Please Do It Right, or Don’t Do It At All – The Accent Wall

Seems to me that many people just can’t get enough of the “accent wall.”   Let’s discuss. 

yellow accent wall via bhg Please Do It Right, or Dont Do It At All   The Accent Wall

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I’m certainly not against having an accent wall, but you need to think about why you want one.  Sometimes I think people are too scared to paint the entire room the color they really love.  So they paint some wimpy neutral, then paint one wall the color they really wanted.

black fireplace accent wall via decorpad Please Do It Right, or Dont Do It At All   The Accent Wall

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It never ceases to amaze me just which wall people will choose to accent.  To accent is to draw attention to one thing – one wall, right?  So make sure you accent the right wall.  Why is this wall accented, anyway?

gray wallpaper accent wall via bhg Please Do It Right, or Dont Do It At All   The Accent Wall

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Ignoring the architecture is always a mistake.  Let your architecture be your guide – which wall deserves to be accented?  The one with interesting architecture, of course.  Remember this room?  A team of designers created it on HGTV’s Design Star the year Antonio won.  Guess what – they accented the WRONG wall, in my humble opinion.   The fireplace should have been the wall that was accented.  So sorry, Antonio, but I did like the hot pink geese.

antonios room on design star via hgtv Please Do It Right, or Dont Do It At All   The Accent Wall

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Don’t be arbitrary with your paint.  Some of the right places for an accent wall include a fireplace wall, the wall that anchors your bed, an interesting nook, or a bookcase wall.

blue accent wall bedroom via homedesigners us Please Do It Right, or Dont Do It At All   The Accent Wall

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 So, share with me your thoughts about the ever-popular accent wall.  Or, ask me a question and I’ll try to help you decide just which wall you should be accenting!  For more advice on just the right color placement, read my post on painting trim vs. drywall here.  

(Update:  since the writing of this article, I posted  The Right Wall to Paint an Accent Color and  Accent Wall Alert – Don’t Make This Mistake!  Make sure you check them out.) 

Subscribe to The Decorologist today for more insider tips about color and decorating.  If you want to learn how to choose the right paint colors and right color placement in your home, check out my online Paint Color Class!

pixel Please Do It Right, or Dont Do It At All   The Accent Wall

Comments

  1. Dianne Tant says:

    I love your term “wimpy neutral”! ha I saw that episode with Antionia…but I did not like the pink geese…however…that is what made him win that time…now he has his own show

  2. I so agree with you about the accent wall…those pink geese would have looked amazing on the dark brown and they and the fireplace would automatically pull you into their warmth. The navy wall and bookcase are great in that bedroom.

  3. I so agree with everything you said! Also, a lot of people will ask for an accent wall when their room is just too small to have an odd painted wall. I love, love that last picture! Do you know what color blue that is? Love the painted flower. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing- great post!

  4. I agree, so right on about wanting to use a color and “wimping out”.

  5. I totally agree…it has to be done correctly for it to work! I have friend who keeps on telling me he wants to do an accent wall of orange, but he always points to the wrong wall. Guess which wall I tell him would be best…yup the fireplace wall! I like it used a little bit, as an entire home with just accent walls looks a little too much to me. Have an awesome week!

  6. I almost always dislike the accent wall … but there are times that it works … and you’ve pointed out one thing that *has* to be right for it to work!!

  7. Not sure what that whole HGTV room looks like, but to me, in that photo, the white wall looks like the accent wall. It makes the fireplace stand out as the black wall recedes. Now if it was a different photo with all white walls except the back wall, I might think otherwise.

    I think accent walls only work if you have no architectural details. Accent wall in a Craftsman bungalow looks weird, accent wall in a giant McMansion works since there’s nothing else working as an accent.

    • erin, the accent wall in the hgtv room is a dark purple and the rest of the walls are white. i have to disagree about the mcmansions and the accent wall. i think that is where it is terribly misused, by and large. even though it may seem like there are no architectural details in most mcmansions, it’s important to either define the focal wall or a symmetrical wall (one with symmetrical windows or other features) to make the “accent wall.” i find that even in contemporary spaces, there is architectural detail – the problem is that it is usually all swathed in white, so it’s difficult to notice. Like how columns are often painted the same as the wall color, rather than making it look more architectural by painting it out like trim. i agree that a typical accent walls look weird in a Craftsman bungalow, but it looks great when a plastered chimney or back of a bookcase is painted out an accent color.

  8. mistybrooke05 says:

    I have an accent wall in my bedroom. I have 3 light grey walls with a yellow accent wall behind my platform bed. I think it looks great! However, I don’t like when people choose to use accent walls in every room. It takes away from the whole idea or point of it and where I live it became more of a trend. It’s supposed to be an accent, it’s supposed to be special, unique even…so it should be done sparingly.

  9. So true. Somehow people think they can just sneak in a little colour on that one wall and it will be like adding a pillow. It’s a tough one to understand that there needs to be just as much thought and planning as if the whole room had been painted that colour.

  10. Love this article! If you like a color go paint the whole room with it! But I loved it on the fireplace wall.

  11. The wall id like to paint as the accent wall (the one our couch sits against) is oddly connected to the kitchen… how do you decide where to end the color?

    Also, in a small apartment is it smarter to choose a vibrant accent wall or paint the entire living area a more calm version of the color I love? Im afraid a vibrant hue will overwhelm our small space!

    • if the wall is oddly connected to anything, it might not be the best choice for an accent wall. usually the perfect accent wall in any room is . . . the ceiling! why not paint the walls a nice neutral and put the color on the ceiling? that’s what i’m seeing in lots of the high-end new construction. it’s actually more subtle than you might imagine – even a darker tone can visually lift the ceiling (dark colors appear to recede).

  12. That was my first thought, too: They accented the wrong wall! They probably thought the dark color would make this wall stand back and let the white shine, but… No. It doesn’t.

    In other news, I just found your blog and I think it’s great! Cool resource for my upcoming move and redecoration :-D

    Relatable Style

  13. Hi – I’m thinking of painting a bavy accent wall in my 2yr old son’s room. I was going to do the windowless/doorless wall that his headboard will be up against. This is his bedding, and he will have espresso furniture: http://www.potterybarnkids.com/products/freeport-quilt/ Any suggestions for what color navy? I’m going to be using Benjamin Moore paint. Also, what color would you paint the other three walls (we have “white dove” Benjamin Moore woodwork). Thanks!

  14. Hi – I’m thinking of painting a navy accent wall in my 2yr old son’s room. I was going to do the windowless/doorless wall that his headboard will be up against. This is his bedding, and he will have espresso furniture: http://www.potterybarnkids.com/products/freeport-quilt/ Any suggestions for what color navy? I’m going to be using Benjamin Moore paint. Also, what color would you paint the other three walls (we have “white dove” Benjamin Moore woodwork). Thanks!

  15. Dominique says:

    Hello there,

    I really like the wall decal on the photo with the grey and blue accent wall. I wanted to know if you could tell me where I can get that exact one please I would greatly appreciate it. I am actually trying to do something similar to the wonderful idea you have up there.

  16. I agree with all of this! Accent walls are often done horribly wrong. I’m not going to like though, I do like the pink geese! ;D

  17. Hi,
    We are painting our daughters room. we are choosing a teal hue and also an off white hue. We are going to use the teal behind her queen size bed with headboard that also has a window on the same wall. My husband disagrees with us here. We want to also paint teal on the wall that has the closet door too. He thinks we should only have 1 accent wall. We think the two smaller walls should have the color and the other two walls in the off white. What is the rule here?
    fyi, the room is an 11x 10″ room with the 11′ wall being off white, as well as the wall with the entry door being off white.
    Thank you for your advice.

    • Well, there are no real rules, but I have never recommended doing 2 walls in an accent color. If you do half the walls, it’s no longer an “accent.” If you want to do 2 walls, why not just paint the entire room in that color? Don’t be scared! Otherwise, pick the wall you want to accent (one wall) – the one with the bed. Hope that helps!

  18. We are painting our master bedroom, which is a long room with eaves and a small craftsman-style lead-glass window on the far end of the room, above the bed. The previous owner painted the room stark white; ceiling, eaves and the short walls. I would like the room to be gray and navy. The wall that I would like to accent is the wall with the bed and window (because of the eaves it is the shape of home plate) Would that be appropriate to paint the wall navy, and the short walls and ceiling/ eaves gray? Or, would that be too busy because of the architecture, and I should just paint the entire thing gray, and have navy bedding, etc. ?

    • Well, it wouldn’t be bad unless the room is long and thin – it might accentuate that even further. I think I’d choose a great warm gray for the walls and do navy for your fabrics/accents.

  19. My son wants to paint his room a bright blue but has this obsession with doing an accent wall. What is your opinion on doing sort of a reverse accent wall? There will be three bright blue walls and one “wimpy neutral” white wall (or another color if you have any suggestions…we aren’t sure on the color of this wall) where the bed is going to be. Any info would be appreciated!!

    • Hmmm, I don’t think I’d do the wimpy white wall unless I had some fantastic art to put on that wall. How about a red or dark gray to go with that bright blue? I think something with a similar intensity would be a better bet.

