gold line svg


Target Chapter 7; Navy blue Accent Wall Bedroom Makeover



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.

Target Emily Henderson_bedroom_white blue orange casual calm bedroom

Click through for the whole post.

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.

Target Emily Henderson_bedroom_whiteblue orange casual calm bed styling1

Target Emily Henderson_bedroom before

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 Emily Henderson_bedroom_whiteblue orange casual calm bed styling


Target Accent Wall_Accessories window geode books

Pink Bookends (no longer available) | Abstract Art by Ken Horne framed in Target Frames

Target Emily Henderson_bedroom_whiteblue orange casual calm desk styling

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.

Target Accent Wall_Emily Henderson_Bedroom_Blue_Bedding_Midcentury Modern 2

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:

Target Emily Henderson_bedroom_whiteblue orange casual calm dresser styling

Meanwhile on the other side of the room there was a gallery wall.

104702_Accent Wall_Side Tabels_0001

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.

Target Emily Henderson_bedroom_whiteblue orange casual calm gallery wall art

See look. An action shot of me straightening it.

Target Accent Wall_Dresser Gallery Wall Modern

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

Emily Henderson_Target_Blue Accent Wall Orange MidCentury Modern

Target Accent Wall_Emily Henderson_Dresser Accessories

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.

Target Accent Wall_Emily Henderson_Accessories White Wood1

White Pyramid Object | Vase: vintage | Brass Candle holder: vintage | Woven Vase | Bird Figurine

Target Accent Wall_Desk Bench Modern Art White

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  |

Target Accent Wall_Accessories Rugs copy

Blue Striped Rug | Green Rug: vintage | Orange Blanket: vintage | Tufted Bench I love that bench. I just bought it for another makeover – the squared off legs are wonderful.

Target Accent Wall_bedding shams orange grey

Red Pillow Sham (no longer available) | White Grey Floral Sheets | Floral Sham | Grey Pillow |



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?

accent wall

Yes or no on this accent wall? I say a big YES. You?

Fin Mark


Never miss a single post and get a little something extra on Saturdays.

Comments are closed.
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

Hi Emily!

I definitely think a statement wall adds interest in a room. It’s amazing how the blue painted wall brings out the bed and totally transforms your bedroom.

You’ve also added extra cushions in red(bed) and blue(floor) to counteract with the deep blue wall colour. Fantastic!

Emma Jayne x


I usually think accent walls look lazy and non-committal. But since this wall has the horizontal windows only and due the bed orientation, it really works for me surprisingly. Especially with the blue stripe rug. Lovely!


Agee. I usual hate accent walls and feel like its wanna be fancy/design-y.
But again, Emily brought magic!

Julia Weichselbaum

Me too– I guess I say it so often that my husband made me a joke bumper sticker that says “accent walls are for people who can’t commit.” This one doesn’t bother me, but I am generally sticking with my accent wall motto.

Likewise! Normally, they look very early-2000 (aka dated) but I love this one! It’s solely because it makes sense with the windows. Most people don’t have a wall that naturally makes sense

Great room! I’m loving that wood sill at the window, especially with the blue/slate wall color. It seems like a great alternative to a drywall sill that gets dinged and dented and dirty (especially if you have an 19-month old that likes to climb on them). And great tip for keeping gallery walls straight – I’ve often wondered if everyone else is adjusting wonky art every two minutes too. I will add sticky stuff to the back!

I’ve been going back on forth on painting an accent wall in my guest bedroom. The bed doesn’t have a headboard, so I thought it might help ground it a bit. I recently saw a photo where they painted the bottom half of a wall in an accent color to act as a faux-headboard. I’m tempted to try it, but half of an accent wall sounds a little crazy…right??


Not if you call it ‘colour blocking’!

