Are Accent Walls Out Of Style?

Stacy Randall
by Stacy Randall

Over the past several years (decades even), accent walls have been a popular choice in interior design. Painting a bold color on one wall in a room was a popular way to create a statement in your space. But today, the idea of an accent wall is getting a bit of a do-over. Are accent walls out of style? Not exactly — but they do have a whole new look.

An accent wall remains a popular trend in home design, but it’s time to look beyond painting one wall a different color. You don’t have to go with a bold color to create a statement. Instead, make a feature wall using textural elements, beadboard, or wallpaper. The ideal wall for your feature is the one you see first when you walk into the room.

When it comes to design, it’s understandable that you want to know what’s in and what styles are starting to ebb. But ultimately, you’re the one who lives in your home, so make sure you choose things you love. Don’t just do something because it’s trendy. (And don’t avoid something you think is amazing because some style guru tells you it’s passé).

Seven Accent Wall Styles To Try In 2023

If you want to create an accent wall in your space, designers suggest steering clear of the typical bold paint job. Instead, think more of textures and other materials that you can use to create a feature wall that will wow your guests. Here are a few ideas to get your design juices flowing.

1. Use A Different Texture

Consider using a heavier texture on your feature wall, but paint it the same color as the other walls. It can be a different texture from the rest, the same but applied thicker, or maybe you remove the texture. You can find textured drywall compounds in home improvement stores and use a texture sprayer to apply them in various ways.

2. Try Wallpaper To Create An Accent Wall

Wallpaper is a popular choice for an accent wall, but it can be something other than vibrant and bold. An exciting pattern could work, but you have to consider the space and overall feel you’re going for. If you don’t want such a dramatic element, use a subtler printed wallpaper with similar colors to your other walls.

3. Wood Paneling Is Making A Comeback

Yep, you read that right. Wood paneling is coming back, but you want to use it wisely. You could add wood slats, paneling, or beadboard to a feature wall to add a sense of sophistication. If you don’t want a drastic contrast, paint the paneling to match your other walls.

4. Hang Curtains To Make A Feature Wall

Curtains are a great way to create a statement wall without a lot of commitment. Hang curtains across the entire wall and from ceiling to floor. You can use a similar color to the walls, go bold, or use an interesting pattern. The great thing about curtains is you can just take them down when you change your mind.

5. Use Decorative Panels Or Trim

Visit a home improvement store and check out the various decorative wall panels available. Installing decorative panels and painting them the same as the wall color creates a subtle statement.

You can also use trim pieces to create geometric designs and other patterns. Leave them natural or paint them, depending on your design preference.

For a budget-friendly option, buy a bunch of affordable picture frames, paint them to match, and hang them on the wall. You can get a similar look as wall panels at a fraction of the cost.

6. A Large Piece Of Artwork

If you like the idea of a more temporary accent wall, use a large piece of art. An oversized painting or print can draw the eye in and make the wall an instant focal point. Another option is to create a gallery wall, but be intentional.

Hanging a bunch of individual pieces can look too busy or cluttered if not implemented well. Be prepared to pare things back a bit from your original design if it seems overwhelming.

7. A Different Take On Paint

The days of painting one wall a different color from the others might be on the way out. But that doesn’t mean you still can’t create a feature wall using paint. It’s about doing it in a different way.

If you’re on a tight budget, paint is still one of the most affordable ways to make a big impact. Consider using painter’s tape to mark out certain patterns, then paint the pattern one or two shades darker or lighter than the rest of the wall. Another trick is to use the same color but a different paint finishes, like semi- or high-gloss.

Where’s The Best Place For An Accent Wall?

Accent walls are great for adding visual interest to a space. Many people use accent walls in their main living area, in places like a dining room, kitchen, or living room. However, you can also create a statement wall in a bedroom or guest room.

Typically, the best wall to use for a statement or feature wall is the first one you see when you walk into a room. Usually, that’s the wall directly across from the room’s entrance. But if a room has multiple entry points, default to the one most often used. Or consider where you prefer people to look first.

Make A Statement

If you love the idea of an accent wall, go for it. A feature wall is still a popular trend in 2023. But it’s about using textural elements and other components instead of simply painting one wall bright red or yellow.

Use a heavier texture, try a fun wallpaper, or hang curtains from the ceiling to the floor. Paneling is another option, or use an oversized piece of art for a temporary solution. No matter what you choose, remember, it’s your house.

Your design choices should reflect who you are, not some fleeting trend. Be true to yourself, go with what you love, and enjoy your home.

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Stacy Randall
Stacy Randall

Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.

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