The 90’s ruined ‘the accent wall’. It just got too wacky and people were putting them everywhere and not following the rules. In fact, maybe there were no ‘accent wall’ rules so people were just running around their house, carrying 4 different paint colors, screaming ‘Paint that wall coral! Paint that wall chocolate-brown! Paint that wall sage!!!’ It became a wacky gimmick instead of an appropriate design decision. But lately it has made a small comeback. A careful, well-thought out, small comeback.
We transformed this bedroom (below) in one afternoon, mainly by adding an accent wall. And I’m pretty into it.
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Here is my rule for accent walls in your room: The architecture of the room has to lend itself to being painted a different color; in other words it can’t be random. Let me explain. Some rooms are obvious – like this one. It’s clearly the focal wall, and it grounds the bed and says ‘Over here! You can do something different over here!’. Very few people would think that either of the other two walls should be painted.
I once even heard an architect say that walls need to end in an accent wall, with no return wall. Meaning that it’s for rooms like this, or niches, random alcoves, etc. I’ve found situations that work that don’t fall in those categories but its a good guide. Also consider this before you paint – would the whole room look better painted? I’ve found this in the case so often with wallpapering – that really the whole room would look better wallpapered instead of the ‘feature’ wall. Often it just looks like you couldn’t afford the whole room, although sometimes the one wallpapered wall in the special space, really works.
Target started selling paints and I remember thinking, ‘great, we’ll look at their colors’. Then they told me that we could choose any colors and it didn’t have to be theirs. So we swatched a lot of our favorite blues and decided that this really was the one that we wanted (and now we are using it in another project). It’s called ‘Compass’ from the Devine collection. If most of you follow me on social media, you’ll know that I love this particular navy blue by Farrow and Ball called Hague Blue, but this is really a close second if you want one that has less green in it and is more gray. It’s like a really blue slate.
Also that rug is so cute, the pouf is awesome and that new Nake Berkus throw on the pouf is wonderful.
Make sure your outfit always matches the color palette of the room. Like so:
Meanwhile on the other side of the room there was a gallery wall.
Naturally, I want to go back in time and straighten some of those (we shoot the still photos REALLY fast after the videos). I love all that art, though. This is the ONE big downfall of the gallery wall. You really need to put blue tacky stuff or gallery wax on the back of the corners so it can’t move, because if they are all totally off kilter they instantly look really amateur, messy and cluttered.
See look. An action shot of me straightening it.
Orange and Brass Side Table | White Dresser: vintage | White and Orange Table Lamp | Glass Geometric Vase | Agate Green Tray (no longer available) | White Pedestal Bowl | Blue Vase: vintage | Brass Figure: vintage | Brass Bowl | White Vase: vintage | Brass and Rope Art Piece | Light Blue and Grey Abstract Art | Blue Square Abstract Art | Paris Photo Art | Blue Green Spotted Abstract Art by Ken Horne | Blue Orange Great Abstract | Woven Artifact | Water Color Plate | Blue Orange Yellow Abstract by Kate Smithson| Pink and Orange Abstract by Kate Smithson| Blue Seascape Photo: Vintage | Iron Work Art: Vintage | Triangle Blanket | Wire Basket
The tray is vintage Target (from this fall, but no longer available, although I have two of them), and the white jewelry bowl is vintage.
Table Lamp | Geometric Vase (no longer available) | Gold Bowl: vintage | Gold Boxes: vintage | Mirror: vintage | Gold Feather Sphere (no longer available) | Blue Print: vintage | Pink Print: vintage | White Desk |
There you have it. A room transformed with an accent wall. Tell me, what are your thoughts about an accent wall? I recently wallpapered my bedroom, but it was so expensive that I only did the headboard wall and I’ve regretted it since that very first day. I wish I had done the whole room (and still may). Sometimes its all you need/want and sometimes the whole room cries out in jealousy. Thoughts?
Yes or no on this accent wall? I say a big YES. You?