitchen and home office below.

Bold Accent Wall

Bold Accent Wall

Can't figure out which wall to paint? Consider these suggestions.

  • Pick the wall with the fireplace. The fireplace already lends itself to being a focal and architectural feature in a room. Make it say more by painting the wall it's anchored to.

  • Pick the wall you face when you walk into a room from its entry.

  • Do you have a neat breakfast nook or eat-in kitchen area? Define this area with an accent color.

  • Pick the bedroom wall that your headboard rests against.

  • Do you have vaulted ceilings? Consider painting the wall that follows the vault and really defines the angle of the ceiling. This creates some dramatic visual interest and accentuates the height of the room.

  • Pick the wall where the TV and entertainment center is located. This looks especially great with wall mounted, flat panel televisions.


Accent walls are great projects as they can be added at any time and typically can be completed within a day.

If you like having one wall of color, consider painting the opposite one the same. I have done this in numerous homes and it is always well received. Keep the other two walls a lighter, neutral color. I normally choose antique white but a lighter shade of the accent wall color will produce a nice cohesion.

Breaking up the color in this manner creates an airy feel and eliminates the confinement four dark colored walls may produce.



Ready to bring some color into your life?

Unless you have an extremely steady hand when cutting in your accent color where it meets the other walls and ceiling, I highly recommend using painter's tape. It provides a sharper, cleaner line in the corners where the colors meet.

Tip: Make sure you affix the tape firmly to minimize paint bleeding under it. Removing the tape at a sharp angle before the paint fully dries will inhibit the paint from tearing and reduce any need for touch-up.

For additional help, visit Paint Finishes and the Painting a Room guide.

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