      • The wimpy white wall was actually being used for random quotes in a similar blue color but he does not know this yet. I have just told him I have something to put on the wall that represents his personality. I’m worried if I go with another intense color it will take away from the quotes.

  20. I live in a small condo where the dining room and living room share one big space on the first floor. You enter into a small hallway from the front door. The hallway opens into the dining/living room area. I want to color all the walls asparagus green (BEHR paints), but am wondering if I should have an accent wall. If so I am not sure which wall to pick…since there are no seemingly interesting features in any of the walls. There is one huge blank wall that connects both the dining and living room area. Please advise.

    Going with asparagus green for the downstairs bedroom would also like suggestions on what to color the stairwell wall which is to the right of the small hallway. The stairs lead to a hallway upstairs.
    I am also wondering if I should color the stairwell wall and the upstairs hallway the same color, since one does lead into the other.

    • Tricia,
      I’m not familiar with Behr colors (I primarily specify Ben Moore and Sherwin Williams). Only do an accent wall if there is something architectural you want to highlight, otherwise it’s pointless. I mean, what’s the point? Colors that might pair nicely with an asparagus green could be a vivid yellow (not buttery) or a blue on the green side.

  21. I live in a small condo where the dining room and living room share one big space on the first floor. You enter into a small hallway from the front door. The hallway opens into the dining/living room area. I want to color all the walls asparagus green (BEHR paints), but am wondering if I should have an accent wall. If so I am not sure which wall to pick…since there are no seemingly interesting features in any of the walls. There is one huge blank wall that connects both the dining and living room area. Please advise.

    Going with asparagus green for the downstairs dining/living area would also like suggestions on what to color the stairwell wall which is to the right of the small hallway. The stairs lead to a hallway upstairs.
    I am also wondering if I should color the stairwell wall and the upstairs hallway the same color, since one does lead into the other.

  22. Hi. That was a nice piece and something I’m very interested in at the moment. We just bought a house and neither my husband nor I fancy ourselves as interior designers. But the idea of accent walls really caught our attention. The previous owners of our house painted it a darker tone of butter yellow (if that’s imaginable!), but half of 1 wall has been painted to resemble red bricks in a country house. Now, we love the red brick bit. But we hate the yellow. Is there a light colour that would go with red brick?

  23. lolalola28 says:

    Hi there! I wish I could send pics, however I’ll attempt to describe my bedroom as best as possible.

    Room size is 10 x 13 with a vaulted ceiling. The door is to the left of the room, as you walk in. The wall directly across from the door is window wall which is where my bed is placed. Wall to left is empty, while wall on right of room has built in storage, TV and closet. Highest point of vault ceiling is wall above door.

    I’d like to do an accent wall with some sort of cool, interesting wallpaper. Although the wall with window/bed seems to be the “correct” wall to do this, the wall to left has the vault that goes up to ceiling and seems like it would be an interesting choice. I might also consider installing a floating fireplace here. Help! Thoughts?

  24. can you tell me what colors are used in bedroom looks like dark blue and gray love them what to paint my bedroom that cant find names of colors.
    thank you Lisa

  25. We have a very small house and I would like to paint my very small living room and maybe into the hall. My question is would it look weird to go from a red kitchen to a darker neutral color in the hall and living room? My bathroom is also painted a neutral color but it won’t be the same as the living room/hall. We just bought a new couch and it is a soft camel color. OR should I just do an accent wall where my fireplace is and do it a darker more brown color or I have some red left over form my kitchen. I just don’t know how to make the rooms flow into each other. You can’t see the kitchen form the loving room. Please help!!!

  26. Christine says:

    Hi: First, please think of ALL the pictures here as BEFORE. There are many things to work on so am looking for your honest feedback, but first, re accent wall. I was thinking of painting my long window wall and accent wall, perhaps with a circle geometric pattern I saw, as well as the small wall opposite (which is not pictured). Thinking of going deep, deep, navy blue. I have silk, ivory-cream curtains that I could hang on that wall, and perhaps even the two windows flanking the bed. One item I intend to purchase this year is an upholstered bed with tufted headboard in a pale fabric.

    You mention that the accent wall should be the bed wall, but am wondering since you walk into the room from the 40ft-long hallway to see the 3-window wall, can an exception be made in this case? I think that a dark color on all 4 walls would be a mistake, but am open to suggestions. I also love the idea of a chandelier over bed to replace ceiling fan. So, please, help, help, help!!!!
    http://img713.imageshack.us/img713/6812/photo3ho.jpg
    http://img830.imageshack.us/img830/4852/photo2jc.jpg
    http://img703.imageshack.us/img703/2228/photo1zd.jpg

  27. Hello! I am debating an accent wall in my daughter’s room. We were given bedding and curtains that I plan to use (hence no say in the color choice) but am struggling with the color. The colors on the bedding are cream and a dark, rosey pink color – the curtains are Waverly fabric check and the bedding is a toile. I found a color that seems to match well with the dark pink but I think it is too dark for the whole room. There is only one wall with windows so I am thinking of the wall with the windows in the dark pink and the rest in cream (or a light pink). Am I thinking through this correctly? Any ideas? Also if anyone knows a dark rosey pink or cream they love, please tell me!! Thanks for the help!! Laura

    • Laura,
      Instead of a wall to accent, have you considered painting the ceiling pink? You could do a creamy neutral on the walls and pink on the ceiling. Don’t worry about matching it exactly to your fabrics, it just needs to blend. Make sure you use a darker or lighter pink that has similar undertones. You know, if you have a peachy-pink fabric you wouldn’t do a purply-pink paint. Check out this post to see where I combined neutral walls (SW’s Accessible Beige) and a custom pink for the ceiling: http://thedecorologist.com/in-the-pink-at-the-southern-living-showcase-house-tour

  28. Hi! Our headboard wall also has a window. Is that then spoor choice for an accent wall? Thanks!

  29. Hi!
    We are currently redoing our bedroom and have picked out a bedspread and side table lamps that we love (website for each of those items are attached). I am just stuck on what color to do the accent wall. The wall is on the east side of the house where our headboard and side tables (with lamps) reside. I’d love to hear your input! Thanks!!!

    http://www.westelm.com/products/organic-ironwork-duvet-shams-b675/?pkey=cduvet-covers
    http://www.lowes.com/pd_338350-32435-S-2479_4294798238_4294937087_?productId=3343310&Ns=p_product_prd_lis_ord_nbr|0||p_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl_Lamp%2BShades_4294798238_4294937087_%3FNs%3Dp_product_prd_lis_ord_nbr%7C0%7C%7Cp_product_qty_sales_dollar%7C1&facetInfo=

  30. Hello,

    That last design with the blue wall and gray flowers looks amazing!! Would you happen to know that color of blue and where I can get those flower decals or is it hand drawn??

    • OMG! I just happened to find these conversations and I love Kristie’s advice! My 9 year old daughter is wanting an updated and bigger kid room, and she picked out a loft bed (metal and black). It doesn’t really match anything we have in her room (white shelves, white desk and chair, all traditional sort of even classic kid style furniture.) I figure she will probably change her mind a million times between now and high school, so we got the loft, but kept all the other stuff too. We did her bedding and some accents in zebra print (to help bring some black into the room). It looks great. My question lies in her wall color. Her room is currently a beautiful shade of light lavender (my favorite color purple ever!) She wants to go a little darker purple with (get this) a turquoise (or teal or aqua) accent wall! Can this be done without looking completely hideous??? If it can be done, could you please provide names of paint colors and where to buy them? Please help!!! Thank you!

  31. Alright, Kristie, I’ve got a bit of a conundrum I’d like to ask you about—

    I love color and I’m definitely not afraid to use it; but my new apartment has small bedroom, practically no natural light, one wall of smooth-surfaced sliding closet doors, and three terrible popcorn covered walls that I am powerless to do anything about. I got some tall vinyl decals of birch trees (thinking the vertical pattern of the trees would help to visually lift the ceiling), but I can only adhere them to a smooth surface, a.ka. the closet doors…so I’m going to have a big graphic statement on a wall *adjacent* to my bed instead of behind. So, should I paint the wall the headboard is on in an accent color to anchor the bed? Or will it just compete with the decaled wall of closet doors? Is it ever okay to have the accent wall be a wall other than the one on which your headboard sits? Thanks in advance for your advice! :)

    • Oh! Just to be clear, the birch decals are white, so the closet doors have to be a color that provides some contrast. The wall opposite the bed has a long, awkward window in the corner adjacent to the closets, and my silvery dresser is on that wall. The wall opposite the closets houses my mahogany desk and bright white shelving. My headboard is also mahogany, and I MacGyver-ed some white floating drawers with gray drawer fronts as nightstands. I wanted to do the room in a palette of turquoise, green, gray, and white, but I’ve painted the room twice already and can’t seem to hit the right saturation. So in addition to knowing which wall (if any) to accent with color, I’m also open to suggestions on color. Thanks again!

  32. I’m having the accent wall debate. My accent wall is a wall paper will a silver shimmer: http://www.houzz.com/questions/83081/

  33. Hi – I am wondering what the name of the blue accent wall paint is that is in the bedroom pic you have possted? Thanks

  34. Hi! I am having a little bit of a situation! My bedroom currently has one wall with sliding doors on to the balcony, and the opposite wall is all closet doors. I want to do an accent wall because my walls are all white and the room doesn’t feel warm enough – but I want to paint the wall opposite my bed because it is a longer wall! Is this a silly idea? Everything I have read has said the wall behind your bed should be the accent wall, but then I’d still be stuck with a big white wall opposite… Any ideas?

