Tired of your decor style and wall colours? Need more excitement in your space? Consider an accent wall. It’s an excellent way to spruce up your home, adding colour to your rooms. With unlimited paint options and many possible locations, you can add a unique accent and liven up your space.

What is an accent wall? 

An accent wall has a different colour, texture, pattern, artwork or architectural element than the other walls of your home. Its purpose is to create a focal point that your eye will gravitate toward; to give decorative flair to a space. This wall connects the colours and fabrics of a room, creating a cohesive effect. It gives a room impact and can make it feel larger and/or cozier. This wall can be subtly different from the other walls or dramatically different. Accent walls can be used in any room in the house (living room, family room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom, hallway, home office, bathroom). 

Are accent walls outdated?

Accent walls are flourishing in the decorating industry. Though they’re still popular, they may look a bit different than in the past. Try a dark accent wall with white wooden panels, a geometric accent wall in retro shades, a wood panel accent wall or a half accent wall behind your bed, dining corner or living room sofa.

How do you choose which wall to accent? 

While there aren’t any definite rules, there are things you should consider when making the decision of which wall to draw attention to.

  • Determine the natural focal point of a room: Where do your eyes naturally fall when you look at a room? For some rooms, this is an architectural feature (fireplace, built-in bookshelf, ceiling beams, staircase, brick wall, geometric ceiling, interestingly shaped window, a nook). For other rooms, it’s a piece of furniture (ornate sofa, antique sideboard, large potted plant, unusual coffee table ). Choose the wall that lines up best with the focal point of the room. 
  • Take into account the dimensions: Choose the wall that will help balance the shape of the room (ie: the farthest, shortest wall in a long narrow space). 
  • Consider the room’s function: How do you plan to use the space? Accent walls work great for open floor plans and multi-purpose rooms (ie: kitchen-dining room combo, dining-living room combo, living room-home office). Place the accent wall where it will help define the space and its function.
  • Take into account furniture arrangement: Bedroom accent walls look best on the wall behind the headboard. Behind the table is a great location for a dining room accent wall. Living rooms work well if the accent wall is behind the couch or the wall with the bookshelves, fireplace and/or TV.  For a bathroom, locate the accent wall behind the vanity, directly behind the bathtub or even in the shower.
  • Consider the architectural details: If there is no particular wall that calls out “accent me,” choose one that’s relatively solid with limited windows and doors. Accent colours distract from beautiful views and natural lighting alters the way a paint colour shows on a wall. 

How do you determine the colour of an accent wall?

You can choose a colour with a dramatic contrast to the colour scheme in the room or one that complements and integrates with the colour scheme. Complementary colours are found on opposite sides of the colour wheel. Contrasting colours have different amounts of the same tint or shade. Consider the use of wallpaper and/or tile to create contrasting textures. Try samples of each paint colour or material on the wall to determine which you like best. View the samples at all times of the day to see what they look like in different qualities of light. Dare to go bold, using a colour that would be overwhelming if used in the whole space.


Accent walls are a great way to tie together colour schemes in your home! They can add subtle depth to your walls or create dramatic centerpieces. If you need more excitement in your space, consider an accent wall. 

Interested in an accent wall, or two? Need help with colour choices? Call the Calgary residential painting experts, Cal Res Coatings at (403) 917-0579. We’re a residential painting contractor that strives for quality, has an eye for detail and colour and will not rest until your job is done to your satisfaction. Request a free quote today.

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