Decorating your house with style is an enjoyable pastime for many. Yet sometimes after furnishing and styling, a room can still feel lacking or empty. The solution is adding an accent wall to bring flair and personality to an uninspiring room! Accent walls began as an interior design trend in the late 90s and early 2000s and have come back in style in the last few years. It’s defined as a wall that features a differing design to the rest of the room serving as a focal point. Accent walls, if done correctly, can be an inviting, timeless centerpiece of your home. After choosing a wall to feature, we have gathered some starting ideas for your newest creative DIY project. Don’t worry! We also have some renter-friendly options that don’t require permanent modifications or power tools. Here are nine creative accent wall ideas you’ll want to replicate:
- Hang a statement
- Gallery wall
- Bold color
- Painted designs
- Creating texture
- Built-in features
- Creating light
Wallpaper is an easy way to incorporate color and bold patterns in your home. Interior designers love wallpaper for its versatility and its durability compared to paint. That’s because wallpaper is typically easier to clean and only needs replacing every 10-15 years. It also serves as an alternative to expensive, professional artisan murals. However, wallpaper is also more difficult to apply and costs more upfront (but might be cheaper in the long run). Before you commit to a pattern, buy a swatch to consider the scale of the print and if it matches your existing decor. If you are prone to changing your mind or want a temporary option, vinyl peel and stick wallpapers are the way to go!
Hang a statement
Paint or wallpaper isn’t for everyone, both also take some permanent level of commitment. Instead, opt for hanging a statement item that matches your personality and design style. These are meant for taking up a large amount of space. The traditional approach to this design choice is to hang a large framed or canvas painting in the center of the accent wall. Another option is to hang a statement mirror in place of focal artwork. In addition, you can use hanging fabric like a tapestry or grand curtains for contrasting patterns and dressing up beautiful windows.
Another way to incorporate your favorite photographs and artwork into your accent wall is by designing a gallery wall. Gallery walls are eclectic collages of wall art stylishly arranged as if you were walking through a professional gallery. What makes gallery walls stand out is their ability to adapt to any space and the attention to detail it takes to complete. Here is a short list of steps and tips to follow when creating a gallery accent wall:
- Collect all of your potential items to include. They should be an array of sizes, orientations, and even shapes. You can even include easy to hang personal belongings like dinnerware, shadow boxes, and macrame for a homey feeling.
- Decide on a potential theme. This instantly elevates the look from thrown together to masterful. Themes could be based around a shared subject (ex. family, nature, abstract art, etc.), a color palette, or the order of sized pieces.
- Possibly the hardest step: the arrangement. Ensure a balanced design by spacing similar sized items. Start with the two largest items by placing them diagonally from each other. Then arrange from the largest to the smallest item. Before you make any commitments lay objects out on the ground or use this advanced technique: Trace every item on a piece of butcher paper and label its dimensions and description. Then tape these directly to your wall for easy planning and rearranging.
- Last is to get out those hammers and nails and get to hanging your gallery wall!
When people think about accent walls, they think of bold, colored walls. This is the classic approach to grabbing attention with a solid, statement color. Painting an accent wall a dark color in an otherwise pale room is an easy way to introduce a sophisticated mood. Just check out the dramatic effect a black accent wall can have on a room. Or you can choose a vibrant color like teal or yellow to lighten the mood. Repainting highlights character and improves your home’s value over time.
If color is your best friend and solids won’t do, paint a unique design on your accent wall. Stripes, polka dots, and nature-inspired designs are only the beginning. The newly classic design of contemporary accent walls is geometric patterns. This takes carefully drafting shapes like triangles and diamonds with painter’s tape to form those striking angles.
But the newest (and trendiest) approach to geometric patterns is painting furniture-framing, rounded archways. This popular social media trend has been gaining millions of views and shows no sign of slowing down. The most simple, cost-effective method of painting an accent wall is making a two-tone wall. Just adding a contrasting darker color to a wall’s lower third has the ability to open up a confined room.
Another technique of forming contrast is incorporating texture. Applying three-dimensional materials to an accent wall is the most effective way of accomplishing this effect. Backsplash materials like tile and natural stone (if you want to splurge) make excellent focal points when expertly applied. Yet wood makes for a more versatile and affordable material. Wood paneling is a creative alternative to a headboard for an accent wall in a bedroom. Or forge the appearance of stripes by paneling wood vertically. When buying materials becomes out of your budget, replicate texture with wallpaper resembling supplies like brick, marble, and tile.
Sometimes creating an accent wall is all about embracing what’s already there. Instead of adding or retouching something, highlight built-in furniture like fireplaces, entertainment centers, or bars. These built-ins have already done the work of choosing a wall to accent. Creating multiple focal points in one room can make it appear cluttered, so stick to just one wall. Making them stand out is as simple as painting them a contrast color or positioning furniture to face the accent wall. Windows are another example of a built-in that can be elevated using drapes as we mentioned previously.
For the appearance of built-in furniture, install bookshelves on your accent wall. It’s a versatile decoration that forms storage space and displays more than just books. Here are some pointers on how to decorate a bookshelf and make it unique! While installing monochromatic shelves is a timeless look, painting or applying wallpaper the back wall can make a bold statement. Arranging books in horizontal stacks, in color order, and using creative bookends are just three ways to make your bookshelf unique. If you don’t have enough books to shelve, include unique pieces like vases, plants, and trinkets in a balanced arrangement.
Lighting pieces are trendy accent wall decorations versatile enough for any interior design aesthetic. It’s most effective in larger spaces like living rooms that don’t have room for grand fixtures, although accent lighting isn’t designed to light an entire room. And not all lighting units require an electrician or an expensive professional installation. Sconces are a great touch for refined contemporary and mid-century homes. The latest trend in accent lighting is LED fixtures and strands. LED lights come in many forms and colors, including flexible rope strips used to create an innovative alternative to trendy neon signs.
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