Ha! Great idea 😉


I like the accent wall in this scenario for sure. I also love the term “vintage Target”:)


Oh I have major issues with accent walls…first of all most of the time they only look good in mid-century or very modern homes. that is why I think yours looks great, like when there is one vaulted area or a high window on one wall like this. In older homes it rarely works in my opinion. I have seen a few chimney breast areas or like framed out with moulding that looks ok but usually looks better when all walls look the same, Also if you live in a new suburban home please don’t do it. And to the… Read more »


BIG YES! Thank you for doing this PSA on accent walls. When we moved into our rental it was double accent wall hell. Country blue on three walls and a warm brown on the 4th in the living room. Two eggplant purple walls and two army green walls in the small backroom, etc. I feel like there should be a licensing requirement for accent walls! (ha!) That wall invites the accent and the color is so rich! Divine! Two thumbs up. Every time I see that brass Target lamp that keeps slipping through my fingers it’s like salt in a… Read more »


That brass Target lamp….argh!! I am feeling your pain. Target, make more!!

Damnit, I’ve always hated accent walls and now I like this one. You win again, Henderson.


Ha! So true!


🙂 YES!! For the win! Thanks, guys.

I love it, it really brings the room together. I like them so long as they work in the space (and there aren’t too many of them around the house). We painted one accent wall in a very boring playroom (inherited cream walls and floors) a dark charcoal gray and it’s just right like that so i am a definite yes in favor of this one.

patty blaettler

To help you straighten the art on your gallery walls…Did you know the Iphone has a level app on it? Genius.


Yes. I just wasn’t there when they shot it! 🙁 All good though. xx

I am loving this room and am very jealous of those windows!! Big YES to accent walls! I am also thinking about wallpapering one room in our bedroom, but with a textured paper that I could maybe paint… but indecision and zero knowledge is making me panic and not want to do anything. I figure it’s such a big room it needs something to break it up and look more intentional…

And by “one room in our bedroom” I meant “one wall in our bedroom”. Obviously.


I’ve really disliked those one wall painted a different color. They never seemed like an accent for anything but more accident. Emily you have changed my mind and I love this room. I saw one wallpapered wall in a space that I thought looked very nice but it was a small wall in an L shaped room and it was the wall in the dining area which you saw from the living room area. The paper was beautiful, bold, graphic and I was surprised at how much I liked it. It seemed to ground that area as something different. I’m… Read more »


Good idea. Although then I have to have a level, but I can do that. Yes, to all you said about accent walls and thank you for changing your mind 🙂

Too bad that tray is “vintage Target” because it’s amazing!


Love that room. That pouf is giving me life!! God bless Nate Berkus…he completes me! 🙂 Accent walls are like Ph.D level decorating. It is not for the inexperienced or for the “good taste but not trained” level decorator. Just because you’ve pinned it doesn’t mean you can do it. Basically it’s for the pros and even then, only a specific type of house/room and a really good decorator can pull it off. You pulled it off and you pulled it off well in this room. Really lovely space, styling, use of light, and balance of color. But I think… Read more »


HA. I love your metaphor and I kind agree. Its tricky and can go back so easily , but its also a really easy mistake and fix. Its just a wall to paint. I guess its whether or not you notice its an actual mistake … xx

Bravo… bringing accent walls back! : ) Love it.

I agree, sometimes you need to paper the whole room, or it looks cheap… every scenario is different!


This is just a general comment about feature walls in England. They are EVERYWHERE. I’ve been in England for a few years and I have never seen so many feature walls in my life (wallpapered, painted, both). It shouldn’t be a given to add ugly floral wallpaper to a chimney breast. I’m just sayin. Obviously, not every person in England does this, but it is definitely a thing :/


Huh. Interesting. I would think it was a weird american thing. Now i love it more. Jk. xx


Indeed, they are everywhere in england. I’m from Australia and it is so outdated/neverseen there, but over here, it really is in almost every (regular person’s) home. They are also huge fans of the over sized, hyper-styled floral graphic and then repeating one of the colours in every accessory of the room (see: and i reiterate, i see this regularly).
BUT, the worst i have ever seen, by far, is leather padding (think chesterfields) wallpaper on one half of a hallway. please tell me you feel my pain?

