What are the Best Colors for an Accent Wall?

So what is an accent wall, anyway?

White Fireplace on Black Accent wall

An accent wall is one particular wall in your room that creates a focal point.  It draws attention and helps to communicate the theme or feeling that you are trying to achieve in your room.  Sometimes it can be an architectural feature like a fireplace, or a picture window, or a large piece of antique furniture.   It looks great to use your accent color on the wall behind your special furniture piece, or on the wall with the fireplace or unique feature.  This can work like a frame to compliment your focal point in a manner similar to how a mat board frames and compliments a picture.

What are the best colors for an accent wall?

To figure out the best colors for an accent wall, we will want to look at the other colors that we have in our room.  Consider colors we like from the upholstery, or pillows or curtains, or maybe a large piece of artwork.  If I were using a large painting as the main focus on my accent wall, I would compare the main colors in the painting to my palette of colors that look best on me.  (See my page ‘Choosing the Best Colors for Your Home’)  Once I have an idea of that starting palette, then I will look at the colors in the painting to see if I can find some of them.  This is how we compliment ourselves and our painting at the same time.   We can take the starting color that we choose for the accent color over to the Adobe Color Wheel and then find several complimentary shades to choose from for the other walls.   The tool is actually meant to help choose colors for designing webpages, but there are several settings and it will work well to help us choose complimentary colors for our walls.  It sure beats sticking a hundred 6-inch paint strips on the wall and trying to figure out which ones might go together on a larger scale.

Antique Sideboard on Blue Accent WallAnother example

If I were using a nice piece of furniture that I wanted to draw attention to I would use the same process, but look at the colors in the upholstery, or the undertones in the wood.  I would suggest a little bit of a contrast with the main color of the piece here so that your wall will work almost like a stage for your special piece.

It’s okay for accent walls to be mostly plain, you don’t want to cover them with too many decorations or curtains.  Otherwise, what would be the point of having it?  The color or texture of the wall itself is meant to be the focus, or draw your attention to your art.  If you feel that the flat wall is too plain, add a picture or two, or there are several techniques that can be used to change it up a bit.  You can use tinted metallic paint with varied brush strokes or a Bellagio faux technique like this, grey wall to the right. Grey Metallic Faux Texture Accent WallThere are several texture and/or decorative painting techniques that we will discuss in the next post.




Here’s another short video with some easy decorating ideas that I thought you might enjoy.    Happy Decorating!