Spoak Your Space: Last Day to Win $5,000 - Nominate Yourself or a Friend for Spoak Your Space and Design the Space of Your Dreams. Apply Now
Design Inspo

Your Complete Guide to Accent Walls

If you’ve been wanting to create a stunning focal point in your room but aren’t sure where to start, let us introduce you to the one and only accent wall.

designed with spoak - watermark

Accent walls are not a thing of the past! They are alive and well, thanks to crafty homeowners who want to elevate their interior design without a full remodel. From crafty DIY accent walls to the ridiculously easy command strip ideas, we have you covered with room ideas and trends for every inch of your house. 

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Painting Your Accent Wall 

Of all of the accent walls we cover, paint packs the biggest punch for minimal effort. After all, an accent wall in a contrasting color only requires a trip to the home improvement store and a little elbow grease.

Use an Accent Color

Your accent wall can be as simple or as complicated as you like, but what makes it stand out is using a different color than the other walls in the room. This contrasting color doesn’t have to be a bold color that’s wildly different from the rest of your room. Even a slightly deeper neutral color can give depth and draw the eyes to your focal wall and still be in keeping with more minimal decor. 

Discover the paint color that will work best with the rest of your home’s wall color in Spoak’s color palette generator.

Painted Geometric Designs

Straddling the line between an easy accent wall and a full-on mural is the geometric painted wall. Create your own striped design by letting your current wall color be the background color and using painter’s tape to mark off your stripes. Consider vertical, diagonal, or a herringbone pattern.

Take It All the Way With a Mural

A mural as wall art is not only for a kid's room! You can bring in your favorite artistic style that will work with your home decor using a mural template. If you’re craving a splash of color in your living room, consider freehanding a design or enlisting friends for an interactive paint party.

Use Wallpaper as a Focal Point

Wallpaper comes in every design style imaginable today. It doesn’t quite require the same steady hand that a mural would but can include just as impactful a color scheme. 

Add Depth With Traditional Prints

Select an art nouveau print in green and cream for your bedroom, following the same lines as your bed frame, or stick with an arts and crafts floral design for a dining room wall that has depth and character. 

Make Your Mural With Wallpaper

If you lean more toward abstract art or murals but don’t trust yourself to paint them, choose a wallpaper that mimics that look in one easy application.Artistic types might want to create a mural with bits and pieces of many different types of wallpaper. For this, planning out the design ahead of time is essential. To leave room for error (or last-minute inspiration), peel-and-stick wallpaper is your friend.

Create a Gallery Wall

Hanging a collection of prints (or anything, as we will see) to create a gallery wall has become a classic home design choice. It makes for a focal wall that is deeply personal while introducing some interesting lines and breaking up any monotony in the space.

Hang Prints, Duh

When you hear the term “gallery wall,” the first thing you think of is probably a collection of art prints you’d find in a gallery. This is the joy of having a wall as a dedicated feature wall — you are the curator of this gallery, and you set the rules. 

Consider hanging prints based on your home’s color scheme. Spoak’s gallery wall tool can be a helpful resource when choosing your pieces. If you are more interested in a common theme, collect prints of the same type and highlight their uniformity by hanging them in a perfect grid. 

Hang an Heirloom Plate Collection

What better way to display that china collection you inherited than by hanging it in a diamond pattern on the dining room wall? If you don’t have china that’s been passed down for generations, that’s okay — who says they have to be your family’s heirlooms? Not us! You may not be interested in delicate china patterns anyway and would prefer sourcing art plates from current modern artists. 

Hang Photos on a Picture Ledge

If you want to make your gallery wall more personal, add personal photos to the collection. Hang them as you would any art, or consider hanging one long picture ledge on which you can layer photos and art prints together. 

A picture ledge adds a strong horizontal element to a small room, making it seem to expand, allowing you to change photos regularly without knocking a million holes in the wall.

Hang Anything You Want

Take the maximalist approach to the gallery wall and eschew the rules about grids, frames, and color palettes to hang whatever you want any way you like. You may have vintage industrial machinery parts next to an unframed canvas alongside a small shelf holding your childhood art class sculpture. It’s your gallery, so anything goes!

Create a Wood Accent Wall

Wall paneling is back in a big way. This isn’t the cheap wood-look paneling you may have grown up with. This is a custom-looking accent wall — even when it isn’t solid wood.

