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Our clients often ask us to specify colors for accent walls.  It’s an easy and low-risk way to add color and dimension to a room. Don’t forget to test your paint colors!

Pick a color that relates to an interesting feature in the room.

Your accent color should relate to another part of the room.  Consider a color from a piece of art, a throw pillow, bedspread or a gorgeous countertop.  This beautiful master bedroom in Boulder County hadn’t been painted since the eighties.  The original walls were painted a peachy light neutral.

Bedroom with accent wall painted with Benjamin Moore Gentleman's Gray

Photo by M. Camilli, The Color Concierge

We matched a gorgeous deep blue-green color from a family heirloom painting over a fireplace.  The painting was on the opposite side of the bed in the master bedroom, and ties in perfectly with the feature wall. Benjamin Moore Gentleman’s Gray (2063-20) was a perfect color for the picture.

Painting over classic fireplace with white mantel

Photo by M. Camilli, The Color Concierge

Gentleman’s Gray was too dark and heavy for all four walls, so we opted for a feature wall behind the bed.  Walls and trim were Sherwin Williams Extra White (SW 7006).

Notice how the wood glows next to the rich green wall. The wood has red undertones, which are a complementary color to green, opposites on the color wheel.

Pick a wall with a feature such as a fireplace or bed.

A splash of color on a fireplace wall can add drama.  I love this accent wall because it hides the TV over the mantle.  The color is Sherwin Williams Cyberspace.

This isn’t necessarily an accent wall, but it behaves that way as it peeks through the arched doorway.  The play of color through the archways is a work of art.

Add color to a ceiling.

When you paint or wallpaper a ceiling it adds amazing dimension.  This looks amazing with crown molding to define the space.

Not every house could carry off this room, but it is ridiculously gorgeous.

In this room, the ceiling color is taken from the throw pillows and the chair behind the couch.

Choose a darker color for the accent wall.

The accent wall is all about contrast, so it should look darker, and match the other wall colors.  Lighter accents than the surrounding walls can seem unbalanced.  In this photo, the accent wall matches the curtains and the duvet so that the room ties together calmly and beautifully.

Use other materials for accent walls.

I love a wallpaper accent wall.  Stone, shiplap and exposed brick can also look pretty in the right space.

If you pick another material such as wallpaper as your accent, make sure that the walls are painted one of the colors in the wallpaper.  Don’t forget about removable wallpaper and pre-made murals!

This nursery by Emily Henderson is dreamy.  I love bedroom murals for children and grownups too!

Accent colors can look amazing inside bookshelves or a niche.

This is just eye candy.  I’d love to wake up in that room.  The niche is a gorgeous brown taupe color that partners well with the pinky peach.

The background color of these shelves matches the dark blue of the kitchen island.

The Verdict

Accent walls can make a room come to life, especially in a bedroom, behind a fireplace or even on a ceiling.  Paint isn’t the only way to create an accent.  Wallpaper can be used for an accent too!  Don’t forget to test your paint colors.  Learn how here.

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Pick Colors Like a Pro with our FREE Guide!
8 Brilliant Ways to Pick Paint Colors
An Insider's Guide to the Perfect Palette for your Home
Stay Updated
FREE Download when you subscribe
Pick Colors Like a Pro with our FREE Guide!
8 Brilliant Ways to Pick Paint Colors
An Insider's Guide to the Perfect Palette for your Home
Stay Updated
FREE Download when you subscribe
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8 Brilliant Ways to Pick Paint Colors

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