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Where Should I use Accent colors?

Nov 19, 20110 CommentsAccent Colors, Bedrooms, Case Studies, Dark Colors

What are accent colors?

Accent colors are usually bright or deep colors that you paint on one wall of a room that compliments your decor and furnishings. The color draws attention to that wall and makes it stand out. Choose a wall you want to emphasize.

In the dramatic room above designed by Anita Kinstlinger, the accented red wall brings warmth and definition to the space. The repitition of circles in the table, light fixture and mirror also makes this room’s design unique and special.

How to choose a wall to be painted an accent color?

It really depends on the layout of your room or house. For example: If you have an open floor plan where one room or area flows to the next without many separating walls, you might want to focus on one wall that is seen from all over. Perhaps it is a fireplace wall or a wall in the kitchen where people tend to gather. It should be a wall that you want people to notice and be drawn to. It should be a wall that is easily seen when you enter the space.

Here are some general ideas about which walls should be accent walls.

Accent walls in living rooms:

I have found that accent walls work best in contemporary and modern living rooms and less so in traditional ones. The reason is that accent walls are usually a bold or deeper color than the rest of the room. In a traditional setting you want the background color to blend with your furnishings. You don’t want one particular wall to jump out. In a contemporary setting using a bold or deep color can enhance your furnishings and add warmth to the room.

Choose a wall that is not broken up by many windows and doors if possible. You should choose a wall that can be seen as you enter the room. The wall behind a couch or a fireplace wall is usually a good choice.

Accent walls in bedrooms:

In the master bedroom the wall behind the bed is usually an excellent choice. The focal point of the room is the bed. Accenting that wall just brings your eye there even more. In guest rooms the same rule applies.

Kids’ rooms can be trickier. You can always accent behind the bed but you might want to accent a wall of artwork or trophies of your child. As long as the wall is not broken up by lots of windows doors or lots of furniture and can be seen as you enter the room it should work.

In the boy’s room above the accent was the Knick’s logo that is over his bed. You see that as you enter the room. Notice the stripe that went around the whole room. That brought the rest of the decor together.

This girl’s room was accented with a three colored stripe that continued the colors of the linens and draperies. Choosing wide horizontal stripes instead of vertical gives this small bedroom a spacious look.

Accent walls in kitchens:

Try to choose a wall that is not broken up by appliances or cabinetry. If there is an eating area in the kitchen, one of those walls can be painted an accent color. A blank wall that is above bottom cabinetry, even if it is small, can sometimes serve as a great accent wall.