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How to Pick an Accent Wall Color

Blue Sofa in Front of Blue Accent Wall
By:DJ Johnson| Last Updated:04/05/2024
Time to Read: 5 min

How to Pick an Accent Wall Color

Picking the right color for an accent wall can be a difficult decision as it can heavily influence the look and feel of a room. Whether you’re looking to add an accent wall to your living room, kitchen or bedroom, there’s an endless amount of colors to choose from. But don’t fret – we’ve got you covered.

Read on below to learn how to pick an accent wall color, get color ideas for various rooms and to find out the most popular accent wall colors. We’ll help you decide what color is right for your room.

But first, let’s give you a basic idea of how to pick to an accent wall color:

  1. Choose the right wall to accent – The best wall to accent is typically the first wall you notice when you walk into a room. That wall usually features a bookcase, fireplace, wainscoting or anything else that catches the eye.
  2. Develop a color scheme for the room – It’s important not to overdo one color. Use the 60-30-10 rule when painting or decorating a room: 60 percent should be a neutral color, 30 percent applied to a second color and 10 percent reserved for the accent color.
  3. Match an accent color with the room – Colors convey a certain energy and feel. Thus, it likely doesn’t make sense to accent your living room with lime green or hot pink if it doesn’t fit the room. Think about the mood you want to create and the purpose of your room.
Couple Painting Wall

With the mood and purpose of your room in mind, check out the sections below for accent wall color ideas for your living room, kitchen and bedroom. We hope this helps you pick a color that stands out (in a good way) and gives your room a new (colorful) life.

Grey Sofa in Front of Green and White Wall
Add a bright color to your living room to liven up the space.

Accent Wall Color Ideas for Your Living Room

Your living room often sets the tone of your house, so it makes a lot to sense to make it stand out with an accent wall. While many people choose a color based on their furniture, art or fixtures, don’t be afraid to introduce a new color to add some contrast. Here’s a few ideas from both sides of the spectrum:

  • Add a dark accent in a light room – If you already have a lot of light-colored furniture and plenty of natural light, consider a dark brown or blue to mix it up. You’ll end up loving the contrast.
  • Pick a color that reflects your climate – Do you own a beach house in the Carolinas Maybe you’re more of the Colorado-skier type. Whatever the case, bring in a color from the outdoors.
  • Accent the key feature in the room – Add a bright color (think blues and greens here) behind a built-in bookshelf, fireplace or piano and pair it with the same color lighting fixtures.
Modern Kitchen With Stone Accents
A stone accent wall can dramatically transform your kitchen.

Accent Wall Color Ideas for Your Kitchen

Your kitchen presents an opportunity to be bold. Countertops and cabinets are typically just one of a few colors, so in terms of picking an accent wall color, think bright and vibrant. Here’s a few ideas that could fit kitchens both big and small:

  • Add some drama with the right hue – There’s nothing wrong with adding a bright orange, a unique green or a blue that will make your neighbors do a double take.
  • Pick a more traditional color – A dark gray can provide a balanced feel. It’s also a timeless and practical color – an especially good choice if you know you’ll sell your house at some point.
  • Forget picking a color altogether – Who needs to paint when you can add wood planking, a faux stone accent wall or even a chalkboard wall? These elements will make your kitchen even more unique than a splash of paint could, yet you’ll certainly pay the price for them.
Warm Bedroom With Wood Furniture and Orange Accent Wall
A dark color behind your headboard will provide a nice contrast to a light room.

Accent Wall Color Ideas for Your Bedroom

More often than not, the best accent wall in the bedroom is the one at the head of your bed. Adding an accent color to this wall can bring new life to your bedroom and make the space feel like an entirely new room. For the bedroom, decide between a warm or cool color and get painting. Here’s a few accent wall color ideas that work with both:

  • Accent with a warm color – Oranges, yellows and reds pull an object or wall towards your eye. This can make a room feel smaller. So in large and long spaces, consider using a warm color to make the space more intimate.
  • Accent with a cool color – Darker greens, blues and purples push a wall away from your eye. This can help make a small bedroom feel much larger. Consider using one of these colors to open up the space and provide nice contrast with whites and light colors.
  • Forget walls and accent the ceiling – Turn an accent wall into an accent ceiling. In bedrooms specifically, adding a cool color to a low ceiling can make the space feel much bigger. Are you bold enough to make this happen?
Neutral Living Room With Throw Pillows, Wood Furniture and Grey Wall

The Most Important Tip for How to Pick an Accent Color

So we’ve clearly covered how to pick an accent wall color, but there is one tip we haven’t gotten to yet. The most important tip we can provide is simply to be you. Don’t overthink it. Ultimately, you know what you like and if you’re going to be the person spending the most time in the room, why not pick an accent color that you love? If you want a bright and bold color, go with it. If you want a more neutral, timeless color, there’s nothing wrong with that. Be you.

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