Today, an accent wall makes a lot of sense by offering a budget-friendly way to introduce a great deal of drama in a room without having to tackle the whole room.
As a kid, my first great decorating triumph came by way of an accent wall when my mom let me pick the wallpaper for my room and I got all crazy and asked for an accent wall with pink. It worked. Since then, I’ve been addicted.
I recently wrote about an accent wall project I’ll be doing this fall, which’ll allow me to both have style and flare while hiding my home theatre cables. I’m getting excited about that project. In my last home, my “accent” was a dramatic 25 feet of vibrant fire-red hallway walls in a shade called “Moulin Rouge.” Was it for everyone? No, but it really gave my place that punch I was after.
And that leads us into the first great accent wall approach — the always popular pop of color with a boldly painted wall. Going one color of paint is the cheapest hit of drama you can get. Buy a gallon and rock it out. Boom, drama. If you’re a renter, this is a great way to kick out the jams in your apartment without having to kill yourself to get your damage deposit back.
But paint is only the beginning. Wallpaper’s making a comeback, and that’s great, but there are a world of ways to make that one wall stand out from the crowd.
Wood Paneling: It’s Back, Baby!
Oh, sure, wood’s taken some hard knocks over the years, but that ‘70s paneling was executed badly, okay? It was all bad ski chalet styling, but now paneling is happening. It’s a super-popular accent these days.
With more wood choice available, better cuts with great lines and a tighter fit, and more finishes than you can dream of, a wood wall adds drama while really creating a rustic, comfortable mood.
But we’ve also discovered that wood doesn’t need quilts and doilies and candlelight to feel “natural.” In today’s “new modern” look, there’s a place for wood among the most cutting-edge designs.
When offset against other elements like stone, steel, and glass, wood paneling really pops, delivering a sleek-but-rustic factor in modern decor. It also warms up a space that can otherwise seem too “cool” and new.
Decals: Stick-on Style for All Ages
These aren’t the old Disney Pooh decals we grew up with.
Today’s decals are often easily removed and reapplied, making them the kind of investment you can bring with you when you move. They’re hip, happening, and full of choice.
So many retailers sell decals on the web that you can find an image that really speaks to your style, and add a whole lot of pizzazz without ever having to open a can of paint. Still, applying a massive decal over a freshly painted wall can have a massive impact in a room.
They bring so much whimsy and fun to children’s rooms, add a touch of nature and inspiration to adult settings, and they’re a budget-friendly, portable solution that can often be found for well under $100.
Me, I’m a sucker for tree branch decals. I like the almost Japanese-meets-Craftsman aesthetic of some of them, and adds a natural touch without having to break out a watering can every few days.
Texture: A Touch Above
Whether it’s a synthetic brick or stone installation, a fabric treatment, grass mats, or even something crazy like the furry wall in the hit movie Get Him To The Greek, the use of texture on an accent wall is almost always a smart move.
A textural element adds interest and depth to a room, but going big on texture in just one area is exactly the style and drama many people are seeking, and paint can only do so much. Plaster and drywall can be applied to form a basis for your texture, which is a “commitment” move, or you can use your creativity to go a whole other way with more temporary applications.
The interwebs are again filled with options, from classic stamped tin that can be painted to exotic grasses, cut glass and tiles, and other fun finishes that add dimension to your drama.
It’s Only A Wall
An accent wall can either compliment everything else in the room, or it can contrast them. It’s really your choice how to proceed, and it’ll come down to your specific execution as to whether it works or not, and the good news is, it’s only one wall. It’s not as much work, it’s not as much money, as doing an entire room. It gives you flexibility and opportunity to change things up more often, if you’re going for drama in one contained area.
Whether you choose to paint a design, slap on a decal, staple up some fabric, apply a grass mat, or embrace your inner lumberjack and panel up a wall, having one wall stand out from the crowd is a design approach we’ve used for centuries, but now with more options and solutions than ever before.