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Add an Accent Wall to Update a Room

Dear Cristina, (via my website www.CristinaAcosta.com)

I was wondering, how do you know which wall to use as an accent wall? I have an oblong living room and I am having it professionally painted soon. I am trying to decide which wall would be best for an accent wall. I was told to use the first wall you see when you come in the room is the accent wall. I was also told that I should not make the wall behind my TV the accent wall. (This is the first wall you see). I am so confused now. Please help. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Much thanks!!
Michele M.

Dear Michele,

Accent walls are especially popular because it’s a way to add a colored wall to a room without having the color define the entire room. Painting an accent wall also save spending time and money repainting the room to update it with color. The best accent wall is one that reinforces a focal point in the room.

A focal (or focus) point is an area of a room that catches your eye. A focal point area could be a wall, window, item of furniture (like a piano or TV), an architectural accent (such as — ornate trims, a niche, fireplace, a unique ceiling) or fixture (such as lighting or appliances). A room will have a primary focal point, secondary focal point, etc.

How those focal points come to be is a combination of architecture and interior design. And, it sounds as though in your home the architecture makes the TV wall the focal point of the living room.Schlos_Spen_StudioBed

A painted accent wall can enhance or create a focal point. Because your living room is also your entertainment area I recommend you work with the TV. Put in cabinets and shelving that are attractive and cover or minimize the appearance of the TV. The cabinetry should include shelves to display art, memorabilia and decor items that enrich the focal area so that the TV is not visually dominant – an important factor when the TV is not on. The idea is to reinforce the natural visual dominance of the TV wall but at the same time, subordinate the visual importance of the TV.

With the above concepts in mind here’s what to consider when you choose which wall to paint as your accent wall:

* A colored accent wall would look great behind built-in shelves. The accent wall color would reinforce the focal point created by the cabinetry.
* OR, if the TV wall is also the longest wall in the room, AND after you have the cabinetry designed, IF that wall is too dominant you’ll want to consider emphasizing a secondary focal point to create a little asymmetrical balance.**
* You could choose to accent a secondary focal point, consider a wall behind the seating area or a wall that frames a visually significant window.

Read more about accent walls on my website, www.CristinaAcosta.com.
When you’re done with your room, I’d love to see photos.

Warm Regards,

**Yes, this is a conditional answer, but it’s the best I can do with the information I have. You’ll need to consider these concepts when you make your decision.
See examples of my color consulting portfolioAA and articles on my website.

Read Another post about Accent Walls


    • Cristina says:

      Let me know which picture and what the intended use is for the photo. This helps me make a decision.

  1. Ann says:

    I have a wall in my living room that has an odd shape. It’s shaped like a side of a triangle because my stairs leading up to an open area in my home (loft) on the second floor.I have my sofa on this wall with an end table and lamp. The stairs are painted white, which accents my dark blue sofa. I am wanting to use this wall as an accent wall. What color should I use? The other walls in the living rooms are an earthy tone.

    Thanks for your help..

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