  35. Christina says:

    WOW, I know what I like when I see it…! Great advice style you have, Ms. Barnett. I have a 9X13 room, and have chosen BM Ashley Gray. Having a bit of the whimpy issue, only because I’m not sure if that room is too small for that dark (ish) color. There is a wall with an inset window at far (short) end that would make a great accent wall i.e., it takes the room back making it bigger, not narrower, and accentuates the window. I’ve invested in the whole gallon, so should I just paint it all, or seriously consider leaving accent, based on size of room, and possibility it will look cave -like with all walls Ashley Gray? Actually, there are three windows…so…dark paint on all walls would work fine..

  36. HI I am moving into a house and I need to paint 3 bedrooms, hallway living room and dining room and I need ideas. i am not sure if I want an accent wall or not but I do need color ideas so can you please help me?

  37. Hi we live in Amsterdam and are currently decorating our open plan lounge / kitchen at the moment. We are ‘zoning’ the lounge and kitchen by painting the kitchen green (our units are grey) and the lounge beige. I would also like to accent the alcove where the tv is and am considering wallpapering it. Is this a terrible idea?

  38. I am planning to paint the wall behind my queen bed as accent wall,but I dont know what will be the best colour.Our bedroom is pale cream yellow color(this what I think?). our furniture is brown red tone.So please help me.What is the best colour?.Thank you

  39. Amanda Ott says:

    So we have a large vaulted ceiling in our living room…maybe 20 ft. The living room is a rectangle. On one end of the rectangle is a wall of windows with a fireplace. The other end connects the room to the rest of the house/foyer and staircase upstairs. Couch and nice art on one side of rectangle and tv on other…from your article…I’m guessing you would tell me to paint all my walls grayish blue rather than an accent because my window wall is my accent wall….no bright paint needed…right???!!!

  40. Michelle says:

    I want to paint an accent wall to draw attention to a beautiful, large, black and white framed photo of hubby and I kissing on beach. I also have the words “Always kiss me goodnight” to put around it. The lettering is in black. I want deep red on the walls. Should I do a neutral accent wall or deep red?

    • I think the more important questions should be: which wall are you considering accenting? Is it a true focal point wall? Is it architecturally-significant? Is it symmetrical wall – unless you have a very modern space? And what color are the other walls in the room?

  41. Pam Burden says:

    I’m laying dark greycarpet and painting walls a lighter grey living room and dining room they are together.I want to paint the ceiling a different color they are white now. I have a fireplace and thinking about painting the wall black. I need some help what to do and what not to do!

    • Since gray is a neutral, you could totally do a “real” color on the ceiling. Not sure about that black wall around the fireplace, would have to see. If you are interested in an online consult, check out my Services tab at the top of the blog.

  42. I am moving into an apartment and I have the option of an accent wall. I was thinking a bold, golden yellow to brighten the apartment. The wall of choice is the that has the balcony & two large windows attached.. thoughts?

  43. Amarili says:

    Hi, I have the smallest of 3 bedrooms in my house and I’m going to use it as an office-type of room as opposed to a bed/guest room. I had it painted a light sandy brown Ralph Lauren textured color for years, and now I chose a Behr color called Malted Milk (or something like that). I love the combo of the colors in the creme family with greys. Call me crazy, but I’m nuts about neutrals! I find them subtle yet elegant and often more powerful statements decor-wise than the pastels or even dark hues, though I love intense color as well. So…accent wall. Should I do one in a smaller room? And if so, which wall? I feel like the wall opposite the window will make the light from outside “lighten” any over-the-top intensity by shining on the accent wall, however you have to step completely into the room to see it. I like the idea of the accent wall being seen in contrast to the lighter color as you walk past the room, in which case it would either be the window wall (only 1), or the wall adjacent to the window which is the only “complete” wall. Wall opposite window has entry door, Wall on other side adjacent to window has closet door. Which do you think would have the best effect? Wall opposite window could also be a “secret surprise” only seen after you’re in the room…HELP! 8)

    • Hmmm, what’s the purpose of the accent wall? What are you wanting to accent? If you just want to interject color without doing all the walls, you should consider painting the ceiling in the color instead – the perfect accent wall that evenly distributes the color throughout the room. But don’t do it if you have popcorn or textured ceilings. NOT what you’d want to draw attention to!

  44. How can I have an accent wall without painting the wall? I have a retro gold couch that I inherited and I am moving into my first apartment. I don’t want to paint something that I will have to restore later. Any suggestions?

  45. CindyLoves2Paint says:

    I love the bedroom with the blue and grey. I am doing my daughters room in those shades, so thanks for the visual!

  46. Hi,
    I’m reading this and now backpedaling from a decision (and paint I just ordered) for my small bathroom. My house is 77 years old and I’m trying to be brave and “bold”. We have a small “master” bathroom with a tub shower, a built in cabinet that stands between the toilet and pedestal sink. The original tile still “graces” the room…yellow (mustardish, I actually have never found anything paint-wise that matches it) with a black border. I have a darker red, almost burgundy accent. I was planning on painting 2 walls gold and 2 walls in the red. After reading your article, I guess I need to rethink… we’re afraid of too dark (I originally was going red only to be daring) and hence the gold came into play…. It is rectangular and small, window on one short wall, door on the other, tub opposite the built in cabinet.

    Am I making a mistake here?

    Thank you for posting your comments above…this is really helping me as my art is aural, not visual sadly…

    • Julie,
      How about painting the walls in gold and doing the red on the ceiling? Much better option than two walls one color and two walls the other.

      • hmmm. Now that’s a different take. I’ve been milling over which wall should be the one to be the accent wall…. never thought about making it the ceiling. Will that bring the size down to have the darker color up there? Thanks for your suggestion…going to sleep on it. :)

  47. OMG – have you met me before? I am sure you must be living in my house – I am that person who wants to paint her bedroom Benjamin Moore’s ‘Caponata’, which is a deep aubergine but hasn’t got the guts to do all four walls….so here I am thinking of an accent wall, googled it and up this article popped. I feel like you have exposed me as the coward that I am!
    But I do have a dilemma and this is the reason for my hesitation. My bedroom is about to be renovated….so a window will be added and an existing one will be made bigger. I will have three nice sized windows in this room when it’s finished. At the moment there is very little light in there since it is north-facing….but my hope is that will change after the renovation because of the added window.
    How do I know if this colour is just too bold/dark for my room, after it’s painted? Please say something to give me the courage to just go for it!

    • Vicki,
      I think that’s too dark for an entire room, especially if you don’t want a dark room. You could do a light neutral on the walls and that color on the ceiling, but I think I’d recommend you look at some lighter versions of that color, like Mauve Blush 2115-40 for example. Much more livable. Good luck!

      • Thank you….sadly I think you’re right, that colour is too dark for all four walls. The colour you suggeted is close to the colour I currently have. I love it, but I fancy a change. Think I’ll go back to the drawing board with a fresh approach and choose a different colour scheme. Thank you

  48. Hello!
    I recently moved into a town home in Texas. I’m 22, in medical school, and its my first home, so I have no clue what I’m doing. The living area and bathrooms have stained concrete floors and a stone wall underneath the open bar/counter that looks into the kitchen, all-in-all, its a very “western” feel (I have mixed feelings about it)… But my question is regarding my bedroom. It’s 11.6 x 15 and has tan walls (I’m not sure of the exact color, but I believe its a Benjamin Moore sand color), tan carpeting, a white ceiling, and white crown molding and trim. Theres a small window on the shorter side, while the bathroom and closet are on the opposed shorter side. I have dark wood furniture and would like to paint one of the longer walls. I was thinking an olive color, which would keep within the theme of tans/browns, but I’m afraid that with dark furniture it’ll be too much brown. Like I said, I’m also in medical school and am looking for something calm and tranquil, but still with some color. (sidenote: My childhood home was entirely beige, so I’m really over all the tan.) Seeing that I intend to sell the house in a few years, is it wise to paint the accent wall? What colors would you suggest? Or should I try to use mirrors and bedding to add some dimension and color to the room?

    Thanks so much!

  49. G Moore says:

    On accent walls…decorating office…accenting wall in each space…accent walls depend on space…ie wall facing entry door in hearth room…total 6 spaces…neutral with pencil point, elephant skin, and pretty grape

  50. I want my accent walked to be the wall with the entrance to our living room and also right Across from That the top wall Where the fireplace is, Good idea or too much?

  51. alyssa bajorin says:

    I am trying to figure out whether to do accent wall at the head of my bed in a deep pink or just pain the whole room. Thinking of the color gypsy love by benjamin mo. If ore. Thanks. If it helps at all I am 27 and funky and fun. The rest of my room is white and black with a zebra chair.

