An Accent Wall: Easy & Fun!

May 21, 2017

Big Statement with Little Investment

The accent wall is an easy painting project. It seldom takes more than a couple of hours; it requires only paint, a roller, and painter’s tape; and can even be done in apartments because it’s easy to undo when you move. Unless you’re planning on purchasing a myriad of new accessories and home goods, try to find a bold color that exists in your rug, window coverings or pillows to use.  Bring the paint sample home and paint a sample- say 12" x 12" on the prospective wall.  Look at it in the light that exists in your space, in the early morning, mid day and at night to get a true idea of what the color is going to look like once on your wall.


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What is an Accent Wall?

An accent wall is one wall within a single room that is markedly different and more interesting than the other walls in the room. It’s probably the color you love but would be afraid to use throughout the entire room because of its intensity.  It’s also possibility the color that your spouse, roommate, or significant other would never use throughout the space, but will accept as a part of the color scheme.

Why introduce an Accent Wall?

Since this is often the first wall that you see when entering a room, this wall can help to draw the eye to what you want noticed. In an open concept dining and living room combination, it can help to anchor or define a separate area. The accent wall almost always highlights a large focal point such as bed, fireplace, or window on or near that wall. Be sure that every other element in your room coordinates, but isn't matchy-matchy. Supporting elements should carry out the accent color's hue and value. If there is no thought of coordination and balance of color throughout the room, your accent wall will look like an irrelevant, disconnected color. 

Color Theory: Warm Hues

Warm colors such as red, orange and yellow tend to advance in our eyes’ view, which makes a space appear smaller.  If your selection for overall color palette is on the warm side of the color wheel, then it’s best to use an accent end wall on a long narrow room. It will also feel warmer.  

Color Theory: Cool Hues

Cool colors such as blue, greens and some purples tend to recess in our eyes’ view, which make it become visually larger.  Therefore, painting a small room a cool color will make it appear larger, make narrow room appear more square by painting shorter walls; or make a low ceiling give the impression that it’s higher.  It will also feel cooler.

Determining the Visual Temperature

One can determine the visual or psychological (rather than actual) temperature of a room by looking at the natural light that comes from the windows.  As a general rule, eastern or northern facing rooms (meaning the windows are on one or both of these walls) will feel cooler.  Western or southern facing rooms will feel warmer.  You may wish to balance the room by using its opposite in the decor.

Repeating the Right Hue

Think about coordinating pillows, upholstery fabric, drapery, and/or a rug that pulls the color together. If possible, try to find these items before you buy the final choice of accent wall color. Trying to find accessories and home goods to coordinate with that very specific shade of turquoise you selected can prove to be a nightmare. Again, this goes back to a color's undertone. Color matching paint value to a shade from your rug or window covering fabric is easy, but nearly impossible when it's the other way around. Keep in mind there are thousands of shades, tints and tones of paint so that you can match paint to your scheme, rather than the other way around.






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Selecting Your Accent Wall

Remember, an accent wall needs to be clustered around some kind of dominant focal point. There is nothing more dominant than a fireplace. After all, beds move, bookcases move, TVs move--but fireplaces, and windows, are there to stay. Look for a wall seen from an adjacent room. The color will perform double duty if you can also see it from other rooms.


We Suggest You Avoid

1.) Not planning your furniture arrangement around your accent wall.

2.) Blocking much of the accent wall with large objects.

3.) Leaving the accent wall blank without art or other coordinated accents.

4.) Having too many windows/doors on the wall.



In conclusion

A great way to make a change is to infuse color into your home.  Think about an accent wall.  It’s quick, cheap, and easy! Questions? Wondering which wall might be a good candidate for an accent wall?  We do Color Consultations for your whole home- inside and out in the greater Seattle area.  Email us, and we’ll try to assist you with some more ideas. Check out this website for additional information.

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