How to Choose an Accent Wall Color
ACCENT WALL TIPS: CHOOSE THE RIGHT WALL & COLORS
The 60-30-10 Percent Color Rule is not only used in interior design, but it also commonly used in cinema because of its pleasing aesthetics. Accent walls are great throughout the house, anywhere from living rooms to bedrooms. Choosing the right colors and accent wall for rooms throughout the house is a great way to achieve the designer home look and feel.
How to Choose An Accent Wall in a Room
The accent wall is generally the first thing you recognize when you walk into the room, which is why it's often referred to as the focal wall. Great accent walls may have distinctive architectural features or placements.
Examples, does the room have any of the following:
- Built-in bookcase
- Architectural nook
- Other distinctive features
If the room is void of these unique characteristics, such as secondary/guest bedrooms, then the room's layout can be a factor. This is why accent walls in bedrooms tend to be the wall behind the bed because that wall anchors the purpose of the room.
After you've selected which wall should be the accent wall, selecting the right colors might seem like a daunting task because choosing the wrong ones could throw the balance and harmony of the room off. However, this "How to choose an accent wall" guide will help you each step of the way so you don't break any rules.
WHAT MOOD ARE YOU CREATING
Color psychology experts claim color has an effect on people – and it does. The advertising industry has tapped into the effects of color for decades. Some colors convey a lot of energy – red, for instance is used for stop signs, fire engines and stoplights is because it represents danger. Also, red is known to stimulate the metabolism while increasing heart and respiratory rates. This is why red accent walls typically aren't found in bedrooms, and more calming colors are used. Conversely, this is why a red accent wall can work well in the kitchen.
Think about the room’s purpose and the mood you want to create in that room when choosing a color for the accent wall. If you need help selecting colors, we suggest exploring ones you naturally gravitate towards. Additionally, designer blogs, websites and magazines, or viewing model homes for inspiration can help a ton. Also, if you're not an avid home DIY project person, then we suggest selecting colors that aren't too trendy, so the color of your freshly painted accent wall doesn't go out of style too fast.
THE 60-30-10 ACCENT WALL COLOR RULE
60-30-10 Accent Wall Rule
Don’t let the wide array of paint colors overwhelm you when choosing a color for your accent wall. Additionally, don't fall into the trap of wanting to put a different color on each wall because it can make the room feel busy. You can avoid these pitfalls by following the 60-30-10 rule for accent walls that many designers use. Here's how it works:
- 60% of the room, including its painted surfaces and decor, represents your dominant color choice
- 30% is applied to a secondary color
- 10% is for the accent color
Test at least 3 paint colors and don't feel stuck with your current main color.
We suggest testing three accent wall colors by painting them in 3-by-3 foot squares on your chosen wall. Then watch them in the changing light of day to choose the color that suits you and your best home. Additionally, because you're painting an accent wall, it doesn't mean you can't choose a new or better main color for your room too.
PAY ATTENTION TO COLOR SATURATION
Color Saturation Matters
A harmonious color scheme also takes into consideration the color’s saturation level as part of the design.
Color theory suggests:
- Using a tint as the dominant color in the room
- Using a toned color as the secondary color
- Lastly, your accent color being the most vivid and pure hue of the three
Tints have white added to them, while toned colors have been muted with gray. This theory suggests making the accent wall the darkest or most vivid color in the room, accented by area rugs, throw pillows or other decor items that integrate the color and balance it throughout the space.
Having the right materials and tools to paint the room and accent wall can cut the project time in half so you can spend less time working and more time enjoying your newly-painted room. Wagner paint sprayers are easy to use, and we have a step-by-step paint spraying guide you can follow.
Painter's Plastic or Drop Cloth
Wet Towel for Paint Drips
Choice of Paint Color(s)
Download project steps & shopping list
We'll never share your email with anyone else.