Bringing color into your space doesn’t require you to splash paint up everywhere. Sometimes, focusing on just one wall can have even greater impact, or at least allow you to slowly get used to the idea of color before you take the four-wall plunge.
“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,” said homedit.
So how do you choose a color? And how do you know where to put it? Will it go with your existing stuff, or do you need to redecorate?
“To change only one wall in your room, a good first step is to choose a color that will pair well with your existing wall color,” said Behr. “For instance, if you have soft mocha walls, paint an accent wall in chocolate brown. If your room is painted a neutral color, add a bold color to highlight that area. Opposing colors in the color spectrum work well together, for example a classic combination of cool blue with a warm orange. Adjacent colors on the color wheel also mix well together, such as shades of green and blue. There is an endless combination of colors to choose from; you will find your perfect match with a little experimentation.”
Here are a few ideas to get you started.
The color: A strong jewel tone, like peacock blue.
Where to paint it: Looks great on a wall that draws the eye across the room
Goes with: Bright white for contrast, and layered with other strong colors as pops
Additional considerations: Dark colors will suck up the light in a space, which is why an accent wall is sometimes preferable to painting all the walls in a space. If you’re doing it yourself, you may need several coats to create an even finish. Be sure to use sufficient light when painting so you can see all the imperfections.
Painting the wall right next to the dining table might make it feel like the wall is closing in. Using the dark blue paint across the room creates a focal wall against the white chest and collection of mirrors.
Exotic and exquisite, this room comes to life with the peacock blue accent wall.
The bright pink desk and red chairs shine against the bright blue wall – a great way to bring in primary colors and unexpected pops in a unique way.
The color: Something soothing, like cornflower blue
Where to paint it: The bedroom, and, more specifically, the bed wall – the natural place for an accent color because it will draw attention to the preferred focal point in the room. A bedroom that has a fireplace or another unique feature could be another option.
Goes with: White, yellow, browns, and neutrals, like the bedroom below.
Additional considerations: Blue tends to be a restful color, so it naturally works well in a bedroom. And, cool colors like blue can also make “a small bedroom appear larger,” said The Spruce.
In this bedroom, the blue provides a resting point for the eye against neutral Earth tones. The patterned bedding and bright orange accents give the space additional interest.
The color: Gray. It’s been the hottest paint color for several years running, but if you’re worried that gray will make your space look dreary, starting with one wall makes sense.
Where to paint it: Anywhere you want. Gray looks great in living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, and bathrooms.
Goes with: Just about anything. Depending on the shade, gray can be a neutral or it can be a standout.
Additional considerations: Gray also looks great when you layer tones. The darker accent wall behind the bed below provides drama, while the lighter shades create a luxurious feel.
A room with a unique layout can be perplexing, but the short wall in this living space is the perfect spot for an accent.
The color: Black
Where to paint it: On your built-ins
Goes with: Black can be a striking contrast to pretty much any color you want, but for classic elegance, keep everything else white.
Additional considerations: “Black built-ins are popping up everywhere lately, like in this study by Carmel Greer,” said House Beautiful. “This gray-black reminds me of shadows – for me, that’s a good thing,” she says. “With the gold overhead light and leather chair, it’s tailored and masculine, not cave-like.”
The color: Unexpected
Where to paint it: On the wall where the eye would naturally go, or to train the eye to land somewhere else.
Goes with: As long as you’re thinking outside of the can, you can make unexpected choices here, too. Remember that you can make colors go together, if you so choose, by weaving in patterns with colors in common.
Additional considerations: When you’re using a surprising color, especially if it’s bold, carefully consider how many other colors you bring in. Too many, and you can end up with a circus room.
A teal-turquoise wall behind the bed? Set against dark gray walls everywhere else? Why not? The combination is super chic, especially with the layered textures.
Acid green on the wall? It brings high impact style to the space, with a sophisticated look that’s “not too serious,” said House Beautiful.
Pink on the wall is surprising stylish in this dining room, offsetting classic furniture with a bold punch.