    • From reading the accent color suggestions it sounds like the bedroom wall to accent is the one behind the bed. However I have a vaulted ceiling and the wall to the right of the bed has 4 large windows and a half moon window on top. It seems like this would be the wall to paint in an accent color due to its architectural interest…. Do you agree? I am planning on adding splashes of grey/blue, tan and dark brown in the decor. I think I’ve decided to paint with bradstreet beige and accent wall in townsend barbor brown. I had toyed with doing the room in a bold color but then realized that I like to change my comfortor alot and would rather have popping colors in the decor…

    • Why not paint the whole room in the pink, alyssa?

  52. We are redoing our living room. The room is approx. 18×13. On on of the long walls (north wall), there is a sliding door and windows, which is about 9′ wide and centered on that wall. We have a brown sectional that pretty much covers most of the opposite long wall (south wall) and most of the one short wall (west wall). This long wall (south wall) also has the doorway on it. The last short wall (east wall) has our entertainment center which also has a fireplace in it. Right now the east, west and north walls are all an off white color, and the south wall has wallpaper. We would like to use a bolder color of paint, but are not sure if that should be on all walls, or the 3 walls that are white now and paint the other wall a tan color, or should only 1 wall have the deep color? We are decorator dummies!! HELP!!!!

    • If you use a bolder accent color, you should accent the wall that is the focal point – like the fireplace wall. But it sounds to me like you should paint all the walls in one color, maybe not a completely neutral color, but not a bold color either. Something like a superneutral – a blue, green, or yellow color that is muted down so that it works like a neutral.

  53. Hi there! I know I am a little late to this post, but hoping someone can help me…
    We just moved into our “new” house (new to us). It’s a 1970’s ranch home that is BEGGING to be updated! However, with a baby on the way I am thinking that it’s only getting paint for now…
    I would like to paint the wall that our fireplace is on in an “accent color.” However, the fireplace is a 1970’s red brick (UGLY!) and so we are going to paint it a white color. I am worried that if I choose a too bold color that it will make the fireplace look hideous….any suggestions or would you recommend that I go with a more neutral color for the whole room and skip the accent altogether?!?!?!? Thanks! :)

    • It depends on what else (in terms of color) will be in the room. If you have a lot of color in your furnishings or accents, go with a nice updated neutral on the walls. If your furnishings are neutral, choose a favorite color and mute it down bigtime, then put that on your walls. I love the idea of painting your fireplace white, just make sure you paint it the same white as your trim so that it ties in.

  54. I have a 9×9 bedroom. The theme is damask and yellow. The only wall I can paint is this very plain wall on the left side. If I paint it, should I paint it soft yellow? Or should I just put a tapery up? I am planning to make it a reading corner.

  55. Hi! There is so much good information here. I have a question regarding bed placement and the use of an accent wall in my master bedroom if you don’t mind answering when you get a chance. My bedroom is a rectangle, with my bed against one of the short walls (the wall to the right side of the room as you walk in) and I have a large picture window on the long wall across from the door as you walk in. Ideally I would like to have the bed placed center, across the door,under the large picture window, but that doesn’t leave much room surrounding the bed for my dresser, etc. So my question is, should the accent wall in a bedroom always be the wall that the head of the bed is against, or can it be another wall in the room? I feel like the picture window wall should be accented, but am fighting with whether or not it would be the right/wrong wall to accent. Thank you in advance!!

    • If possible, I’d put the bed centered on that window. Then you could paint that wall your accent color. Although it seems like you wouldn’t have enough room for your other furniture, have you actually tried it yet? You might be surprised.

  56. I am having trouble deciding what wall i want to paint grey. I have a small rectangular room with 2 adjoining walls bare, one with 2 windows and the other with the bedroom door entrance and a closet door. I have an attached loft, which is just a ladder to a small part of the attic that is finished, where my bed is. I was thinking one of the bare walls just because my room is so small and i feel like painting one of the walls with the doors or windows would make it feel off balanced but let me know what you think
    thanks!!

    • Why not paint the whole room a light gray? It doesn’t sound like there is a particular wall that should be accented, so why not paint all of them? Gray is neutral anyway. Just make sure you choose a gray with the undertone you prefer (grays can have undertones of purple, blue, green, or brown).

  57. OK, I’m really glad I found this page. At the current moment I have just taped off a wall in my bedroom so that I can do an accent wall….paint can is in there, brush and roller ready to go….now, I’m really not so sure. I live in a big, about 40 year old house and we only moved in about 6 months ago. It’s the first house I’ve ever owned so the first house I’ve ever been able to paint anything but white. My kids chose wild kid/teenager colors for their rooms and I’m fine with that. Most of the main living areas of the house are BM sundial and BM boardwalk. Honestly, I really “wanted” to go a little darker/bolder but was scared in case it was too dark…plus we had a lady from the paint store do a walk through and she told us that the house was “dark” and that we needed to stick to lighter colors.

    My bedroom is a light grey color. The window is on the right wall when you walk into the room and that wall has kind of a built in valance over the window. The bed is against the wall straight ahead of you when you walk into the room. This is the wall that I was going to paint in an accent color.

    My curtains are dark brown and this is my duvet cover http://www.amazon.ca/North-Home-Olivia-Cotton-Duvet/dp/B006ONHVF4.

    I was going to paint the wall with the headboard against it in Jeff’s Java 8653 by Cloverdale Paint. http://www.cloverdalepaint.com/home_owners/colours_design/colour_palette.htm

    Your thoughts?

    • It looks like brown on brown on gray. Why no color? If you want to accent a wall, sounds like you’ve chosen the right one, but I’m not seeing any tie-in with the existing gray walls. I’d try to do that with something else in the room if possible.

  58. I’m so conflicted after reading this article. We have a door that leads to the back yard on the same wall with a huge brick fireplace and then a long window. It leaves very little wall to paint. Normally, this should be the accent wall if I’m reading correctly. But, I want to paint a wall that opens to the dining area and it may be a better accent wall because it’s architecturally strange. It’s longer than the other room walls because it leads into 2 hallways and I’m finally planning on putting our tv on that wall, so we will be facing it-seating each side of the fireplace which is the wall across from my tv/accent wall that I was going to paint. I was hoping you could give an opinion if you think this would be okay. This wall also has a small “window” to see into the kitchen. If you think this is an okay wall to paint as the accent then I have another question. The opening to the dining room is not a door way, the ceiling from the living room leads into the dining room. This tv/accent wall picks up again for maybe 2 ft leading to adjoining the next living room wall/corner. Should I paint that 2 ft of wall, also?

    Great article. I’ve seen this done wrong and I hope I’ve supplied enough info to get an idea if it will work where I want to put my dark color. Thanks for the info and I hope you can help me a little more. Right now I’m questioning myself.

    • Deila,
      The description you gave is difficult to follow, but it sounds like you are thinking about accented walls that are “architecturally strange.” Accenting that wall is just going to draw more attention to it, which is NOT what I would recommend! It sounds like you are just looking for a wall to “accent” rather than focusing on a wall color that you will like on ALL the walls. I think that’s where your focus should be.

  59. My kitchen has 3 walls, because one side opens into a great room. I just redid two of them with funky fun colors and designs. Avocado (the inside) green waynes coating bottom 2/3 and a bamboo brown on top. On the bamboo brown I put an oval pattern across the top in dark brown teal and a light blue that matches. I make curtains that match the teal (very cute with a ruffle)
    The third wall I painted years ago in a dark red (burnished mahogany). I have tried to live with it because my hubby doesn’t want to paint it. I need to though. I was thinking Benjamin Moores Amherst Gray. The teal and blue ovals have gray undertones and I think it would go good with the browns too. Your thoughts?

    • I think gray might be a good choice, however, Amherst Gray has a green undertone and you have lots of blues in the room. You should choose a gray with a blue undertone (Wickham Gray, Stonington Gray, Gray Owl to name a few). Good luck!

  60. We want to paint an accent wall in our bedroom, but weren’t sure which wall to choose. It’s either the wall behind our bed or the wall with the window that has an amazing view of a river and a mountainside.

  61. Kristie, I love your website! Thanks for the inspiration. We are purchasing a new home with white walls. Most of the house will be easy to paint and we can determine accent walls by room if needed with the exception of our entry room which contains the formal living room on the left (20ft to ceiling), oak stained stairs in the middle leading up to a loft and a formal dining room (8ft h). We were initially thinking of doing blue on all walls and do lots of white trim but there are many windows which will alter the natural light and as a result may look too dark. So our next thought was to do the predictable things and paint a taupe color on all walls and only paint the dining room walls in the blue and then just use a lot of blue accessories and big painting/rug within living area. We just don’t want to do the safe thing because it is safe. We have given this way more thought than necessary. We would be willing to experiment but not with walls 20ft high. Any suggestions/thoughts would be appreciated.

    • Melissa,
      Why not do a light grayed-blue, then you can layer in darker variations of blue in the room. And maybe a darker blue in the dining room? Benjamin Moore’s Gray Cashmere or Gray Wisp, maybe?

  62. Great post and resource for tips!!
    I am looking to do an accent wall in my apartment. I was originally thinking of doing my bedroom wall at the head of the bed, but I have a lowered ceiling around the perimeter of half the room (including above the suggested wall), so can I still do the accent wall? Does a bulk head/lowered ceiling qualify as interesting architecture in the wall?
    There is a similar lowered ceiling dividing my kitchen and dining/living room. Does it ever make sense to paint the bulk head a different color? The rest of my ceiling is popcorn, so ceiling painting is otherwise not an option.
    I would love to hear your thoughts, so let me know!

