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12 Inspiring Accent Walls Created With Only Decor

by Sabrina Smelko

By now, we’re probably all too familiar with accent walls when it comes to paint. Whether you rent or own, it’s an easy, low-investment way to make a statement, but not many of us think of applying that same principle — that is, the creation of a deliberate focal point in a room on only one wall — by using only decor. The more playful cousin of gallery walls, these 12 decoration-based accent/feature walls and vignettes will force you to think outside of the (paint) box and leave you with plenty of ideas for that one wall in your own home you’ve been eyeing forever. –Sabrina

Wallpaper, lighting and artwork give a wall in this home in Israel a huge boost of personality. When you have a lot of fun furniture and household items, a great way to not make it appear cluttered or busy is to turn the volume right up -- that is, don't hold back! Be deliberate and celebrate your stuff by putting it on display.
The creative homeowners in this curated home in Cape Town, South Africa created a mobile-like display for their own design drawings and handmade objects using string, a slab of wood and hooks/fasteners. Gallery wall meets plate display meets installation artwork on this wall!
Creating an accent wall behind a bed is not a new trend, however, there are countless options for making that wall extra special. In this home, Chrissy's love for literature came to life in the form of an accent wall made entirely from pinned pages of one of her favorite books.
Deciding which wall should be given special treatment in your home is sometimes a no-brainer: simply pick the wall that has a specific feature built-in, such as a fireplace, built-in shelving, or, in the case of this home, a kitchen exhaust fan flanked by doors. Not only does the fun tiling and molding help direct your eye to the feature wall, but the fifth wall -- the ceiling decked out in wood paneling -- also deserves some credit!
As mentioned in the previous example, giving priority to the wall that houses a fireplace is a great way to add drama and visual interest in a room. The homeowners of this home in Baton Rouge took the framing and drywall that housed the fireplace right to the ceiling for extra impact. Bookended by wood panelling installed in a chevron-pattern, this wall is large and in charge.
This post mostly covers decoration-based accent walls, but I'd be remiss if I did not include one room where paint was the main focus of an accent wall. This photo, taken from Ingrid Weir's home tour, was actually taken to illustrate the process of testing paint colors, but I think it's gorgeous as-is! By treating the wall like a canvas for a painting rather than something to be covered floor-to-ceiling in a solid color, the paint becomes a unique aspect in the room, playing off of the artwork and decor in the room beautifully.
Using stickers or cut-paper and washi tape is a great way to add color to any wall. In this Australian home in the countryside, homeowners stuck circles cut from a rainbow of colored paper to the walls in a random polka-dot pattern in the kids' room. It's less of a commitment than paint, making for a great temporary solution to add excitement. And the best part? Removing it is as easy as a 5-minute session with a step-stool, leaving no wall damage.
In Baltimore, MD, the homeowner of this charming home displayed pennants and artwork in a salon-style to create a focal wall above a cluster of poufs and pillows.
Perhaps the most functional, utilitarian accent wall you can create is one that takes advantage of vertical storage by way of shelving. It not only gives a home to vessels, jars, and knick-knacks, but it's an easy way to add mega impact in a room, like it did in this gorgeous kitchen.
In any space, textiles are a great way to instantly add warmth, texture and life. And they shouldn't begin and end on a floor or draped on a sofa. Try hanging them from a wall like Crystal and Leon did in their home.
In Loyal Supply's studio a large pegboard was used to create an accent wall, which houses trinkets, decor, supplies and artwork. And the best part is how modular this system is, so you can mix, match and swap out pieces in endless configurations.
More and more often, I see people who are taking full advantage of the fifth wall -- the ceiling! This DIY decoupaged ceiling would also make one heck of a feature wall.

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  • Love the use of found objects and overhead lighting to feature the artwork! Yet another example of any combination of items can have flow without matching.

  • A pegboard really is a creative tool to maximize the use of space in small apartments while adding multiple possibilities to effortlessly restyle the room at any time! We use it as well for our microliving projects!