Unique Accent Wall Ideas that You Can Adapt to Any Room

Unique Accent Wall Ideas that You Can Adapt to Any Room

Walls
Small Projects and Repairs
By Alex Mikayelyan October 21, 2021

Patterns and consistent elements add a lot of character to your interior and dictate the general mood or vibe of the room. But keeping things too consistent and similar can result in excessive uniformity and leave the interior looking one dimension, even bland. The human eye is used to being challenged by the surrounding visuals. We want to see complexity, variation, and dimension. There are many ways to break up the homogenous visuals of the interior and the feature wall is one of the most effective ways of doing this.

Heterogeneity is the name of the game with accent walls. They are all about adding visual flair into the room that is not overly distracting or visually straining. And while the very vibrant and in-your-face accent wall designs have not been as much of a trend in recent years, there are still many subtle ways to introduce them into your interior.

Rise of Accent Walls

Emergence and Popularity of Accent Walls Is Increasing

Emergence and Popularity of Accent Walls Is Increasing

The term “accent wall” was coined by Melville Emerson Hurd in the 60s, who described it as a wall that added color or texture to the room. By nature, a feature wall should look different from all the other walls in the room and act as a bold interior feature.

With contemporary decor being kept to a minimum, interior designers look for ways to make more out of less. Accent walls fit the bill in this regard as they are a simple design detail, being a brightly colored wall that did not match the other walls. But they added enough variation into the interior to keep it busy.

Peel and Stick Wallpaper

Simple-to-Install Accent Walls That Take the Edge of Interior Design

Simple-to-Install Accent Walls That Take the Edge of Interior Design

Wallpapers are making a comeback and the peel and stick variety are all the rage with homeowners looking to redo their walls but want something more complex than mere paint. For some time, wallpapers were out of style due to how kitsch they looked, as well as how difficult to install and easy to blemish they were. Stains, tears, and scratches would stick out like a store thumb. But wallpapers are coming back and with the more advanced adhesives on the market today, they are easier to install than ever. Instead of painting over a bare wall to turn it into an accent wall, you can simply peel and stick wallpaper of your choosing.

While you won’t find wallpaper in more minimal interiors such as contemporary or Scandi, they make for very attractive accents in more complex and visually busy interiors. It goes without saying that in a classic revival or Victorian interior, ornate wallpapers fit perfectly. Wallpaper accent walls also make for perfect statement wallpaper which adds another splash of personality and emotion into the room as well.

Bring Color Into Your Room with an Accent Wall

Bring Color Into Your Room with an Accent Wall

Peel and stick wallpapers are much easier to install than your traditional wallpapers which are a little difficult for those less experienced in DIY. But as the name suggests, peel and stick wallpaper allows you to simply peel off the wallpaper and stick it to the wall without needing an extra layer of glue.

Most peel and stick wallpapers cost $1 to $5 per square foot. The average wall is around 50 square feet, so you may spend no more than $250 on a peel and stick accent wall.

Wood Accent Wall 

Bring Natural Textures Into Your Interior

Bring Natural Textures Into Your Interior

Wooden walls invoke a feeling of comfort and rustic coziness. However, it’s really easy to overdo the wooden walls and cover the entire interior with wooden paneling. Wooden walls, wooden flooring, and wooden furniture create that sense of uniformity that makes everything too homogenous. But if you have a Scandi, Bohi, or a biophilic interior that you’re looking to introduce some natural textures to, a wooden accent wall is just enough to bring in a bit of nature without letting it overpower the room.

One of the benefits of working with wood is that it is very versatile, allowing for all manner of accent wall designs. You can go for a wood trim accent wall with sleek patterns, or you can even try something more classy with wainscotting and paneling. One of the most striking wooden accents you can come across, however, is the wood plank accent wall.

Coastal interiors often make good use of wood accents. The wooden boards and trim emulate the planks you will find on a pier or dock, invoking the feelings of being on the coast. This makes it an invaluable element in Coastal interior design. But a wood plank accent wall could just as well work in contemporary interiors that lean more towards biophilic elements, such as Scandi, Japandi, and Bohi.