    • I think you could effectively accent the wall your bed is on. I don’t think I’d paint the bulkhead a different color, as that would draw your eyes up to your popcorn ceiling, which you don’t want to do!

  63. I just bought a home and I’m turning a bedroom into an office. The room is fairly small with a window and large sliding mirror closet doors. I was thinking about doing an accent wall, but am having trouble deciding which 3 walls to cover. I was thinking about doing the wall with the window (you can view this wall from the hallway). Would that be a good option?

  64. Thanks for the post with the picts! We just bought a house and are planning on painting soon. We have one wall in our living room that has a sliding glass door, built in bookshelves AND a fireplace. Is that wall too busy to make the accent wall? One of the other walls has a window and a office desk (also the wall you see first when you come in the room). Another wall has just the couch. Any ideas? Thanks again!

  65. Hello! Just had a quick question ….I’m trying to figure out which accent wall to paint in my living room. Here’s the visual. As soon as you walk in the front door there’s a wall to the left (TV is located) ,wall on the right, (sectional) ,and opposite the front door, is the doorway to the kitchen…there’s also a closet on this wall on the far left side…it has a brown door on it. I’ve read so many different things about choosing an accent wall…now I’m just confused! Lol. Help please ..PS. the chosen color is a blue grey, other walls are an ivory color. Thanks!

  66. Hey Kristie!
    Great article! Thank you for sharing this with us!
    I am thinking about painting a master-bedroom wall that anchors my bed into dark grey-brown. (Other walls are in Benjamin Moore’s oc-32: tapestry beige (GREY undertones).
    I am a little hesitant to do it since against the wall that anchors bed there are mirrored-closets… Not sure how that will make the room feel like… Too closed up because of the reflection of the dark color? The room is really low-light by itself, I am afraid to make it darker…

  67. Hi,

    I just have a question….I am planning to do an accent wall but my sister suggested that I put the colour in two places. I don’t think that I have seen this before. In the livingroom, there is the wall that I want to accent with a large clock and TV stand with TV of course…I will be fixing up this area. My couch is across from this wall against another one and she is suggesting that I also paint the wall with the 3 seated couch? She thinks that it will be different?? There is a large window to the right side separating these walls. Hopefully I described this well enough for you. Thanks for your help.

  68. Hey!

    So I was really interested in accenting my wall and I feel like I’ve accent the wrong one now. My room is a square and my bed rests in front of a large window, the wall opposite from that is the one that I chose to accent it has an entry way to the bathroom, the outside of the room, and a flat screen on the wall. The wall is lovely lilac by valspar. I was thinking maybe I could also paint the wall across from the accented one but I didn’t want it to look weird, what do you think? The rest of the walls are linen white by Behr, and if I do the one opposite to the accent then the two side ones and the ceiling will be the only ones in linen white. I’m not sure if this could look good. My bed is placed opposite of the current accent wall :/.
    Thanks much!

  69. Hi! What do you think of painting two joining walls in a bedroom the same colour (Benjamin Moore Schooner) and the other 2 an off white the same as the ceiling and trim? Too much? Thanks!

  70. Hello;

    I picked magic spell blue for my small rectangular office. I would like to know if I should paint the whole room this color (I already bought the paint) or should I just paint the two longest walls and leave the shortest walls (one with a window other with door and closet) white to make it look big, calming, and reflecting light??

  71. My husband and I cant agree on which wall(s) to paint with the accent color. We want just one or two walls painted because the kitchen doesnt get a lot of sunlight so we dont want it too dark (we selected satchel by BM). I think we should paint the back wall (first wall you see when walk in, with cabinets, sink, backsplash, window). My husband thinks this will make the room look smaller because the wall will come at you. His suggestion is to paint the two side walls to create “tunnel vision”. What do we do??

  72. I like the last one blue color pics and no doubt that one is looking amazing i fall in love with this and will chose this for accent wall at my house

  73. Hi! I have a very open floor plan and am considering an accent wall in my family room which has high ceilings. You see the fireplace wall that has lots of windows when you walk in the front door, so I assume this should be my accent wall? Or another wall in the room has huge built in bookcases where the TV goes and this wall vaults up toward the staircase. Which wall do I accent? Right now the walls are painted SW Latte and a decorator suggested SW Decorous Amber on the accent wall. What do you think? Thanks!

  74. Hi Kristie! I’ve become obsessed with your blog, and I’m trying to incorporate your guidelines for a better looking home.
    Recently I got married and moved into my new home in which my husband was already living in. He, as you mention in some posts, likes white all around and wood in it’s original state so the house is a little blah for my taste.
    He agreed to painting the foyer wall red and it looks really nice. However, I’m stuck in deciding which colors to choose for my house that would work around that red foyer wall. I decided that I wanted green, blue and orange or red families of color, but I don’t know how dark should I go.
    I don’t know what color to paint the Living Room, because of that foyer red wall. I had decided to leave it white and ultimately use accents from the kitchen(which I think I want to paint turquoise) and some reddish accessories.
    Am I totally lost?
    (BTW, I want to paint my laundry room green so it goes with the turquoise of the kitchen and the exterior).

    • Well, you’ve got a lot of issues there! If you are interested in a online color consultation, you can get more details by clicking on the “Services” bar at the top of my blog.

  75. Hi Kristie, Great website.
    Question, I am painting my living room and want to make the wall with the fireplace the accent wall. So I am planning on painting the wall couple shades darker than the rest of the room. What do I do with the fireplace. Do I keep it white or should the fireplace be the darker color and all the walls be the lighter shade?
    Thanks!

  76. Hi. I love soothing dark walls for my bedrooms but my upstairs bedrooms get TONS of light. When I painted the smaller bedroom a deep blue the room glowed blue like it was under water. Fun but not ideal. Now it’s time to paint my mid size bedroom and it has the same natural light issues. French doors to balcony on 1 wall, boring closet wall, wall with glass door to another balcony, then wall behind my bed. Is this a situation where an accent wall would help me bring color without “glowing”? If yes, which wall do u recommend? Alternately, are there certain color groups, besides yellow, that can handle this much light with style?

  77. I have a very tiny bedroom I’d like to paint. I’ve read that cool colored accent walls can make the room feel bigger. I’ve also read not to use an accent wall in very small rooms. What would you suggest?

  78. I have a very tiny bedroom I’d like to paint. There is a sloped ceiling at one end. I’ve read that cool colored accent walls can make the room feel bigger. I’ve also read not to use an accent wall in very small rooms. What would you suggest?

  79. Thanks for your suggestion. Guess I was just brainstorming ideas that would make this tiny bedroom seem just a little bigger! I really enjoy reading your posts. They’re very helpful for someone like me who doesn’t really know what to go for.

    • What will truly make the room feel a little bigger is the same color all over – if you don’t have crown moulding, I suggest you extend the color on the walls onto the ceiling as well. It will actually appear a bit lighter on the ceiling than it will on the walls. You might want to consider an airy color like Benjamin Moore’s Arctic Gray or a cheery butter yellow like Weston Flax. Good luck!

  80. Thank you. I really appreciate your advice. I’ve been reading a lot of your posts the last few days. I’m starting to feel excited about being brave and just painting it!

  81. I have four small kids and an extra large slobbery dog. One wall in our hearth room catches all of the drool and messy hand prints. It is not the typical wall you want to accent, but yet I think the possibility of painting it extra dark may hide the flaws?? Any suggestions?

  82. I have a very contemporary living room and would like to paint an accent wall. The room is currently white with a floor to ceiling corner fireplace and the room has high ceilings with exposed wood beams. When entering the room, the eye is immediately drawn to the wall straight ahead, where there are five steps going up and five steps going down(it’s a split level). My first thought would be to have this as the accent wall; however, the loft area at the top of the steps runs the length of the room and has a metal railing. Since the entire room is currently the same color (including the railing), I’m afraid to “chop up” the room by painting the accent wall a dark color and leaving the metail railing white to match the fireplace and rest of the room. Another option would be the wall to the right when entering the room, which is adjacent to the corner fireplace and contains the TV and entertainment center. Any insight you can provide would be appreciated!

  83. I have a pretty square bonus room with one large wall of giant gorgeous windows. The windows take up MOST of the wall but I was wondering if this would be a good accent wall? Or if there won’t be much paint on it maybe its not that great of an idea? The room is quite boring at the moment, we have one picture over the couch and then a very large TV hanging on the wall opposite the couch. The ceilings are very high and vaulted, should I maybe do the TV wall as an accent or should I be trying to draw the eye away from the TV? My thought was that even though the one window wall won’t have that much paint on it, its the first thing you see when you walk up the stairs. Thoughts?

  84. Hi all! I need some help. I just recently purchased my first home and need help figuring out which wall to make an accent wall in my kitchen. My kitchen is large with a nook in it. It faces my large covered front porch, it's more narrow than it is wide. I was thinking of painting one of the long walls that goes along my sink and counters, there is a large open space with three small beautiful windows. OR would I be better off doing the front of the nook that overlooks the front porch? Thanks so much!

