Update the look in your bedroom by adding an accent wall. An accent wall provides an outlet for bold colors, patterns and textures on wall space without overwhelming the room. It's also one of the easiest ways to brighten or enhance the space without having to paint the entire room.
Choosing the Right Wall
One of the most common mistakes people make with accent walls is highlighting the wrong wall. A successful accent wall shouldn't look like an afterthought- it should place emphasis on an architectural feature or focal point.
For example, the wall that anchors the bed is a good choice for a bedroom accent wall but not necessarily the only choice. A wall with a bedroom fireplace, an unusual window, an impressive piece of artwork or an alcove or nook would also be good choices for an accent wall.
To keep a harmonious balance in the room's design scheme, the color of an accent wall should tie in somehow with the rest of the décor. Go with a monochromatic look by choosing a deeper shade of the existing wall color. Another option is to pick up one of the brighter colors found in the room's wall art, in a
bedding or upholstery pattern, or in other accessories such as curtains, lamps or area rugs.
Materials and Decorative Techniques
Painting the wall is just one option for creating a bedroom accent wall. Other materials and decorative techniques provide a wide range of options for accent walls.
Choose a wallpaper pattern that works with the style and decor of the room, such as a vintage damask pattern for a boudoir bedroom theme or a nautical motif in a coastal cottage bedroom. Add texture to the wall with velvet flocked wallpaper or a material such as grass cloth. Shiny, metallic wallpaper adds dramatic flair.
Fabric or Fabric Panels
Covering the wall with fabric and padding underneath is a challenging project but well worth the amazing transformation. Go with a simpler technique by skipping the padding and using starch to attach lightweight fabric to the wall or cover large foam panels with fabric and attach those to the wall.
Wood, Stone or Brick Veneers
Completely transform the look and feel of a wall with lightweight, interlocking polyurethane panels that mimic the look of wood, stone or brick. This dramatic effect would be an excellent choice for a master bedroom.
Depending on the style and theme of your bedroom, faux wood panels can provide the look of:
- Cedar logs
- Weathered barn wood
- Oak, walnut or cedar panels
- Tree bark
Faux stone panels can create a wall of:
- River stone
- Stacked stone
- Cut granite
Brick panels are available in various lifelike brick colors including:
- Painted white
The panels are relatively easy to install yourself using adhesive and screws, whereas a real brick or stone wall would require the skills of a mason and would cost considerably more.
Decorative painting techniques can add texture and dimension to the wall. Choose paint colors in a few shades lighter or darker than the base wall color. Mix the paint with a glazing medium, making it thinner and more translucent.
The technique you use to apply the glaze to the wall will give you different results. With a color wash, the glaze is applied with a damp rag, using a circular motion as if washing the wall and working the glaze until you get the marbling effect you want. You can also use a sponging technique, where a damp sea sponge is dipped into the glaze and applied to the wall with short, dabbing motions. Each technique will give the wall the appearance of aged plaster or marbling with slightly different textures.
Wall Decals and Stenciling
Create a decorative design or mural on your accent wall with vinyl wall decals or use stencils to paint the design on the wall. Vinyl wall decals are a good choice for apartments or rental homes because they can be removed and sometimes reused without damaging the wall.
The type of bedroom makes a difference when deciding what type of medium to use for an accent wall. The more difficult techniques and expensive materials should be reserved for master bedrooms or guest bedrooms where walls are less likely to be tampered with and the bedroom design is less likely to change as often.
Kids' bedrooms tend to change drastically as they grow and some bedroom themes may only be appropriate for a year or two. Simple accent walls painted in one bright color or covered with easy to apply and remove wall decals make more sense in a kid's bedroom.
The Final Touch
Accent walls can be embellished with mirrors, wall art, framed photos, floating shelves or any other type of wall decor. However, try not to over clutter decorative elements such as stenciling or wall decals, as it will take away from the overall effect.