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How to Incorporate an Accent Wall into Your Space

Updated on May 14, 2015
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Stuart has spent three years trying to convince his boyfriend he is not hiding books under their bed and they are certainly not multiplying.

The Perfect Accent Wall
The Perfect Accent Wall

Tools You'll Need

There are a few tools you will need to transform one of your walls to accent the room.

  • paint (colour of your choice)
  • paint brush
  • roller
  • painters tape
  • sandpaper
  • dry wall repair putty and scraper*
  • dust mask
  • canvas or plastic drop cloths

* if you have any nail holes from framed photographs and paintings you have hung on the wall you've chosen you can use this to create a smooth look

My father use to travel quite a bit when my sister and I were growing up, so whenever he would go on extended business trips my mother would take the opportunity to put us to work on some home improvement project. There was a look she would get in her eye while she stood studying the room she planned to change and with a hand on her hip would announce, "This room has had its day". In a matter of a few days the entire room would be reorganized, the furniture moved, the walls painted and the photographs rehung. This was the unfortunate habit I have retrained from my childhood; the need to change my surroundings when I feel the space I'm inhabiting gets tired and needs a sprucing up.

There is something about changing your space or even the focus of the room to make your bedroom, living room or dining room feel like a brand new space. It begins with moving a picture frame to another surface and ends with you priming at three in the morning. I like to think the best part of adding an accent wall to a bedroom is a perfect way to add focus to another part of your room and allow you to add a bit of drama to your existing space.

You do not need to have a lot of money to change your design up nor do you need to throw everything in the room just to feel like its been refreshed. All you need to learn is two words my friends ... accent wall.

Photo: maureendidde/Flickr CC
Photo: maureendidde/Flickr CC | Source

Choosing Your Accent Wall

When choosing an accent wall you should be aware of which wall has the most visual interest, gets the most sunlight and the first wall someone sees when they walk into the room. Here are some examples of visual interest you should look for when choosing your wall:

  • wall opposite a window
  • wall with the biggest piece of furniture (couch, bed, shelving units or television unit)
  • photo wall or large framed painting
  • wall opposite the entrance to your apartment
  • wall opposite the mirror in your bathroom

An accent wall is not so much to distract from the rest of the items in the room but to enhance the furniture in front of it and the times hanging on it. You must be mindful of the space you are accenting and choose a colour or pattern that does not dwarf everything else in your room.

By Imjustmatthew (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Imjustmatthew (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons | Source

Do You Have an Accent Wall in Your Home?

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Preparing Your Walls for Paint or Wallpaper

You want to prepare your wall before you begin painting so you are able to address any imperfections. If you have removed any paintings or framed photographs from the wall you'll need to fill any holes with drywall putty.

  • use your scraper to drag the putty over the hole in an even line
  • scrape the excess off with the other side of your scraper
  • once the putty has dried use sandpaper to smooth the wall
  • use a damp piece of paper towel and run it over the wall to clean off any residual dust

This will ensure your canvas will be perfect for any paint colour you have chosen. It is extremely important for you not to skip this step as certain colours do little to hide imperfections decorating may have caused.

To avoid paint on your baseboards, ceilings and adjoining walls make sure you tape these surfaces with your painters tape, I would suggest 1 3/4" or 2".

Choosing an Accent Wall Colour | Source

Alternative Mediums for Accent Walls

If you are a little more adventurous with your design plan and have planned a magnificent unveiling for your family and friends here are some alternatives to paint:

  • reclaimed barn wood
  • tile
  • wallpaper
  • tapestries
  • stone
  • brick facade
  • wood (cubed, boards, squares)
  • fabric

The sky is really the limit when creating an accent wall but it's important to design your space to your taste and within your budget. | Source

Which type of accent wall do you most want in your space?

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    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 2 years ago

      I like accent walls. I feel as if they bring a sort of pop and serenity into a room. thanks for the hub. Best of wishes.