5 Ways to Make an Accent Wall

Accent walls draw attention, making them ideal as the primary or secondary focal point in a room. They’re particularly effective for rooms without much architectural interest. You don’t need a lot of money to create an accent wall. You just need to make it stand out from the rest of the walls in a striking way.

Ideas for Creating an Accent Wall 

Here are five ideas for creating an accent wall:


The simplest way to create an accent wall is to paint it with a different color than you’ve used in the rest of the space. Accent walls are ideal for bold paint colors that can overwhelm when you use them for all of the walls. You can choose a bright or deep color, as you prefer.

For a fun painted accent wall, you can even use chalkboard paint, and then decorate the wall with your own chalked designs. Chalkboard paint comes in basic black, or you can mix up your own custom color.

Vintage Wallpaper

Even if you’re not up for using patterned wallpaper on all of your walls, a fabulous wallpaper makes for a striking accent wall. It’s hard to find enough to do an entire room, but a partial bolt is frequently enough for a single wall.

Fabric Wallpaper

If you’re not allowed to paint or paper the walls of your rental, you can still create an accent wall using fabric.

You simply cut the fabric into panels and affix it to the walls with liquid starch. Once it dries, the starch works like glue to hold the fabric in place, but it doesn’t leave any permanent residue when you remove the fabric. At most, you’ll need to wash the walls with a bit of soap and water.

If you opt for patterned fabric, be sure to align the pattern — which is called the repeat — across the entire wall for a professionally installed look. When the pattern doesn’t align, it draws the eye in a negative way. Spend the extra time to get it right.

Drapery Panels

For a softer look than fabric installed with liquid starch, distinguish your accent wall with a wall of floor-to-ceiling curtains or draperies. If your wall isn’t too wide and your ceiling isn’t too high, you may be able to use vintage drapery panels if you can find two to three matching pairs. If that’s not possible, make your own inexpensive version from the discounted fabric from a remnant bolt.

Just seam the fabric together until it’s at least twice as wide as your wall space, and then hem it on all four sides. You can add a casing to the back to serve a rod pocket you can slide over a wall-to-wall curtain wire. Or, gather the header until it’s the width of the wall, and then sew hook-and-loop tape across the shirred header. Staple the coordinating strip of hook-and-loop tape along the top of your accent wall. Press the two halves of the tape together to hang your DIY drape on the wall.

Gallery Wall

To create an accent wall without actually changing the wall’s finish, you can hang a large art grouping to create a gallery wall.

For an eclectic collected look, opt for an art grouping that includes a random mix of pieces of different mediums, sizes, shapes and frame styles. If you prefer a more orderly look, hang matching frames in a multi-row grid for dramatic effect.

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