DIY: 3 Tips for Creating Accent Walls

Posted by Laine Smith on 7/12/15 2:02 PM

Topics: Home Ownership

Bold wall colors can be a scary concept for some homeowners, but accent walls are a great way to add color to a space without going overboard. Successful accent walls are all about strategy, so  read through these tips before grabbing your paint brush.


Image courtesy of blackzheep at

Choosing the Room

Different rooms let in different kinds of natural lighting. Rooms on the east or north side of a home let in a cooler quality of sunlight, while rooms on the south or west side of a home let in warmer lighting. Cool-hued accent walls are best for southern or western rooms and warm-hued accent walls are best for eastern or northern rooms as they balance out the visual temperature of the room.

Choosing the Wall

Your color choice will change the perception of the wall on which it is placed.

Warm Hues
Reds, oranges, and yellows pull the wall closer to the viewer. A bright orange wall will appear closer than a plain white wall, so if you're going with a warm color choose a wall that can be "shortened" in perception. It's a good idea to place a warm hued accent on an end wall. Painting a side wall will make a long room appear narrower.
Cool Hues
Blues, greens, and purples do the opposite, pushing the wall away from the viewer. Cool tones allow you to make a short room seem longer or a skinny room feel widers when painting an end wall or side wall.
Keep in mind that an accent wall will lose some of its "pop" if it's covered too much with artwork, built-ins, pictures, etc. In contrast, a fully exposed accent wall can be overwhelming, so pick a wall that you can balance with other design elements.

Choosing the Color

For inspiration, pick your favorite piece of artwork, decor, throw pillow, etc. and choose a color that's most appealing to you. Does it blend well with your main wall colors? Could you live with this color of accessories for a while? If so, go with it - just make sure your other wall colors are neutral and won't compete with the accent color.

If you are going for a more subtle contrast, use a deeper color of your existing wall colors, which will be just enough to add interest to your space.

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