By Eden Spatz
Accent walls are an easy, modern and relatively inexpensive way to brighten and refresh a space. They allow you to play with color in a less restrictive way than committing to an entire room, allowing for more creative flexibility and fun. Accent walls are great for spaces both small and large, and they don’t require a lot of space stipulations. Just follow these five basic principles when choosing and executing your accent wall, and you’ll be amazed at the difference it will make in your space.
1. Balance the Color Impact
Consider what kind of effect you want to have in your space when selecting the right wall to accent and which color. Using a bright color alone can bring zing to a room, and give a modern feel. But it will also be the center of attention, which can be a pro or a con. Dark colors around a wall with windows can distort the space, while warm colors play with perception and draw the eye towards them. Will your wall be covered with art or pictures? What existing features or planned furnishings are nearby? A dramatic accent wall will lose much of its impact if it’s outshined by a statement sofa or obscured by drapes or a floor lamp, but that can also allow a bolder choice of color that would be too much on its own.
2. Play with Patterns
Don’t limit your accent wall to just a bold swathe of color. Textures, stripes, and stencils are all exciting options for an accent wall that create visual interest and dimension in a decorating scheme, while still just using paint and inexpensive tape or other stenciling tools. It’s a little more labor, but the results are deﬁnitely worth the effort.
3. More Than a Color
Photos, paintings, tapestries and other wall decor can all be used to create an accent wall. Photo walls are a favorite, and playing with different sizes and styles of frames can create an artsy, eclectic vibe, or they can be sleek and modern if they stick to just one style of gallery frame. Wallpaper is also a lux, easy way to update a space, and doing only an accent wall reduces the cost significantly when compared to wallpapering an entire room. Other options are wood paneling, tile or (faux) brick for an organic, industrial touch.
4. Disrupt the Color
Sometimes an accent wall can go from an accent to the main event, especially when done in a bold color or used in a small space. But that doesn’t mean you have to stick to only accenting large rooms or using muted colors. If the color is a little overwhelming in one plain section, break it up with a large neutral colored painting, cloth hanging or mirror.
5. Bring in Accents
The easiest, freshest way to ensure your color wall is cohesive with the rest of the space is to add in pops of either an identical or complementary color to your decor. Think a bright painting or frame on a plain adjacent wall, a matching chair on the opposite side of the room, throw pillows on a neutral sofa, or a color-block or accent rug.
Whether you’re looking to refresh a room, create visual depth or streamline your space, focal walls create a fresh new look with minimal effort and cost. Although many variables are at play when choosing your “special” wall, the savvy home decorator who does her research and follows these tips will have a distinct and harmonious space in any room she wants.
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