I like it. It makes the room feel a bit moodier and there’s a nice contrast with the light colors of the bed now. I think we’re going to do an accent wall in our bedroom but put it on the wall at the foot of the bed with a line of white-framed art strung across it. Hopefully that falls within the rules! 🙂


Hi Emily & Team!

I agree, the 90’s were chalk full of accent walls and it became a “thing” that quickly was an eyesore for years to come. Lately I have been a fan of either bright white / light gray rooms, or rooms that have gone fully bold with all over color. At this moment, I am still on the fence on accent, but do love that shade of blue!

Geez, dudes! I’m embarrassed about the fact that I’m considering an accent wall in my living room, but I’m afraid I fall into the “good taste but not a decorator” category. I have a particular design problem in my 100 yo home–the main floor is a long and narrow rectangle. The front third is the entry/sitting room and the next 2/3 is split with half being the kitchen and the other half being the family room. Both the kitchen and family room are narrow. It is SO HARD for me to decorate this big space (10 ft. ceilings) that has… Read more »


slim furniture and mirrors?
like emily said, feature walls have to be the wall that is obviously different to its friends. if it’s not different architecturally individual to the other walls, like a receding wall, it’s hard to pull off. if it is long and narrow, i would avoid choosing the long wall. i’d probably choose the small far wall to make it closer and therefore make the room look wider. and if all else fails, paint it back 🙂

Adriana Barton

Agreed, Emily’s deep accent wall transformed this room from ho-hum pretty to a total knock-out! But accent walls on decor sites should carry a warning label “Don’t try this at home!” Especially in houses with lots of mouldings, which interfere with what should be a clean line between the accent colour and adjacent walls. Crown mouldings at the ceiling will make the wall with the accent colour appear lower than the paler side walls, which visually blend into the crown mouldings and ceiling. Painting the crown moulding the same colour as the accent wall to correct the problem just looks… Read more »


Love it! Also, I’m loving the use of the term “vintage Target” – sounds so much classier 🙂

Really love the blue navy color. I actually don’t have a problem with an accent wall. It depends how you do it. Anyways, I’m liking the Target stuff allot. To bad there isn’t one on my island. More reasons to travel right?!

I love that blue accent wall. I am usually hesitant on accent walls myself since they seemed to get so played out, but we did a rich blue accent wall in our living room as well and it totally changed the room (tried red at first and YUCK. It did not work). Your blue totally adds the interest that was needed; I think the biggest issue with the other version was the light floors in conjunction with the solid light walls. It was just a little too flat. The blue changes all that. Overall though I love your use of… Read more »


The accent wall really grounds the decor. The all white room looks like it could be floating in space. This room is definitely better with the accent wall! Love your style Emily!

I’m all for the accent wall!

And you may have used the term before, but “vintage Target” just became a permanent part of my vocabulary. Love it.

Hm. I want to like this. I strategically use accent walls in my home, but in one color only – moody matte black. It helps create drama and depth in my pretty blah ranch home. I just feel like this color is a bit dull, and with the lighting and furniture in that room, it feels like a really nicely decorated dorm room. I wanted the color to be much darker, or much richer…not sure. The overall effect just isn’t full of life and spark like a typical EH room – so you lose how wonderful the items and styling… Read more »

Room looks wonderful!

Is the blue floor pouf also Nate Berkus?

Love this accent wall! Such a great transformation. xoxo


Keep the pouf from the ‘before’ and I’ll love the accent wall version 🙂


I with you, Janet. And I prefer the cushions in the before for the accent wall version too.. the coral/oranges would pop off the blue better than the red and tie in with all the other oranges/blues in the room. Overall a beautiful transformation!


