How to Choose an Accent Wall Color: Accent Wall Color Ideas

How to Choose an Accent Wall Color: Accent Wall Color Ideas

Figuring out how to choose an accent wall color can be tricky. Accent walls can look great and make a room look bigger if they are planned out well, but can be off-putting or make a room look cramped if done poorly. You may even be lacking some accent wall colors ideas and are unsure what accent wall color combinations will look good in your space. This article will help you figure out what color to paint your accent wall and even what wall to make an accent wall in your room.

Choose an Accent Wall


First things first — if you want to have an accent wall, you’ll need to choose a wall that works for the room. Thankfully, choosing what wall to make an accent wall is pretty straightforward. If you walk into a room, the first wall you see is generally the wall you should designate as an accent wall. These walls might be right in front of you or have architectural features like built-in bookcases, wainscotting, a fireplace, or nooks. These types of walls all make great accent walls. If you’re unsure which wall draws the most attention when you first walk into a room, have a friend tell you which one catches their eye first. Ta-da! There’s your accent wall.

How to Choose an Accent Wall Color

Once you’ve selected what wall to make your accent wall, you will need to know how to choose an accent wall color that works with your room. There are different variables to consider when choosing accent wall color combinations including what color your room already is (or what color you would like it to be), the 60-30-10 rule, warm colors versus cool colors, and dark colors versus light colors. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind about each:

  • 60-30-10 Rule — This rule for accent wall color combinations basically states that 60% of your room should be a dominant color (tint+white), 30% should be a secondary color (toned color+grey), and 10% of the room should be the accent color (vivid, pure color hue). The percentage of colors includes paint as well as furniture and decor. Essentially, you don't’ want your accent color to take over the room, or it’s not an accent.
  • Warm Colors — Different colors do different things for a room. Warm colors bring things closer to your eye and can make space feel smaller. Use a warm color in a long narrow bedroom by painting the end wall to pull it closer and make the room feel more balanced.
  • Cool Colors — For great accent wall color ideas, try using cool colors. Cool colors are great for making smaller rooms appear larger because they make things look further away. You could even try painting a low ceiling to make it appear higher.
  • Light Colors — Similar to cool colors, light colors pull thing away from the eye and can make a room appear more spacious.
  • Dark Colors — Similar to warm colors, dark colors make things look closer and are good for making space feel smaller.
  • Light changes — Another thing to keep in mind is how the light will change in a room throughout the day. Gather a few accent wall color ideas and get some sample paints from the hardware store. Paint a square of each on your wall and see how the colors change throughout the day before you settle on one.
  • Mood — Different colors evoke different moods. Try using calming colors like blues in bedrooms and living rooms, and use energetic colors like reds in the kitchen.

If you’re really stuck on what color to paint your wall, Color Monarch has a virtual paint tool to help you decide how to choose an accent wall color. You can use this tool to “test” different accent wall color idea before you paint some sample patches on your wall.

Once you’ve found your perfect accent wall color idea and painted, make sure you add some decor to break up the color. This can add more interest to the accent wall and really make it a focal point of your room. However, be careful not to cover it up with too much decor, or you will lose impact.

Accent Wall Ideas

There are so many accent wall color ideas that it is easy to overlook the fact that an accent wall doesn’t just have to be accented with paint. If you are a renter, painting a wall may be out of the question. Take a look at some other accent wall color ideas and how to choose an accent wall color to spark your creativity.

  • Brick Walls — Many people would kill to have brick walls in their home. You can choose to leave them exposed or paint them, but whichever you choose, make sure you add some large wall art to break up the wall.
  • Shelving — Built-in shelves make a great focal point for a room. Do this by painting the backing of the shelves your accent color, while leaving the shelves white. Use monochrome decorations and books on your shelves to highlight the accent color in the back.
  • Barn Doors — If you like a more rustic touch to your home design, a sliding barn door is a great touch on an accent wall. Combine your sliding barn door with dramatic paint color and you’ve got the perfect accent wall.
  • Unique Accent Walls — Aside from brick or paint, you can also use a wood panel accent wall to add character to your space. Check out Artisan Hardware for more accent wall panel wall ideas if you’re looking for inspiration.
  • Metallics and Patterns — Who says your walls have to be boring! Add in metallics like a metal panel accent wall, or try stripes or patterns on your walls. You can achieve this look with paint or use wallpaper to add a decorative and fun touch. Removable wallpaper is an especially good option for renters.
  • Ceiling — Although it’s not technically a wall, an accent ceiling can really add a different feel to a room. Make sure you add white crown molding to differentiate the ceiling from the walls and add a touch of sophistication.

Learning how to choose an accent wall color isn’t as daunting as it first appears, and hopefully, this article has sparked some accent wall color ideas you can incorporate into your own home. Decide what wall to make your accent wall and play around with accent wall color combinations until you find what works best for your style. For more great home design ideas and tips, visit our blog and check out Artisan Hardware’s custom wood wall panels as well as metal wall panels to add a unique touch to your home.