Dare To Be Different: 30 Unforgettable Accent Walls

An accent wall can be a perfect way to break up a large room, to emphasize a particularly great architectural feature, or to instill a sense of the extraordinary in otherwise completely ordinary space. 

Accent Walls

30 Accent Walls Decorating Tips

An accent wall can be a perfect way to break up a large room, to emphasize a particularly great architectural feature, or to instill a sense of the extraordinary in an otherwise completely ordinary space. While some say this trend is waning, others note that it’s still going strong.

It draws the eye to a focal point. This can be really important in. a large, open-plan space because an accent wall can anchor the room and pull attention to a specific area. Accent wall ideas are great for defining a seating area, highlighting a sofa or visually pulling a space together.

An accent wall can highlight a focal point even more. If a room already has a focal point like fireplace, built-ins or a feature window, painting the surrounding wall or adding other accent features can strengthen the emphasis in the space.

An accent wall can make a space feel larger. The right colors or accents can create a wall the makes the room seem larger. Moreover, you don’t need to use a bold color to achieve this: Sometimes muted tones can do an even better job making the room feel spacious while pulling the eye across the whole space and to the accent wall.

This article contains 30 wonderful accent wall ideas – some you can do yourself, others might simply serve as inspiration. But we hope you enjoy the creative process of determining if and what type of accent wall will work best for you and your home.

Wall Lighting

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Lighting can a really dramatic accent wall idea, especially when it’s artistic like these geometric wall lights by Contardi. Used in a corner seating area across both walls, the lighting elevated to dark corner to a highlight in the space, especially at night. This particular space combines the lighting with geometric wall panels for extra design flair, but you would get an equally dramatic effect with just the lighting.

Built Ins

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Lots of homes have built-ins and they can easily be transformed into a major accent wall idea. This pair of bookcases features elegant rounded tops. In combination with the mirrored upper wall panels, central mural panel and sconces, what could be a mundane wall is elevated to a stunning accent. Small details like the sunburst accents hanging at the front of each unit add a special touch too.

Panels and Art

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A similar strategy to what was used on the built-ins can also transform an entryway vignette. This console with two chairs and similar paneling and sconces makes a great accent wall for a foyer or lonely end of living space that could use a little extra love. If the existing wall does not include molding that defines the panel, that is easily added. Also, an alternative to the central panels is simply using a wall covering divided into two sections to mimic this design.

Collections

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A collection can make a great accent wall idea if the pieces are of the type that can be hung or mounted on the wall. A deep, dark wall makes the perfect background for this collection of round discs that feature different designs, colors and metallics. Of course, you can do this with a light-colored wall too, as long as the pieces provide enough color contrast.

Sofa Wall

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The wall behind the sofa is a prime location to transform into an accent wall. In this particular example it’s not the dark paint that creates an accent – the whole room is painted a deep green – but rather the large, dramatic painting installed over the sofa. Often, people will choose a rectangular piece that leaves more wall space vacant. That’s fine, but opting for an oversized painting will amp up the accent value.

Wood Cutouts

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Gorgeous and unexpected, this accent wall idea is made of two layers of wood with cutouts in the top one. Stylized blossom shapes in both positive and negative space variations cover the entire wall and the varied wood grain helps emphasize the cut-outs. Even though the shapes are flowers, the look is not overly feminine, especially when paired with a leather headboard.

Unique Mirror

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A hallway is less commonplace for an accent wall but it is a very effective way to add interest to this often overlook space. While this example also uses a bold graphic wall covering, the unique mirror is the real draw. Even on a plain wall, this type of mirror instantly turns it into an attention-getting space. It’s a great accent wall idea for the person who wants a one-and-done concept.

Textures

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A wall clad in some serious texture creates an instant accent without adding color to the space. In this example, the bottom of the stairwell could easily be a dead space, but the deeply textured wall surface and lighting create a fabulous nook used for seating and a bar cart. 

Drapes

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You don’t need windows as a reason to install drapes! Wall-to-wall and floor to ceiling, drapes are an accent wall idea that instantly creates a special space with a bit of mystery. Is there a stunning view behind the folds? This tactic can also be used to elevate a mundane wall with a small window into a large feature. If you want some light peeking in around the edges, install strip lighting.

Green wall

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Whether you opt for a wall-to-wall installation or choose panels like these, a green wall is an accent wall idea that helps bring the outdoors in. Green walls can be comprised of real plants, but that can be an installation and maintenance challenge. These days, lots of maintenance-free options that use specially preserved plants or moss are popular choices. It gives the whole room a feeling of the great outdoors without the hassle.

Bedroom Headboard Accent Wall.

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The head of the bed tends to be a bedroom’s inherent feature wall, so using color to make the accent wall obvious is a fun idea. Also fun? Three white oversized brains (is that what they are?) as wall art. Yes, please!{found on cyndiparkerinteriors}.

World Map Accent Wall.

