Posted October 4 2011, 7:34 AM PDT by Gina Kim

The One-Wall Wonder

Posted in Living by Gina Kim

What is it about an accent waFrontEntrancell that makes people refer to it as a “wonder wall”?

An accent wall is an emphasized wall in a room that has been designed to attract attention from adjacent walls. The simplest (and cheapest) option to go about an accent wall is by means of paint, though some may opt for wallpaper or tile. Homes with accent walls add a surprise element to a room and define an area of space that deserves attention.

Choosing the right wall

Experts say that the first wall you see upon entering a room is typically the accent wall. In many cases, the wall will have a fireplace or a built-in bookshelf, or something that suggests it is the focal point of the room. In this case, you want to accent that wall by emphasizing the central point with a background color.

Choosing the right wall color

Color accent walls can add depth and dimension to a room, and make a room seem bigger, warmer, or brighter. If a room is large, consider using warm colors to make the room appear more welcoming, or if the space is smaller, a lighter color can make a room look more spacious. You can visually enlarge or shrink a room by choosing the right color for your room.

Light reflections

Remember to think about how lighting affects the color of a wall. The color you choose may change depending on light sources that reflect on walls. For example, incandescent lights will have a different influence in comparison to natural lighting against walls. Different light sources can affect color choices, so don’t forget to experiment with lighting against colored walls.

Tinting the ceiling

Typically, wonder-walls function independently the ceiling, as they usually remain white. However, by adding a few drops of the wall color paint to a can of ceiling paint, you are able to slightlytint a ceiling. This subtle color scheme can make for a perfect ceiling finish to compliment an accent wall.

How to do it yourself

Painting an accent wall is an easy home improvement or do-it-yourself project. All that is needed is a short list of low-cost products, including:

  • Painter’s tape

  • Paint (with primer)

  • Tarp

  • Roller and brush

  • Putty and scraper

  • Sandpaper

The directions are simple: tape off the desired wall, spread tarp across the floor, fill any holes or cracks on the wall, sand and smooth out the surface, then paint the accent wall using zigzag strokes.


Painting an accent wall is a great DIY project for anyone to tackle over a weekend, or even a few hours. What is your take on the one-wall wonder? Is an accent wall an overstatement, an understatement, or a room well-balanced?

By Gina Kim

Gina Kim is on the marketing team at Windermere Services. She graduated from Seattle University with a degree in Strategic Communications and has experience in journalism and non-profit organizations. She enjoys reading blogs, playing the drums, trying new cuisines, and making homemade greeting cards.