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Six Instances when Accent Walls Make Sense

Often when I’m called out to help select paint colors or do a house refresh clients will ask if they should add any accent walls.  My response to that question is to ask what is their objective for the accent wall.  If there is a compelling reason, then yes, I’m all for it.  But too often the question is asked because that’s just what they think they are supposed to do. Not necessarily.  


Here are six scenarios when adding an Accent Wall is beneficial:


1)  Create a focal point for a room that otherwise doesn’t have one.  

In this kitchen aren’t any dramatic features – no vent hood, no island, no pendant lighting.   So the addition of the bright blue paint gives some flare and a focal point for the room.


2) Add texture or interest to a space that doesn’t have much architectural detail.

This boxy bedroom could become a little bland.  Adding wood to the back wall offers something unexpected.


3) Create a stunning backdrop for artwork.

These individually framed pieces would disappear onto a neutral wall.  By painting the background a bright tone it turns them into a collection and makes them pop.  Instant focal point.


4) Add depth perception by pulling the directing the eye.

The beautiful architectural detail of this arch could disappear if the room behind it was the same color.  By adding a contrasting tone your eye is pulled immediately to this area, allowing the archway to shine.


5) Counterbalance otherwise unsymmetrical areas.  

Sometimes the elements in a room aren’t balanced and can make one side or another feel heavy handed.  Adding deeper accent tones can level this out and create an overall sense of balance. In this wall of cabinetry the pops of bold color draw your eye to the left and counterbalance the larger TV opening to the right.


6) Be playful and have some fun.

If this is your motivation then by all means go for it.  But be bold.  Add patterns, mix colors, go for the unexpected.  It doesn’t have to be over the top but it’s your chance to show off your creative side so push the boundaries a little.  And for those who are worried about resale I advise you stick to a smaller wall that can easily be repainted by you down the road if needed.


Here are some more fun examples of accent walls done right:


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