Go Rustic With Wood Paneling 

One wall of rich, warm wood paneling can bring the rustic cabin feel to your home. Use actual wood panels or fake the look with wood product floor planks. These can be installed in the usual vertical way or in an interesting modern geometric pattern.

Use Shiplap Walls for Any Decor Style

Shiplap walls have been the reigning DIY accent wall of YouTube for years — and there’s nothing wrong with that! But if you want to add a graphic element to your decor that doesn’t scream farmhouse, try making a vertical shiplap wall (like the paneling above) and painting a deep teal or charcoal to bring a moodiness to your space that is anything but farm-fresh. 

Get a Traditional Look With Wainscoting

Wainscoting is a traditional look that is easy to get with large panels meant to look like many individual boards. Since it only runs part-way up your wall, it is less work and allows for a two-tone paint job on the wall. 

Get Intricate With Moulding

Making a board and batten wall or using stick-on moulding is a fun weekend DIY project that can make a plain white wall look like it’s in a historic home. Your board and batten design can be a simple vertical paneled look halfway up the wall or can be an interesting geometric grid that runs all the way up the wall. 

Stick-on moulding makes creating a traditional-looking wall easier than ever. Use light, neutral paint colors to keep your wall’s classic historic home vibe, or create rich drama by painting them in a dark eggplant color. 

Give Your Backsplash a Featured Wall Design 

Who says an accent wall has to cover the whole wall? There is no more striking accent wall in a kitchen than an incredible backsplash. The beauty of the backsplash-as-accent wall is that it’s an abbreviated space, so you can go very, very bold if you want.

Make a Statement With Tile

Your traditional tile backsplash doesn’t have to be all-white or monochromatic (unless that’s what you want). You can create a bold pattern by playing with tile shapes and colors:

  • Include a bright tile here and there for a pop of unexpected color.
  • Create an ombre effect by setting hexagonal tiles to gradually change in color from darker at the countertop to lighter halfway up the wall.
  • Create a mosaic of Talavera tiles in mismatched colors and patterns for a bold wall of color.
  • Use black tiles for an unusual and dramatic statement wall.
  • Use bricks or brick-like tiles for a cool cafe look in your own home.

Stone Doesn’t Have To Be Traditional

Stone like granite and marble are classic choices for a kitchen, but if you use an unexpected color, like charcoal granite or slate, on the wall, the accent wall will have a serious impact.

Who says your stone accent backsplash has to be cut stone? You can create a textured backsplash that immediately catches the eye by installing river pebbles as a backsplash that brings nature indoors.

Bronze Tiles for Reflective Drama

Using metal tiles as a backsplash accent wall is a unique way to keep the kitchen looking bright by reflecting light while adding a vintage feel to your space. Use rubbed brass for an art deco look that blends with your decor.

Make Use of Reflective Mirrors 

Nothing reflects light and opens a room up as easily as mirrors. A mirror backsplash is as impactful as adding mirrors to a full wall in another room of the house. 

Turn an Accent Wall Into a Headboard

Running a headboard all the way across the wall to both frame your bed and create a large-scale focal point for the room is a creative, modern design idea. These are headboards that have a life of their own.

Live Edge Wood Headboard

Using wood to create an accent wall becomes more concentrated when it is sized to the proper height for a dramatic headboard. You can use the wood paneling ideas we mentioned earlier or do something completely unique by fashioning a wall-to-wall headboard that runs the length of the wall and features a live edge at the top. 

Upholstered Channel Headboard

Create your own upholstered channel tufted headboard that runs the length of your bedroom wall or one that is sized to fit your space. These make a nice backrest for propped-up reading in bed and add modern design aesthetics to your bedroom. 

Take Your Feature Wall Idea Beyond the Planning Stage

Ready to makeover that bland wall in your living room to make your space feel uniquely yours? We thought so! Get more home design ideas and advice from Spoak’s creative community of designers


Board and Batten: Everything You Need to Know | The Spruce

HGTV Stars Give The Best Tips For A Stunning Headboard Design | House Digest

How to Use Color Theory to Decorate Your Home | Cosmopolitan

Join Spoak to bring your accent walls to life — from budgeting to designing. Spoak has all the tools you need to get started. 

Date Posted
June 5, 2023



No items found.

Try it out

Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽
Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽
Join Spoak

Take your love of interior design to the next level with Spoak.

We are an online interior design studio for enthusiasts and professionals. Get a real-world design education, easy-to-use tools, job opportunities, and a tight-knit community. All levels welcome.

Join now