     

  85. Please help …

    I have ordered a Charcoal grey sofa  to go in my rectangular lounge … carpet is a warm wheaty colour…. Was thinking about painting the walls a pale grey (or just having the grey as an accent wall)???  skirting/doors white.  then to liven it all up add a splash of duck egg blue and raspberry (in the form of cushions/ textured throw etc).  Curtain fabric Im struggling to find but am looking for something that encorporates all colours in the scheme (Grey, white, duck egg, raspberry).

    Coffee table, side table and  bookshelf all white

    Does this sound like a nice blend of colours? Shall I do one wall grey or all 4?

    Many thanks

     

  86. I have a very urban/industrial style loft, and I would like to pull in some warmth…I have raw exposed cement walls mixed with copper/silver exposed plumbing/duct work and burbur carpet.  I have a black leather mod-style sectional and that is about it, I want to bring in warmth while still keeping it super clean looking and not over-done/closing it in.  I saw something on pinterest that peaked my interest where she incorporated a navy/charcoal accent wall with black furniture- and I loved it.  Do you think I could make something like that work?  And if so…where would you place the color?

    • Courtney,

      Sure, that could definitely work.  Just make sure you have a wall worthy to be accented.  I probably wouldn’t put such a wall behind a black sofa – perhaps across from it?

  87. Nicole Seow says:

    Im a college girl and want a fresh beach theme for my new room. I really love this colour and want an accent wall. What colour should I be looking for to go with this? 

  88. Diana Holmes says:

    Notice all bedroom accent walls in pictures are the the walls that have the headboard?  Is this the only wall in bedroom that should be accented or are there other factors?

  89. Hi Kristie,

    Thank you for the wonderful post.  I am trying to add some character to an apartment. The kitchen opens to the living area and there's no separate place for a dining table so I'd like to create a living room and dining area within the same space.  I was wondering if I could subtly create these different areas through paint.  You mention highlighting architecture with paint but I'm not sure how to handle one of the walls that's recessed and whether to paint the recess, paint around it, or choose a different wall to paint.  I read above that you said that you wouldn't paint two walls in a room differently.  Thank you for your suggestions!  -Laura

  90. Hi! Great article! I am a decorator in zero sense of the word.  I'm just learning how to put outfits together and I'm not even in my twenties anymore.  So, obviously, picking the colors for my family's new house has been overwhelming!  Good thing is, we viewed a house in the same neighborhood & loved their paint so we stuck close to it. Melon for kitchen, and a complementing red for the living room, which lead into one another.  Here's my question:  what is your opinion on carrying the melon paint onto the connecting living room wall which has a large double sided window to create a brighter focus & then painting the other living room walls with the complementing red??

  91. Hi my family is building a new house and I cannot decide on a colour for my room.. I really want to have an accent wall but I’m not sure which colours to use and which wall should be accented.. My room has one big wall with another wall that has my desk area and walk in closet. And then I have my window seat on a different wall with the last wall with my bathroom and entrance door.. I don’t know if my bed should be facing the window so I have the big wall accented. Please help, I am utterly confused

    • How about a beautiful color on your ceiling? That could work as your accent wall (if you don’t have textured ceilings). Ideally, if you want to do an accent wall in a bedroom, it should be the wall your bed is on and it should be the focal point of the room. If your architecture doesn’t support it, DON’T do the accent wall. Just paint all the walls the color you love.

  92. Geovani says:

    My wife and I really want an accent wall in our living room but like you said, we didn’t want to paint the wrong wall. Should we paint the wall where the entertainment center is located? How do we pick the color, should it match our furniture?

  93. I have a question on choosing an accent wall, but for a girl nursery. I wanted to incorporate pink into the colors, but not sure as to which wall to choose and which color it should be. Pink room with accent wall color of ___ or ____ colored room with a pink accent wall. All her furniture is white!

  94. I’m total agree witch you guys.

  95. Zebra orint room madness for a tween says:

    My daughter wants a zebra print room. We have brought white, bright kind of berry pink, and black. The ceiling is textured so I was thinking of leaving it like it is which is white. I was going to use black for the trims (windows and doors) I was thinking of doing an accent wall which is where her bed rest to place zebra wall decals. I do not want to mess this up, what are your thoughts should I just paint the room all pink or do a pink accent wall with all white or vice versa. Any help would be appreciated this is soo no my forte.

  96. Rebecca says:

    I’m a 14 year old teenage girl! I’m thinking about painting my room .. I have all brown furniture, some darker than others but I’m going to stain the light ones darker. I’d love to do lavender walls with yellow accent wall. I don’t know what wall to accent. When you walk in , the wall across from you has the bed against it length wise. Like you’d be facing the side of the bed. So the wall on your left has a dresser and the head of the bed is against it. And the wall on the right has my desk and the foot of the bed faces that wall. The wall the door is on has a cubical storage thing, a book stand, and well the door. Which would be best for a yellow accent wall, the other three being lavender. Thanks!

    • Rebecca,
      Usually the bed wall is the best for an accent wall, so that would be the one I’d paint yellow. Rather than staining some of your furniture darker, why not paint a few of the pieces? Maybe you could paint your nightstand/bedside table white, along with one other wood piece on the other side of the room.

  97. Whitney says:

    Hi Kristie! New to your blog (and to paint) but enjoying discovering all your great advice. I’ve been thinking about an accent wall in my apartment living room, because it’s the only thing management will allow. I’m not afraid of color, and have nearly settled on Hot Tamale from Ace. However, I have two questions I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind answering.
    1. Which wall to paint? My first instinct was the middle wall that separates the living room from the dining room, because it has a beautiful arching doorway that I love. But my friend thinks it should be the long wall that extends the length of the apartment all the way to the front door and anchors the white couch.
    2. The apartment has a lot of windows but faces north and doesn’t get a lot of warm light. Will a color like Hot Tamale make it too dark?

    If you have advice I’d love to hear it! Thx

  98. Marie-clare says:

    Hi, Thanks for the blog that I just found! I am looking to paint a wall in my bedroom a different colour….I don’t know that I would call it an accent wall I just want a bit of warmth in there! I will have a dark leather floor and so need to brighten up with white walls but would like 1 wall to be chocolate/plum. The problem is I live in a rancher with sloping ceilings. Our headboard is against one of the wall with a sloping ceiling, I have never seen a accent wall like this before and am stuggling to imagine it….Do you think it could work? The only other 2 walls would be the window wall (ceiling constant height) or the wall toward the footboard (has a huge mirror on it) .
    It is also a fairly small room 12 and a bit by 11 and a bit feet….so I don’t know if this may be too small.
    Many Thanks, Mc

  99. Hi wanted get some opinions. I have a long living room with light gray Berber carpet the previous owner had the walls painted a light gray I have dark plum couches with accent pillows that have plum and wine colored ferns in them the pillow background is like a metallic gold/silver. My issue is I wanted to paint the walls a warm grey but the room has a stone fireplace that is in a similar color and I don’t want the fireplace to disappear. The fireplace is off center and to the left of the fireplace we mounted our TV. Should I accent this wall and go a light warm gray on the others? What color should I accent with?

  100. Hi my 8 year old son would like to put a red wall in his bedroom (a masculine red), I think all walls red would be much too dark and disturbing for a bedroom (12X12).. He also wants a blue wall..Is there any way Blue and Red can work together? I am thinking the blue would have to be a darker blue, making the room dark again..Is there a way to do an accent red wall, and then lighter blue on the the other 3 walls? I know that darn accent word again…Also if you have an colour names that could go together..(and I don’t want to change the ceiling colour from white). Thanks.

    • Yes, you can do light blue walls and a red accent wall for behind the bed. The exact colors will depend on the carpet color and bedding, so I can’t give you specific color names.

  101. I love your post about the accent wall. I have a question about my living room: I would like to paint the ceiling a very soft bluish green (I’m thinking restoration hardware’s silver sage), and the rest of the walls are neutral (creamish white). I wanted to paint it because my furnishings are neutral and I wanted a soft color carried throughout the space. The problem is that we have many large can lights in the ceiling, and I don’t know if it would look weird or not? Thanks!

    • Julie,
      Silver Sage is a terrific color and would look great on your ceiling – pot lights or not. If you have vents on the ceiling, have your painter paint them out Silver Sage, as well.

  102. I’m curious, I own a bed and breakfast, one of our cabins is a studio with the bathtub at the opposite the bed. Currently our rose themed cottage is painted pale green. If I wanted to have an accent wall in the small studio cottage would it make it seem smaller? I was thinking of painting the wall that anchors the bed, however I would leave the rest of the walls green. Is that something that’s ok? An accent wall with colored walls? And does an accent wall close up a space?

  103. I have a master bedroom situation. Two walls are blush color on textured sheetrock. A third wall a similar beige-blush shade, but stucco. The last wall, behind the headboard, is a sage green padded cloth wall. This color goes with the drapes and bedding well, but I want to get rid of the fabric. I’m having a hard time with determining the paint color for this wall. The ceiling is wood, vaulted, and was painted light gray when we moved in. We changed it to navy to coordinate with the living room ceiling. I don’t have any other navy in the bedroom, but think of it as the night sky. Should I keep the green color or paint it the same blush color as the two walls? I love your comment about painting vents to match. Lately I’ve been a stickler for that.

