Design Trend: Accent Walls are Making a Comeback

Back in the early 2000s, accent walls were a hot trend. Just about every home or business boasted one in either a living room or bedroom. As with all fads, the walls eventually fell out of favor and became a thing of the ‘past.’  However, styles are often a revolving door – accent walls are back and hotter than ever some 20 years later!


Modern and Bold with a Splash of the 1920s

This time around, accent walls are a bit different. They are embracing two eras. Homeowners are making a bold statement with an accent wall that is strongly influenced by the Roaring Twenties.

In the 1920s, vibrant wall colors were everywhere.  People couldn’t get enough of deep, bright hues such as teal, bronze, and black/gold. However, back then, all walls of a home were painted, but today, an accent wall that embraces the 1920s love for flair is becoming a must-have palette. Typically, three walls are painted a very muted, neutral color, and one wall (the fourth wall) stands out in bold contrast to create necessary drama.


Black Walls

Painting a wall black is a big step for many homeowners – it’s almost like a walk on the wild side. Consider painting the wall where the tv hangs a jet-black. When the television is operating at night, it creates a museum effect or makes it seem like you are in a movie theater.



White and red, white and blue, black and red, or whatever combination of stripes is sure to draw the eyes when someone walks into the room. If you are craving a nautical theme, then a blue and white stripe combo is a significant consideration.

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A Pop of Color for Small Spaces

Suppose you don’t want to commit to a whole wall, then why not pick a small section of the home like a hallway wall or some wall niche such as a foyer? You can also use artwork to dress up the accent wall further and really make a statement.

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Think About Texture

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An accent wall can be more than simple paint. Instead, try stone, tile or various wood designs. You can even put up extensive shelving if the wall lacks any fundamental architectural feature. Or create an accent wall of artwork or photos. Some designers will drape the wall in fabric.

A hot trend right now, especially in homes where the mercury plummets, is a wall-mounted electric fireplace. You can place the fireplace in the middle of the wall for a focal point and then use artwork to decorate around it or go with tile, brick, or some other complementary material.


Have Fun with Metal or Glitter Accent Walls

Many people think they have to paint an accent wall a single color, but an accent wall can be a combination of hues – not always stripes or solids. Also, you can try some unique metallic or glitter paints for a bit of sparkle or fun texture on the walls especially for kids rooms or in unexpected places like bathrooms or laundry rooms!


Painted Ceilings

Yes, an accent wall is typically a ‘wall,’ but some homeowners are actually focusing on the ceiling as a possible substitute. They are painting the ceiling in bold contrast and adding colorful details.  Try not to go too dark with a ceiling. Use a combination of colors, or you could make the ceiling seem low and cavelike instead of expansive. When painting a ceiling, remember it doesn’t have to be a Michelangelo masterpiece, It can simply be a variety of colors and designs.


Highlighting an Architectural Feature

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Use paint to truly highlight an architectural feature in the room, such as molding, a room shape, expansive fireplace, or other vital components that you like about the design of the space. Paint your fireplace all white and then set it against a charcoal-painted wall to make it stand out in bold contrast and genuinely showcase the dimensions.  You can also opt for a flashier surround tile or mosaic.


Built-In Shelving As an Accent Wall

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Many homes, especially historical ones, have lovely built-ins that serve a variety of functions. Even newer homes embrace the vintage appeal of built-ins and incorporate them into the home’s design. Whether the built-ins are bookcases or cabinets, you can paint them a contrasting color to the surrounding walls to make them stand out. This is an excellent idea for spicing up a room that appears drab or monotone.


Think About the Other Walls

With so much focus on the accent wall, you might forget the other walls in the house. Typically, an accent wall looks best when surrounded by other walls that are a light to medium shade. Yes, an accent wall in a room where all of the other walls are white looks stunning but is not always easy to pull off. The accent wall can end up looking cold or stark. You want to create balance with the accent wall color and the surrounding neutral wall colors. Think about gray, beige, or greige to show off the accent color.


Try Wallpaper

You’re probably focused on painting the accent wall in your home but don’t forget about wallpaper. Many wallpapers create a designer feel. Some are even temporary, so you don’t have to make a long-term commitment. Temporary wallpaper gives you the freedom to create an accent wall even if you are renting a home because the wallpaper is easily removed. You can choose from colors, designs, and textures.

Picking your accent wall is a fun part of the entire design process. You want the wall to look stunning and draw the eyes immediately. The great thing about accent walls is they are not a whole home makeover but simply a single wall that can truly breathe new life into the space to make it instantly trendy and modern.

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