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Oh, world maps, how I love thee. Particularly the full-wall versions. I’m having a hard time dreaming up a situation where a mammoth-sized world map as accent wall would NOT be perfect. Truthfully? I’m coming up blank.

Across-the-Room Accent Wall.

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As an accent to a space, an accent wall provides an immediate draw. Choosing a wall that’s furthest from the room’s entrance to be the accent wall can be an unspoken invitation to “come in and make yourself comfortable.”{found on chrissnookphotography}.

Modern Geometric Accent Wall.

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The geometric non-precision of this type of accent wall (DIY’d here with some painter’s tape and paint) makes it a perfect candidate for a funky, fun-loving space. Kids’ bedrooms, family rooms, even laundry rooms could easily benefit from this accent wall idea.{found on projectnursery}.

Accent Wall with Wood Pallets.

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Sure, the wood pallet craze might be waning, but if rustic décor is still your M-O, this type of accent wall is unbeatable. Depth, character, visual interest, and warmth are all immediate results of a wood pallet accent wall. Bonus: DIY compatible.

Dark Accent Wall in a Light Room.

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A dark accent wall adds presence and maturity to an otherwise light room. Consider tying in a few darker furniture or accent pieces for balance.

Stone Accent Wall.

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It’s rich, sophisticated, and calming. It’s hard to go wrong with using natural materials like stone in décor, but as an accent wall, the effect is completely stunning. The wall choice here – tall and relatively narrow – is effective with flat cut stones.

Homemade (Sharpie) Accent Wall Wallpaper.

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Sure, this idea requires plenty of elbow grease and something just shy of a lifetime supply of permanent markers. But the end result is stunning and filled to the brim with personality. Plus, it’s much more budget-friendly than actual wallpaper!{found on vintagerevivals}.

Wall Mural Accent Wall.

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Not much to say about this fantastic idea, other than to choose a mural scene that speaks to you. This accent wall idea is wonderfully simple and full of charm and character.

DIY Faux Wallpaper Accent Wall.

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Using a stencil and the combination of flat and high-gloss paint, anyone can achieve the look of luxe wallpaper for an accent wall. This is simultaneously subtle and impactful.{found on kfddesigns}.

Focal Feature Accent Wall.

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In a living room with a focal feature, such as a fireplace, it’s not a bad idea to treat the entire wall as an extension of the focal feature by turning it into an accent wall. A different paint color, wallpaper, or even lighting layouts can transform this regular wall into the backbone of the entire space.

Hard-Working Chalkboard Accent Wall.

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The chalkboard-iness of this wall is tastefully downplayed by letting it double as an art gallery wall. I love the mixture of formality and informality here.{found on inspiredbythis}.

Staircase Accent Wall.

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The wall next to a staircase is often the tallest wall in the house, as it flows for at least two stories. It can be tricky to “decorate,” though, as eye-level is constantly changing, and it’s just so massive to begin with. Create an accent wall with a standout color on this wall. Bonus: No extra wall décor necessary.

Striped Wood Accent Wall.

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This is an accent wall that could be put together fairly quickly, once the knotty pine boards have been stained (and sealed?) to one’s satisfaction. I love the impact of the peekaboo paint between the boards, forming 3-D stripes.{found on projectnursery}.

Grasscloth Striped Accent Wall.

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If you like the idea of a 3-D striped accent wall but aren’t feeling particularly rustic, here’s another take on the concept. Wrap 1×6 boards with metallic grasscloth, then mount them to your accent wall in horizontal stripes. So glamorous and chic.{found on beachchicdesign}.

Bookshelves as Accent Wall.

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If your favorite feature in a room is the beautiful built-ins, emphasize this by transforming the shelves into an accent wall. Paint out the back wall, but leave the shelves as they are. The use of monochromatic pieces on said shelves will go a long way to emphasize the accent wall itself.

Wallpapered Accent Wall.

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Despite the eclectic décor of this adorable nursery space, the blue wallpapered accent wall fully does its job. Furnishings against the accent wall are monochromatic, which further increases its visual impact.

Fabric-Covered Accent Wall.

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Fabric can be used in a way similar to wallpaper to create an unforgettable accent wall. Bonus: In a Bedroom, an accent wall can even double as the headboard.

Ceiling as Accent Wall.

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While it’s sometimes referred to as the “fifth wall,” the ceiling isn’t typically the first thing we think of in relation to accent walls. But it makes perfect sense to use your ceiling in this way, particularly in a window-heavy room where actual walls are minimal to begin with.{found on bengebo}.

Art-Displayed Accent Wall.

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If you’re wary of committing to a permanent accent wall (although I blink at the idea of paint’s being considered “permanent”), remember than an accent wall can actually be the same form and color as the rest of the walls in your home; it’s what you DO with the wall that makes it stand out. If you take this approach, though, commit to it. Go big with your display – floor to ceiling, wall to wall. Make it an actual accent wall. Have fun with this!