  104. What is the color used in the grey wall?

  105. I have a small sitting room and I wanted to paint the wall opposite the two tall windows turquoise and then devote the entire wall to vintage prints in all shapes and sizes. Am I better off just pairing the whole room turquoise? The wall I am thinking of painting can be seen right when you walk in the door…any advice?

  106. So we have a fireplace in the living room, and this is the wall you first see when you walk into the living space. But this wall also has two windows, and patio door along with TV on top of the fireplace.

    So according to me that wall has too much going on. Do you think, I should instead paint the nook wall?

  107. Hi. Just asking for opinion. I want to decorate my living room. Is it ok for me to use different patterns of wallpaper for each walls? Exp, two walls with swirl pattern and the other two with wavy pattern. But the color more or less look alike. Thank you!

    • That’s sounds very confusing! The different walls shouldn’t be competing for attention. Either do all the walls the same wallpaper, or else paint three a color and accent the focal wall with one of the wallpapers you have chosen.

  108. jeffries says:

    Hey, what are the colors used in the last picture of the bedroom?

    Thank you.

  109. Hi, we are moving to a new townhouse and my new bedroom is kind of different. There are lighter Brown wood floors, and there is a red brick wall across from the door. Id like to paint the other walls but I’m not sure what color to use against the red brick. I was thinking maybe a light gray? The room is kind of small so I’m open to other options or colors that will brighten and open it up. My furniture is dark brown. Thank you!

    • Krissy, if there is any gray tones in your red brick or in the mortar, maybe you could choose a wall color that relates to that somehow. Keep your gray on the light side, or choose a gray with a green undertone to enhance your wood tones. Sounds like a great room!

  110. Hi Kristie!!
    My sweet girls, 3 & 4yrs, share a small bedroom (12×15) with weird windows. We are putting a bunk bed in there which will take up the biggest wall which also has a window. The opposite wall has entrance door and closet door. the wall to the left has a large window and wall to the right is bare, but is the wall the door bangs against when opened. I wish I could show you the room to tell me what to do!! I personally want to to the walls either some form of navy, teal and coral. Bunks are wood and dressers are black.
    Any ideas for me on fun painting techniques or making this odd room adorable!?

  111. I don’t know which wall to accent in living room/dining room. Its an apartment btw.

    http://www.missionhillsapartments.com/media_library/2728/4e39ca492bba4459.png

  112. Wondering ..... says:

    I’m getting ready to move into a small place and curious in accent wall choices. Here’s the situation:

    Living room- it’s a small room. I don’t have furniture picked yet so please share what colors would suit best. When u walk in straight ahead is a short half wall with stairs to upstairs. Outside wall on left I’d only solid wall with 2 windows and its longest wall. The short wall is one that has entrance door. And last wall on right has a closet and the opening to enter dinningroom. Which wall is best to accent and what color choices to make room appear bigger?

    Dinningroom – again it’s small And not much wall space. There is the wall with room entrance. Then wall to right has one window. The wall strraight ahead has one window and lady wall has opening to kitchen. Again no colors chosen yet and trying to open up the room .

    Any advice is appreciated

  113. I am having a hard time picking walls to accent in both my living room and bedroom. MAybe some one could help me too. For the living room I was thinking amber moon, (beige/yellow/gold tone) for all main walls (tv wall, entrance, hallway,short wall opposite windows next to balcony door) and green for accent walls (window facing bay, park and bridge andthe adjacent wall blacony door facing inward toward building neighbors and other balconies) The couches will be in front of the window and balcony door. The third large wall oppsite balcony door wall will house the tv. The bedroom is another issue. I have two large walls. One wall is windows the other is closets with mirrored doors (very minimal wall on this side). I was thinking of painting two large walls newport blue and one of the other two walls, if not both (window and closet) plum dressing. All trim will be a creamy white through out the apartment. Any help would appreciated.

  114. I’d like to paint my office with benjamin moore sweet daphne http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/paint-color/sweetdaphne and use a brown color to accent. I don’t necessarily love a brown color on the walls so i’d like to use it on a wall with 2 closets on it. Is that strange? I think the green and brown go well together. I need help :)

    • Nicole,
      Why do you feel the need to do a brown wall? If you have brown wood furniture in that space, that should be plenty of brown. I’d be concerned that the brown will just bring down the Sweet Daphne, which is a fun color!

  115. hi! i have a smallish white bedroom that i am going to move in soon. i am wondering whether to completely paint it a teal blue or navy blue or just do some accent walling! i am so confused. one side has a built in cupboard. i don’t want the room to look small. it is currently a dull white.

  116. Ekaterina Reier says:

    Hi, everyone!

    I was hoping you guys could help me a dilemma! You see, I have a great room, that is kinda long. The fireplace and the pretty windows with the view are on the long wall. It would have made perfect sense to accent that wall, accept I wanna go with dark red orange and that is a warm color that would make the wall kinda “move up” visually, thus making the room appear even longer than it is! What do you think I should do. I do want to balance the room out, or at least not make it worse. How do I solve this problem? Should I give up on the accent wall idea altogether and just paint the whole room that color? ARGH! I do not know. I think that accent walls are cool, but I do not know if I should have one :)

  117. So I have a question about a design. I want to paint a dark grey on my headboard wall, a beige-ish wallpaper wall on the front window wall (muted and not much cause the window is so large) and paint the other two walls a lighter grey. Is that a confusing combo. Should I ditch the wall paper window wall? i just like the contrast of the beige and grey.

  118. We painted our bedroom grey and are making our head board wall our accent wall with a much deeper grey. We also have a large alcove in our bedroom with a large double window in it. We were thinking of also painting the alcove window wall the same deep grey. What do you think?

  119. I’m a few years late on this post:) My son wants a true blue room and I do not want the whole room painted blue. So I thought about an accent wall…it’s a small room with a little nook where his twin bed fits perfectly. I’m thinking the nook would be a good wall to paint whatever color he wants…thought?

    • Sounds like a good compromise. But my advice: look at the color he chooses, then choose something quite grayer than what he picked. It will give him the look he wants, but it will be much nicer. Children in particular tend to choose MUCH brighter and more intense colors than will actually look good on the wall once it goes up!

  120. Hello I do need some decorating advice. I’m a new home owner and need to get rid of these Carmel colored walls. I’m planning my bedroom around a grey, blue, orange theme and I’d love to paint an accent wall with a muted blue. My problem, my south wall has a pig picture window, my west wall has sliding doors and my north wall, which is also the home of my bed, has an odd angle where it meets the door, it’s turned inward for about 2 feet and the east wall is home to my closest. Talk about a lot to work around… Any advice would be so helpful.

  121. I’m amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and amusing,
    and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head.
    The issue is something that too few folks are speaking intelligently about.
    I am very happy that I found this in my hunt for something relating to this.

  122. Hi there,

    Great advice on here :-) Just wondering if you could help me. I have just bought a new house and would like to have a feature wall with wallpaper in the living room. I am a bit stuck on which wall to have as the feature wall as it is a rectangle room with no wall which has interesting architecture as there is no fireplace, etc in the room. There is long wall in front of you as you walk into the living room with a pillar coming out slightly which devides the room slightly into 2 halves. I will be putting a tv on one side and a sidebaord with a feature mirrior above it on the other side. I am not sure whether to make the tv wall or sideboard wall the feature one, or both? Any advice would be appreciated as I am a bit confused.

    Thank You :-)

  123. I am loving your blog. I’ve already pinned a few things for our new house (cross fingers). This year I redid my daughter’s room for her 3rd birthday. I was doing a “Night Owl” theme. First I choose a wonderful simple multi-colored rug, so I could match the walls to the blue in the rug. The color was a dark blue, then 3 of the walls I painted a few shades lighter, the accent wall remained the darker blue… for the night sky. It was the only wall with a window and across from the bed, so she would see t when going to bed. I used a bare tree decal, sticker stars and painted an owl and a huge full moon. I LOVE it! And now we are planning on moving. I’m not sure if I should redo her new room the same or totally different. It was only 6 months ago that I did it.

  124. Hi, this is a great and very helpful blog, thanks! I have a question tough. I would like to paint an accent wall in my bedroom. The room is a pentagon and I am hesitating between different walls to paint, my first option is to paint in teal the wall behind the bed (the biggest wall in the room) and the rest white, the second option is to paint two contiguous walls that have large windows in teal and the rest of the room white. Any advice would be very helpful, thanks!

  125. I realize you may not want to comment on something from so long ago, but I am hoping for some advice. My husband and I have been renters for a long time, and we just bought a house and have to paint our refinished basement and are so overwhelmed with painting ideas! The family room is in the basement but it has two large windows so it doesn’t feel too dark. The room is about 22 feet long by 12 feet wide. On one long wall there are two windows, on the other, there are two doors. The back wall is empty. We were debating doing an accent wall just so it would break up the room, but I also considered doing a chair rail and painting two different colors. Are both bad ideas? I was thinking we have two options for accent walls…the one with windows or the back one. I thought about having a bookshelf and rocking chair in the back corner for a fun reading area, but that may or may not happen. Just avoid the accent wall?

