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Five accent wall ideas for a fresh look indoors

Plus, things to keep in mind before you begin.

September 26, 2021 / 04:17 PM IST
An accent wall can introduce character and interest in the room, create a visual focal point, and it can be swapped out anytime the home owner desires a change.

An accent wall can introduce character and interest in the room, create a visual focal point, and it can be swapped out anytime the home owner desires a change.


A trick of the trade that has lasted decades and continues to thrive is to do with accent walls. In interior design, accent walls are a simple yet effective design tool to spruce up interiors on a budget.

With a single accent wall, one can introduce a sense of character and interest in any given room, create a visual focal point that can draw the eye of an observer upon a feature, colour, or texture of choice. The best part is that these can be swapped out anytime the home owner desires a change.

Here’s a look at five popular accent wall ideas for you.

Paint and textured finishes

A bold colour (warm/cool tones, depending on the design theme) can liven up a space instantly. Use wall paints to create either a single colour-blocked wall or a pattern design.

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If you are looking to add a sense of depth to the wall, consider working with textured paint finishes. The options are truly endless, and one can create 2D/3D patterns upon the wall with simple tools or with the assistance of painting companies who offer these services. Scallops, stripes, stucco texture and swirling patterns are some popular patterns in monotones, metallic, or dual colour combinations.

The budget to paint or texture-coat a wall will depend on the square footage of the paintable area and the choice of paint and/or the texture technique chosen. The cost of painting can be anywhere in the range of Rs12-40 per square foot.

Wall coverings

Wallpapers, murals, and decals are all categories of wall coverings that are simple to install and cost-efficient. They can add to the traditional or modern design aesthetic of your room along with the desired pop of colour and texture.

These make for great options, especially in pre-lived or rental homes. The walls are usually mildly cleaned, and a compatible adhesive allows one to install these wall covering options.

Wallpapers are available in varied budgets. They are usually sold by the roll with some of the budget options retailing in the range of Rs3,500-10,000. Murals and decals make for cost-effective options and cost approximately Rs 800-5,000, depending on size.

Wallpapers, murals, and decals are are simple to install and cost-efficient. Wallpapers, murals, and decals are simple to install and cost-effective.

Wall panelling

Wall panelling makes for a good fit on walls that could use an additional colour and visual dimension. Created usually in high-performance materials like MDF, plywood and gypsum, wall panelling can be interpreted in diverse configurations.

A simple checkered pattern, classic shiplap oriented horizontally/vertically, fluted panelling or abstract patterns are all options to accent a wall. The panels are fastened onto the wall, primed, and then rendered in a polish/colour of your choice. The cost depends on the square footage of the wall and the panelling materials and surface finishes selected.

Earthy materials

Materials like natural stone, wood and brick introduce a feeling of rootedness in a space. While the inclusion of these in their natural form might be an expensive proposition, the retail landscape has many options in textured surface veneers and wall-cladding tiles that mimic the materials. This allows one to introduce the materials upon accent walls for a fraction of the price.

The look of wood can be achieved through wood tiles or panelling the walls with veneer/laminate sheets in the desired finish that can be purchased on a per sheet basis (Rs1,000 and above). Stone, terracotta, and brick tiles are commonly found in the ceramic market today and can be bought for varying ranges in per box rates or as per square footage (Rs350 and above).

Framing features

While creating an accent wall, capitalise on existing features of the space or concentrate on intentionally drawing attention to a specific design element. Examples of this could be an existing fireplace, a picture window, bay window, built-in shelving, a gallery wall of photographs or a lofty bookshelf.

The idea here is to find pre-existing elements that can become the focus of your accent wall. Architectural features like windows, fireplaces, etc., can be given a fresh coat of paint and the surrounding wall can be painted and clad with some materials/textures.

Built-in cabinetry and bookshelves can become focal features and carry a bold punch of colour and curios to refresh a wall. A gallery wall is a simple yet loved design hack that can layer a wall with photographs/prints that follow a certain theme; these can be arranged in various configurations to add an element of interest as well!

Architectural features like windows can be given a fresh coat of paint. Architectural features like windows can be given a fresh coat of paint.

Essential tips while creating an accent wall

  • Don't be afraid to go bold. Think of finishes that build on the colour scheme and introduce texture to give the wall an elevated look.

  • Resolve any water seepage/structural issues (cracks, unlevelled surfaces) before beginning the process of creating an accent wall.

  • Ensure that the walls adjacent to the accent wall are complementary and balanced in colour, so the space looks cohesive.

  • The wall selected should preferably receive a good amount of natural sunlight to achieve optimised visual aesthetics.

  • Create large-scale swatches and samples of the selected colours/textures on the desired surfaces before doing up the entire accent wall.
Lavanya Chopra is a Bengaluru-based architect and freelance design writer.
first published: Sep 26, 2021 03:45 pm

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