An accent wall is a focal point for a room and when done right it can turn a bland space into something special. It's that standout wall that is different from all the others in the room. They are most often created in Family Rooms, Dining Rooms & Bedrooms but don't feel like you have to stop there! Accent walls are appropriate for just about any room in your home where you would want to place one.
With so many design options to choose from its also an opportunity to make a room uniquely yours. When I design an accent wall for my clients in Fairfield and Westchester County, these are the decisions that we make. So if you have a space that could use a striking design feature.... read on for tips on how you can create it in your own home too.
Choose a wall
The first thing to think about is which wall is the most appropriate to make the center of interest. It's usually pretty obvious but it is definitely a decision that needs to be made. While any wall is appropriate, the accent wall is typically the first wall that you see when entering the room. It's often the one that is furthest from the door and is the largest.
For a more sophisticated look try a beautiful wallpaper with a striking pattern or texture. If you like texture, consider a grasscloth wallpaper or for a modern look, one with a metallic finish. Speaking of textures, you can also consider a nature-inspired look with more permanent options such as brick, stone, stone tile and woodwork including shiplap and barn wood. And last but not least, if you have a view consider opening up the room to it, in a dramatic way, with wall to wall windows, french doors or frameless sliders. This works well particularly with homes that have a seascape or a large expansive nature view.
Choose a material
This is probably one of the hardest decisions to make but it is the most fun. The simplest and least expensive option is to simply paint the wall a different color from the rest. If your accent wall has the TV on it as many do, keep in mind that you do not want to build out around the Tv as it will create a tunnel effect which is not good for viewing.
Now that you've chosen your wall and the material you want to put on it, its time to add your unique design elements. What you decide here will depend on the function you need it to serve, if you are going for a more simple or complex design and the overall style of the room. If the wall has a fireplace you'll want to give some careful thought to the surround whether it's a mantle, a distinctive shelf or perhaps you are going for a modern look and will keep it simple and clean.
When designing shelves think about what you will be keeping on them. Try painting the back wall behind the shelves another color or add wallpaper to the back of the shelf for added interest and depth. If you have a lot of books, pictures and items to display you may want to enlist the services of a master carpenter to do some gorgeous built-ins or perhaps some floating shelves decorated with a few standout accessories will give you the look you are going for. And of course, you can never go wrong with a big bold mirror, a large and striking piece of art and/or some strategically placed wall sconces to make a knock out wall!
Designing an accent wall is a creative process that takes some thought and time. Its well worth the effort though! In the end, it just may be the thing that makes you feel like you are at home.