This accent wall looks well thought out and fun!!! In my opinion what makes this really works is your strong color palette and the long horizontal windows behind the bed. This architectural feature (the windows) say HEY, look at me! and it visually and physically connects it to the two white walls on each side. This accent wall is not random at all. beautiful!

This looks great, I love the accent wall. It brings some drama to the room.


The gallery wall is the accent wall of the 2010’s. I’m really, really looking forward to the end of them. I’ll take a big bold color over frantic, messy galleries anyday.


Amen to that! I cannot handle gallery walls that aren’t straight, much less poorly designed. I’ll be glad to see them go. Bring on the big art!


Yes! I totally agree that gallery walls are an overdone trend, and it’s time for real artwork to make a comeback.


I’m with you. I’d rather limit artwork on the walls to things I truly want to look at, rather than mass of things most of which aren’t really that great.

Where is the bed from? And the pouff?


I will admit to being slightly obsessed with dark bedrooms at the moment. With that caveat, and in complete agreement that this wall is totally appropriate for an accent wall, I would still love this room more if it were all that beautiful blue. It would bring that feeling of warmth and cosiness all around, set off that gallery wall magically (and that white dresser against it – yum!), and just generally be gorgeous. But it is lovely as is, too. Because everything Emily does is lovely.


Ditto what others have said so far, I’m not usu a fan of accent walls but I think it really works in this room. Beautiful job (as usual) and such a lovely pick-me-up for me today as I’m writing from southern Maine where we are getting HAMMERED by a blizzard! SO much beautiful, white, snow outside, but so awesome to see some great color in this room!! Thanks Emily!! 🙂

First time commenter. This is the BEST. I loved that room before you did the accent wall and *almost* Clipped it for master bedroom inspiration. Now it is perfect and I am going to copy everything you do, as usual.


I like this so much, but then I painted one wall of my living room Hague Blue to hide the TV and to form a backdrop for some giant copper pipe bookshelves, and I love the colour, but I’d add another tip – be careful about painting the wall opposite the window, because then less light reflects back into the room. I am not painting over it because I have built the shelves over it now and they look amazing against the dark wall, but I do worry about having made it darker than it could have been. If I’d… Read more »

Bethany R

I was thinking of painting an accent wall in the nursery black… but now I’m afraid that would just look non-committal. Would you paint all four walls of a NURSERY black?! The nursery does get the best light of the entire house… Help a hormonal pregnant lady out, Emily!


I on the other hand will say THIS is exactly why I LOVE accent walls.
When done right…it just sings to you and does what it was intended for!
Great job!!


What is a return wall? I didn’t quite understand the architect’s “rule” for accent walls.


Absolutely YES! It really warms up the room and gives it depth.

Now the white wall looks all wrong! (though it certainly didn’t when you first revealed it.) Perfect example of a good accent wall.

I look at my home office and want to try an accent wall, but I am too scared. However, love what you did with this! So much better…Thanks for sharing 🙂


It made the whole room, as far as I’m concerned. You followed the rule…a big win in my book.

The accent wall looks great against all the light furnishings. I’ve been eyeing that bench for while. I’m digging how it’s under the white desk!


Vintage Target? Really?


Love. Love. Love. Although, it is torturous to see all these fab things from Target and not have one in London! I’m dying! It makes me a little homesick…


I must be slightly OCD because it drives me crazy to have two different wall colors touching each other. I had all the archways in our home framed out in moulding so that the rooms can be different colors.


Great room, again! I was wondering where the actual bed came from and the tufted stool under the desk. I think those were the only two items you didn’t make note of if they were vintage or where you got them.
My husband and I want to do an all navy/dark blue room with pops of white (grey and maybe a pinch of yellow?) because we’ve been there -done that with the accent wall. I don’t know if the contrast will be soothin enough for a bedroom. What do you think?

Nina Bond

Yes this accent Wall is fantastic. I don’t agree with your rule or guide about accent walls. I like accent walls and especially since i like the color black for walls. I would probably not paint a whole room black.

Go To Top