As the fall season turns to winter, we spend more time inside our homes. Our minds turn more towards the interior of our homes as a result: we start thinking about hallways and bedrooms instead of gardens and siding. Many people don’t realize that fall, winter, and early spring are the perfect times to have work done inside the house. We’re not just talking serious remodels; we’re talking simple projects that, despite their low cost, bring serious decorative benefits to the table. If you feel like you’re happy with the look of your home overall, but still need that certain something, you should consider accent walls.
Accent Walls 101
Your home is a canvas, and just like painting a picture, you want to try to draw the eye to certain places. An accent wall does this well. As the name implies, an accent wall adds additional color and sometimes texture to the rest of a room–something different from the other walls. If the majority of a room is a cool blue color, the accent wall might be a warm red or cool green. It attracts the eye and makes the rest of the colors stand out as well. You might not notice the shade a room is painted until an accent wall brings it out.
A wall accent is most often created with paint. Wallpaper and texturing techniques can give a similar effect, but paint has the benefit of being economical and (for reasonably-sized walls) quick to apply. Unlike wall textures (which can be hard to notice from a distance), paint can be seen across the room if you want–or applied so subtly that you won’t notice the accent until you get close enough to really appreciate it.
Which Wall Should I Pick?
This is the first question that needs to be answered. Many people with older houses–and there are a lot in our area–wonder if accent walls work in all homes. Accent walls seem like a modern design technique, one that could clash with the older architecture or furniture. This is a good concern to have, and it’s one we have every time we paint an interior. The truth is, accent walls can work on almost any interior space if done right. The first step is to choose a room and then a wall to work on.
Now, there doesn’t need to be an accent wall in every room. Bedrooms, kitchens, and living rooms are great places to put accent walls. These rooms often have features, whether structural or decorative, that can be brought out with the right color accent wall. They’re also places you and your family or guests will spend a lot of time in. Other spaces, like hallways, tend to be “pass-through” areas. Accent walls in these places are less likely to be noticed: there are fewer features to draw attention to, and less natural lighting to work off of.
Walls with cabinets or other features that have depth are good walls to accent. The same is true of walls with windows or doors. Similarly, if a room already has color, texture, and depth, you may want to accent a wall that’s relatively bare (perhaps with a shade of white). A simple rule is to pick the wall that’s the most different from the others. It can be tricky to decide what to do and where, which makes a professional painter a great option. They’ll help you find the right spaces in your house to accent, as well as the right colors to use given the various features of the room.
Colors, Colors, Colors
Picking the right color for your accent wall is a challenge–but a fun one! We mentioned the example of the “cool blue” room, which could be accented with a few choices. If you chose red, you’d be accenting with a contrasting color. If you picked green, it’s a complimentary color. Often accent walls will be bolder in color or texture than the rest of the room, but not always. Accent walls can also be subtle. For example, in the image below, the homeowners accented the light orange color of the interior with a darker orange-brown wall. You’ll see that it stands out without yelling “Look at me!” It really compliments the wood floor as well. How you make color choices all depends on your space and what you want to draw attention to.
The key is to find what works. Again, that’s where professional help comes into play. It’s a lot of fun to pick out colors for accent walls and other interior jobs, and many resources exist on- and off-line to help you out. But a professional painting company can come to your home, in person, and assesses your unique space while helping you make decisions. Accent walls are quick and often cheap to apply, but it’s nice to get it right the first time. It saves you time and money, and with the holidays approaching, what could be better than an accent wall done right with the help of a color consultant? Get in touch with us to get a free estimate and see how we can make your ideas come to life.