Ideas for accent walls

How to Choose an Accent Wall Color

DIFFICULTY: Beginner
1

WHAT IS THE ARCHITECTURE'S INTENDED ACCENT WALL?

The accent wall is generally the first thing you recognize when you walk into the room, which is why it's often referred to as the focal wall. Great accent walls may have distinctive architectural features or placements such as a built-in bookcase, a wainscoting, a fireplace or an architectural nook. Whereas the one in the bedroom might be the anchor wall behind the bed.

Selecting which wall should be the accent wall might seem daunting because choosing the wrong one could throw the balance and harmony of the room off. However, this guide will help you each step of the way so you don't break any accent wall "rules," and choosing the right accent wall for that special splash of color is the first step.

Shiplap Fireplace Feature
2

HOW TO CHOOSE A COLOR FOR YOUR ACCENT WALL?

Color psychology experts claim color has an effect on people – and it does. The advertising industry has tapped into the effects of color for decades. Some colors convey a lot of energy – red, for instance. The reason red is used for stop signs, fire engines and stoplights is because it represents danger. As the color of blood, war and passionate energy, red is known to stimulate the metabolism while increasing heart and respiratory rates. This is why red typically doesn’t make a good choice as an accent wall in a bedroom, but why it usually works great as an accent wall in the kitchen. So think about the room’s purpose and the mood you want to create in that room when choosing a color for the accent wall. If you need help selecting colors, we suggest exploring ones you naturally gravitate towards. Additionally, designer blogs, websites and magazines, or viewing model homes for inspiration can help a ton. Also, if you're not an avid home DIY project person, then we suggest selecting colors that aren't too trendy, so the color of your freshly painted accent wall doesn't go out of style too fast.

Think about the room’s purpose and the mood you want to create when choosing a color for an accent wall.

Geometric Wall
3

THE 60-30-10 ACCENT WALL COLOR RULE

Don’t let the wide array of paint colors overwhelm you when choosing a color for your accent wall. Additionally, don't fall into the trap of wanting to put a different color on each wall because it can make the room feel busy. You can avoid these pitfalls by developing a color scheme for the room that uses the "60-30-10 rule" that many designers use. Here's how it works:

  • 60% of the room, including its painted surfaces and decor, represents your dominant color choice
  • 30% is applied to a secondary color
  • 10% is for the accent color

  • We suggest testing three accent wall colors by painting them in 3-by-3 foot squares on your chosen wall. Then watch them in the changing light of day to choose the color that suits you and your best home. Additionally, because you're painting an accent wall, it doesn't mean you can't choose a new or better main color for your room too.
    A harmonious color scheme also takes into consideration the color’s saturation level as part of the design. Color theory suggests using a tint as the dominant color in the room, a toned color as the secondary color, with your accent color being the most vivid and pure hue of the three. Tints have white added to them, while toned colors have been muted with gray. This theory suggests making the accent wall the darkest or most vivid color in the room, accented by area rugs, throw pillows or other decor items that integrate the color and balance it throughout the space. Having the right materials and tools to paint the room and accent wall can cut the project time in half so you can spend less time working and more time enjoying your newly-painted room.

    Brick Paint Spraying
    4

    PAY ATTENTION TO COLOR SATURATION

    A harmonious color scheme also takes into consideration the color’s saturation level as part of the design.

    Color theory suggests using a tint as the dominant color in the room, a toned color as the secondary color, with your accent color being the most vivid and pure hue of the three.

    Tints have white added to them, while toned colors have been muted with gray.

    This theory suggests making the accent wall the darkest or most vivid color in the room, accented by area rugs, throw pillows or other decor items that integrate the color and balance it throughout the space.

    If you're painting multiple rooms and walls, we suggest using a Wagner FLEXiO paint sprayer because it can cut painting time in half or more. Wagner paint sprayers are easy to use, and we have a step-by-step paint spraying guide you can follow.

    Painted brick wall
    Products Used

    Materials

    Painter's Plastic or Drop Cloth

    Painter's Tape

    Paint Brush

    Wet Towel for Paint Drips

    Choice of Paint Color(s)

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