Accent walls may not be a completely original idea, but they are a great way to create a focal point just about any room. Our eyes are drawn to colors and some colors are more attractive to our eyes than others.
When we look at a room that is all white, with white furniture and white light, we think of it as a sterile place. Many people do not want to touch anything in an all-white room because it makes them uncomfortable to be in such a sterilized environment. Meanwhile, if a room were to be painted black and given all-black décor, there would be a similar reaction except that the discomfort would be from entering a dark, never-ending abyss.
Similar effects could have been found in any room which is all one color. Our eyes need the stimulation of seeing multiple colors for our brains to be comfortable processing the space around us. And since certain colors evoke different emotions, it is always a good idea to consider what different colors will do when they are put together.
For instance, consider a monochrome room which is inherently colored in black, white and gray. What does it make you think? How does it make you feel? Some would say they feel conflicted by the contrast of extreme light and dark; others would see the gray and feel neutral, while yet others would see the monochrome theme and be reminded of a silent film – any sound and it would break their feelings of peace.
The one thing that could be agreed upon in any of these rooms, however, is that your eye will wander about them, never really settling on one spot or item. This is because, in everything looking the same, there is no focal point – nothing to draw your attention or provide stimulation to your eye. If you were to put a red couch in the white room or a silver lamp in the black room, your eye would have drawn to it as something that stands out. You would find yourself staring at it.
When you decorate your home, you will probably never match the couch to the carpet, walls, or ceiling and so you will not have the same problems as the all-white or all-black rooms; but you may find that you still lack a focal point in your room. Many people use art to draw attention to a particular wall. Often, a large painting or a series of canvases that flow together will hang above someone's couch. Or sometimes there is a fireplace and that is the focal point of the room – in which case, the mantelpiece would do well to have some piece of art or a family photo.
If, however, everything in the room is too similar in color, you may find that your eye still wanders. If the walls are off-white and the floors are also a light color, and your furniture is all in pastels, consider painting the wall behind your couch a different and bolder color. If you were to ask for house painting tips from an interior designer, they may suggest that you use the color for accent throw pillows as well to tie your color choice in the rest of the room.
Red is a very common color for an accent wall – particularly one with a couch in front of it – but if you want to do things a little differently, try painting one wall teal or blue and then put a few dark-wood bookshelves up along it. Not only will this give your room a focal point, but a discussion topic as well as your guests is drawn to the shelves.
Now, many house painters are not going to give you the advice of painting a wall black and most sites with house painting ideas frown on the thought, but it is possible to use a black accent wall in a dining room or an unused space which is already painted in white or off-white. The trick is to place a large mirror, preferably one which is framed or decorated in silver, on it. You may also decide to put silver sconces on either side of the mirror. The black wall may make the space feel smaller, but once the mirror is in place, it will counteract that feeling.
When you are having a room painted, your house painting contractor should not have a problem adding an accent wall; but since darker colors are harder to paint over, make sure it's the one you want before they start the project. You may also decide to have them add crown molding and / or base boards to frame your walls. Whatever you decide, you now have a focal point for your room.