The accent wall has been a "thing" for a long, long time. More than just a way to save on money and time when painting, adding an accent wall to a room in your home can be a way to add life to a dull space. It can be a way to introduce a bold color — but not overwhelm the rest of your decor.
But even more than that, adding an accent wall can be a way to make rooms appear bigger or smaller than they are. You might not always be able to do a major renovation to knock down a wall, but you can absolutely make a wall seem to visually move closer or farther away with color.
Dubious? Check out the fun GIFs below, showing these lovely rooms with their original accent wall, and then with that wall color digitally removed. You can see just how powerful an impact color — dramatically dark or subtly light — can have on the feel of a room.
The living room in artist Ana's Panama City home is expansive, with dark, glossy wood floors. Without an accent wall, her lovely modern furniture gets lost. With the dark accent wall, contrast defines a minimal and contemporary feel. Ana doesn't specify the exact color in her house tour, but Farrow & Ball's Drawing Room Blue looks like a great fit.
A charcoal painted accent wall in this Cape Town home's master bedroom is Silk Aluminium from Plascon. It could be argued that a room without a dramatic accent wall is more soothing, but in this case, it would simply be drab.
Deep Charcoal from Pratt & Lambert takes Amelia's dining area in her small studio from meh neutral to bold nook. It makes both the furniture and the art stand out more, too.
Of course using a bold, strong crimson color like the one in this kid's room would make a bold impact, but what's more surprising is how the color on that one wall really seems to anchor the whole room. Without it, the eclectic pieces seem to float a little aimlessly. But with it, the entire look feels cohesive. Though Dana didn't share the exact color she used in her Australian home, Sherwin Williams' Real Red would be a great choice.
Even using an accent color on a small spot of wall in a surprising place, like in this Australian home's kitchen, makes art pop and the entrance to a storage pantry much more fun.
Sometimes it's not even a wall in a room that benefits most from an accent wall. As seen in this gorgeous Australian family home, painting a hallway wall a pretty pink color impacts the view from the kitchen and living room. It's a soft, subtle blush color, but it makes the rest of the home feel fresh and fun. The exact shade of this pink isn't mentioned in the tour, but I think Sherwin Williams' Bella Pink would work nicely.
Even in a monochromatic room, like in this Hong Kong home, with just black and white, magic can happen with the addition of an accent wall. In this open plan space, the black accent wall helps create a cozier feel.
Rhonda, the co-founder and creative director of the design shop Darkroom, didn't even need to paint an entire wall to achieve accent vibes. She painted her bedroom walls of her London rental flat in graphic blocks of color using discounted, pre-mixed blue paint.
You don't always have to go with a dark or dramatic color to make a big visual impact with an accent wall. As evidenced by the living room in the Toronto rental shared by stylish couple Justin and Meg. Try Sherwin Williams' Swimming for your own light blue living room hue.