Choosing Wood for Your Feature Wall Helps With Planning

Choosing Wood for Your Feature Wall Helps With Planning

Choosing the right wood for your accent wall is not only important for its color but its longevity, its weight, as well as the grains or veins that come with it. The wood you use for a feature wall is entirely up to you and depends on what kind of vibe you’re looking to create in that room. For example, some homeowners looking to accentuate the Japanese design features in their Japandi interior go for bamboo wooden planks. For a rich brown hue that goes well in Scandinavian and other modern interiors, you can try walnut. Add to that a nice minimally-glossy finish and you have yourself an accent wall that brightens up the room but also doesn’t distract your visual senses.

Wood paneling is quite affordable, with a square foot coming around to $5 and that’s not counting finish and installation. The finish may cost you anywhere from $3 to $8 depending on the kind you’re using. And if you use tongue and groove wood planks the installation is super easy so you may not even need to hire a professional contractor to get the job done. 

Brick and Stone Feature Wall

Using Rough Stone Textures to Create Visual Flair

Using Rough Stone Textures to Create Visual Flair

With the rise of the industrial or loft interior comes the bare brick or stone surface. Leaving all the walls in the room bare and the bricks protruding can make the room look too bare. This is why brick or stone feature walls work so well in modern minimalistic interiors.

By painting over some of the walls and leaving one bare you can create a brick accent wall that adds a bit of extra flavor but does not overshadow other design elements in the room. And what’s even better about brick accent walls is that installing them can go one of two ways: the long way and the short way.

The Intricacies of Brick or Stone Accent Walls

The Intricacies of Brick or Stone Accent Walls

Let’s get the short version out of the way first. If you live in a building with brick walls then all you have to do is open up one of the walls and leave it bare and paint over or cover the other ones. It’s really as simple as that. Now obviously, some bricks are not meant to be on the outside of a wall so they need a little touch-up. A deep cleaning may be required to restore their bright color after the years they’ve spent under several layers of paint or wallpaper.

But if you don’t have brick walls then we will need to take a long way. You can find thin brick wallpapers which come rolled up and ready to be stuck to the wall as you would with regular wallpaper. These thin bricks are attached to a material called a web sheet, which holds them in place. This allows you to cover an entire area of the wall with bricks without having to affix each one individually.

Brick web sheets can be somewhat expensive depending on the type you wish to purchase. For the standard kiln-fired clay bricks, you can expect to pay around $500 to cover a 50 square footwall. On the plus side: brick sheets are very easy to find and they come in a large variety of designs. This way you can pick the one that matches your interior the most and install it yourself. 

Tile Accent Wall

Creating a Tile Accent Wall

Creating a Tile Accent Wall

While mostly used in bathrooms or kitchens, ceramic tile accent walls look great in interiors of pretty much any design. Even though modern bathrooms and kitchens do not put as much emphasis on beautifully ornate and decorative tiles as the more rustic designs do, these tiled surfaces are still going strong in terms of popularity.

Outside of the bathroom and kitchen, you will find them in all kinds of interiors, even living rooms. What makes tiles so great, be they ceramic, porcelain, or stone, is that they are very durable. Walls, as with any other surface in the house, go through a lot of wear and tear. While this damage is not as visible on other walls in the room, wall accents are visible and always in your line of sight. So even the smallest blemish is very easy to spot considering how much of an attention-grabbing interior feature an accent wall is.

Tile Mosaic Accents Can Be Used for a Variety of Rooms

Tile Mosaic Accents Can Be Used for a Variety of Rooms

But most tiles are quite durable and as with brick sheets, come in a variety of styles and designs that allow you to mix and match according to your preferences. Though it may seem intuitive at first, tile installation is very difficult to get right. So, you should contact a professional tiler to help you build your accent wall. Even one lopsided tile is going to be easy to spot. Also, you will need their guidance on the kind of grout you will need to use and how to finish it to keep it from getting dirty and chipped.


If you’re looking to create a tile accent wall in your living room you will need something more ornate than simple kitchen or bathroom tiles. Be it porcelain, stone, or ledger tiles, the price is a bit higher than one might expect. Natural stone tiles, for example, can cost up to $8 per square foot, which means around $500 for a 50-foot modern accent wall. However, for this higher price, you’re getting an accent wall design that goes beautifully with the sleek minimal surfaces of contemporary interiors, especially if you apply a matte or glossy finish

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Written by
Alex Mikayelyan

Written by Alex Mikayelyan

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