The Fresh Way to an Accent Wall (and No, It Has Nothing to Do With Paint)

updated Sep 2, 2020
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(Image credit: Lonny)

Here at Apartment Therapy, we’re huge fans of wallpaper — but we also recognize that papering a whole room is a huge commitment (and a very big design move). If you want to add just a little bit of pattern to a space, or you’re working with a bold print and don’t want it to overwhelm the room, a wallpapered accent wall is a great move. Here are some of our favorite examples.

(Image credit: Timorous Beasties)

This Timorous Beasties print is so lovely and so imaginative — but I can see how it might be a bit much for an entire room. Here, it’s just right, gracing a fireplace wall and setting off a nice contrast with the adjoining exposed brick.

(Image credit: Lonny)

In this bedroom from Lonny, a huge, leafy mural provides the perfect backdrop for the bed.

(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

The larger-than-life scale of the peony wallpaper makes entering this Minnesota home an unforgettable experience.

(Image credit: Little Greene)

In this room from Little Greene, limiting the wallpaper to just one wall means that the extra dose of pattern complements, but doesn’t overwhelm, the space’s beautiful architectural features.

This bold geometric print, spotted on Desire to Inspire, might be a little fun-house in a whole room, but on an accent wall, it’s just right.

(Image credit: Lonny)

A little bit of marble wallpaper adds a subtle dose of texture to this bedroom from Lonny.

(Image credit: Lynn Chalk)

Covering just one wall gives you the option of going really bold with your wallpaper choices, without overwhelming the room. Case in point: this Cole & Son Acquario wallpaper, which is available from Lynn Chalk. Limiting it to one wall gives the pattern a lightness and playfulness it might not have in a whole room.

(Image credit: Alvhem)
(Image credit: Alvhem)

In all the examples above, the wallpapered accent wall is more of a focal point, but in this photo from Alvhem, a William Morris-eque print plays into the space’s overall look of moody Victorian-meets-minimalism.

If you’re thinking of doing an accent wall, why not try the wall under the stairs? As seen on My Domaine, this treatment results in an interesting pattern and an interesting shape.