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Accent Colours

Accent walls for an instant wow factor

We have all seen it on the home makeover shows – one wall has a funky printed wallpaper or an unusual shade of paint. But it might seem like a scary thing to do in our own home. How do we decide which wall is best or which colour. And what if we really don't like it?

Well it is much easier than it looks and a little imagination can go a very long way towards picking the right thing for your home. Whether it is off the wall ( so to speak) patterns or texture, or a simple accent colour to highlight one small wall, it will add interest and life to an otherwise boring room.

Choose the right wall

In bedrooms the best wall is always behind the bed. It immediately draws the eye and with a bed centred below it, the room will have a balanced look. Also when one is lying in bed, the wall will not distract from a good nights sleep.

In other rooms, choose a wall which has an interesting feature, such a chimney breast or an odd shape. Think of a wall which you want to highlight and draw attention to. Also avoid walls with cupboards or windows, as this will become too fussy.


The accent wall should always blend in perfectly with the colour of the other walls. This means you can go from a shade darker right up to a complete contrast, but the colour should be on the same spectrum, just a different intensity. This can make choosing the right colour tricky, but taking cues from furnishings can help. Picking the colour of a favourite vase or cushion which will also be in the room can pull it all together. If all the other walls are white or magnolia then the accent wall will stand out even more.


Many people choose to accent a wall with wallpaper. In many cases the perfect wallpaper for your room may be much more expensive than you are willing to pay. Simply buying one roll and papering one wall may be more than enough to get the look you want. Papering one wall can mean that the pattern can be bolder and more detailed. It will be less likely to overpower the room, but will draw attention. Papers can be patterned, colourful, textured or even self designed murals or enlarged photographs. Just take care that the colours and patterns fit in with the furnishings and carpets.

Placement of furniture

Just because a wall has become a feature it does not mean that it has to be fully on view. An accent wall peeking out behind the sofa or shelving unit can be just as intriguing. In fact a patterned wall or contrasting colour can bring out the detail of the sofa making it appear more of a feature for the room. The same can be said of a bed-head or duvet cover. Using shelves on an accent wall can give the impression of a gallery space when used for special books, vases or ornaments, providing the colours all work together.

The main thing about a feature or accent wall is to use your imagination, don't be afraid to be bold with colour and design. If you become bored or want a change, it is as simple as changing a single wall and it will alter the way the whole room feels. So get out the paint brush and give it a go. There really is little to lose.