  126. I’m moving into the basement and we have already painted the walls. One wall (the wall where my bed will be) is a turqoise called “cyan sky” and the rest are a very light shade of that. Almost a minty colour. We have tons of extra paint from the accent wall so my dad wants to paint at least one more wall. I want the room to be very light but I do love that colour! Should I keep the one accent wall or should be just paint half the room turqouise??? Btw I’m only 14 haha

    • Eryn,
      Use your leftover paint to paint a piece of furniture (dresser?) on the other side of the room – or to paint some picture frames or other accessories to use throughout the room. That’ll tie in that accent wall and pull everything together!

  127. We have built a new walk in closet in our bedroom … The color on our walls is colonial blue (which I love) with white trim around windows,doorway, and ceiling. I have always loved this look. My husband now wants the new outside walls for the walk in closet to be light gray – to be the accent wall, so to speak.
    I’m not really in favor of this … What’s your opinion?

  128. I need help!!! I want to paint the whole house Benjamin Moore – hc-170 stonington gray with Benjamin Moore – Healing Aloe accent walls in the bedrooms but I’m afraid the two colors are too subtle/similar. I’m not trying to add any dramatic effect. I just like both colors and wanted more than one color in my house. Thoughts??? Suggestions are welcome!! I don’t like browns. I love cool colors but I don’t want to do blue because my house is currently blue. Thanks!!

    • Lisa,
      Both of those have blue undertones, so sometimes they will read blue (just so you know). I would not use Healing Aloe as an accent wall in a room of Stonington Gray. Why not just paint a few of the bedrooms Healing Aloe on all the walls? It is a very subtle color, and not what I’d consider an “accent” color that will make a statement on just one wall. Hope that helps – good luck!

  129. Jennifer says:

    Is it too late to ask a question. I am dealing with this very dilemma right now. I am moving into a home, and there are 2 rooms I want to have painted before we move in. The dining room and the front sitting room are about the same size and across the foyer from one another.

    Initially I was over zealous, and insisted on 3-color palette for each room (primary wall, accent wall, and ceiling), however these rooms are small and don’t want them to suffer from too much color. Several posts up you mentioned the idea of simply making your ceiling the accent wall. How GRAND is that!?!?

    My question is, if I choose to make my ceiling the accent color, do I need crown molding to frame it? Neither of these rooms currently have it, and we wouldn’t want anything too formal because we are a down-home casual family.

    Thanks I look forward to hearing from you.

  130. Jefferson J. Jones says:

    Hi. I have enjoyed your insight on the “accent” wall. I need a little advice. My office space is 9 x 9 ft. 11 ft high. My desk is black with a dark cherry wood top. I will have wood laminate flooring that is multicolored but a little lighter than the desk top. The desk is L-shaped with a hutch. I really want to let those two walls be light gray and the other two walls to be black. My wall clock will be some sort of modern wood style. Other decor will be metallic/silver finish. I will have extra desk lamp and floor lighting to created different dimensions of lighting. Just wondering what shade of light gray and how light? The wall opposite of the desk has an old school heater on the wall and a visible pipe. The other wall not touching the desk has an open doorway with no door. Just want some insight on what you think about this. It’s a small space but I would like to be able to express what I like.

  131. Is it ok to accent the bedroom wall (where the bed’s head board shall be) if it has 2 windows on both sides?

    • Lini,
      Yes, as long as the windows are symmetrically placed on the wall and the same size.

      • Hello Kristie, nothing to do with the previous post. I am painting a 24 feet wall on my living room. I did three huge rectangles with molding, I chose two shades of blue, so the wall will be light outside and inside the moldings will be dark. I am planning to put a round mirror on the center rectangle, and use some white, green and maybe orange or yellow accents. Does that sounds like making sense? Should the light shade be inside the box shadows I did with the molding or outside?

  132. Hi, I hope this is still being read. Need a bit of advice for painting my 7 year old boys room. (Until now he has shared a room with his sister, so it’s his first space of his own). He chose a very nice aqua colour. It is a rich colour and I was thinking of only painting the bed wall in the colour (accent). Just don’t want him to be overwhelmed by the colour. My question is, can I paint the main wall and the closet wall (which will also have a bookshelf on it) the accent colour, or should it really be limited to one wall or all walls….just don’t want it to look like I forgot 2 of the walls :) ? Advice is appreciated.
    thanks.

  133. Carol P. says:

    Hi…painter is coming in a day. I’m scared. I have this little office. Roughly 10×20. Outside wall is long with half of it being a big window and entrance door full with window. Its narrow. I was planning on an accent wall chocolate on that window wall and the other three walls that neutral off white/cream color. Am I wrong?! Pls help!!

  134. Stephanie says:

    Hi! I hope you can help me decide whether or not to do an accent wall. My foyer is two story and open all the way to my two story family room which you can see the back wall and fireplace from the front entry door. There is no break in the wall from the front door to the back wall of my family room so nowhere to stop a paint color, so it will all have to be same color. My question is, do I paint the back fireplace wall that also has decorative windows, as an accent wall? The wall to the left of the fireplace wall has a huge tall built in bookshelf where our tv also is and the ceiling vaults up and has no windows. That also seems like a place to do an accent wall to me but then it cannot be seen from the front door when entering the house. Which wall would you suggest doing the accent color or neither? Thank you!!

  135. Katrina says:

    Looking to paint my bed room with a chocolate brown with blue accent wall. Current plan was to use the wall with my white double closet doors as the white makes the wall lighter already and hoping to elongate the room, but everything I have read seems to show doing the accent wall behind the beds headboard. What would your recommendation be?

  136. I realize this is an older post, but I’m remodeling my upstairs, and I want to accent a wall by painting a pattern onto it, a Moroccan trellis in one of the rooms, and a sort of damask in the other. my problem is that these rooms are rather long and narrow, with no real redeeming features (they’re just rectangular boxes) and I have no idea which wall to accent at all. Do I accent a long wall behind a bed? Do I accent one of the short walls? Both of the short walls? Inside the nook in the master bedroom plus the short wall opposite it? Trying to pretend I’m a designer, lol.

  137. Hi, I am thinking of accenting a bathroom wall, is this a mistake? I would like to accent a wall of mirrors, it is the wall directly in front of you when you awl in the door. Thoughts? Thank you!

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  2. [...] 1 – 2 – 3] Tweet (function() { var po = document.createElement('script'); po.type = [...]

  3. [...] Kristie Barnett, aka The Decorologist, believes that there is absolutely a place for color in a staged home. “Open floor plans and public areas should be an on-trend neutral,” she says, “while bedrooms, powder rooms, and accented areas should be on-trend COLOR.” When Kristie stages a home she always creates a flexible space where would-be buyers can envision their own belongings, but she also makes sure to create “memory points.” Kristie’s suggests the fireplace wall, the wall that anchors your bed, an interesting nook and/or a bookcase wall as prime places for a color accent. [...]

  4. [...] entry.  As a Nashville Paint Color Consultant, I find that many people want to have a colorful accent wall, mainly because they are afraid to paint the entire room in their choice of color.  So, they paint [...]

  5. [...] plan like this, she believes that her only option for strong or dark color is to paint one or more accent walls, as the color would be “too much” for the entire space.  I certainly agree that dark [...]

  6. [...] be Benjamin Moore's Hawthorne Yellow.  Yes, you heard me.  I'm doing an accent walI, haha!  Here's my reasoning for it:  this room is dark, with the only natural light [...]

  7. […] choosing a color, remember that not all walls are meant to be accent walls. The wall that features a fireplace, bed, bookcase, or other prominent accessory is more likely to […]

  8. […] coat of paint. Touch up colors you already have, take the plunge for a whole new color scheme, bold accent wall, or beautifully designed wall paper. You can do a professional-looking paint job yourself with […]

  9. […] coat of paint. Touch up colors you already have, take the plunge for a whole new color scheme, bold accent wall, or beautifully designed wall paper. You can do a professional-looking paint job yourself with some […]

  10. […] Kristie Barnett from The Decorologist couldn’t have said it better. […]

  11. […] Why is this wall accented, anyway?  Don’t be arbitrary with your paint.  Some of the right places for an accent wall include a fireplace wall, the wall that anchors your bed, an interesting nook, or a bookcase wall. ~Kristie Barnett, The Decorologist […]

  12. […] the wrong wall can derail your decorating efforts, according to licensed property staging consultant Kristie Barnett. Start off by choosing a wall […]

  13. […] the wrong wall can derail your decorating efforts, according to licensed property staging consultant Kristie Barnett. Start off by choosing a wall […]

  14. […] the wrong wall can derail your decorating efforts, according to licensed property staging consultant Kristie Barnett. Start off by choosing a wall […]

  15. […] the wrong wall can derail your decorating efforts, according to licensed property staging consultant Kristie Barnett. Start off by choosing a wall […]

  16. […] the wrong wall can derail your decorating efforts, according to licensed property staging consultant Kristie Barnett. Start off by choosing a wall […]

  17. […] the wrong wall can derail your decorating efforts, according to licensed property staging consultant Kristie Barnett. Start off by choosing a wall […]

  18. […] the wrong wall can derail your decorating efforts, according to licensed property staging consultant Kristie Barnett. Start off by choosing a wall […]

  19. […] the wrong wall can derail your decorating efforts, according to licensed property staging consultant Kristie Barnett. Start off by choosing a wall […]

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