Accent Walls: When, Where and Why
Interior COLOR Rules
As a color consultant, clients hire me to choose the perfect colors for their interiors. Sadly, I must explain to them that there are no perfect colors… However, there are better choices. I help my clients make the best choices for their interiors by creating a color palette designed specifically for their needs and spaces. And I have only one rule when creating my palettes- ALL colors used must play nicely together to create a harmonious space.
Often, once some of my residential clients get going with new colors, their initial fear of color completely disappears! Suddenly, they want even more color. And they want it in the form of accent walls. EVERYWHERE.
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE accent walls… But when it comes to accent walls, I do have rules for my clients. Five rules, and they’re listed below!
- To Accentuate– If you have an area of your home with interesting architectural detail, by all means, accentuate it by painting it a different color.
- To Highlight– If you have items in your home that you want to show off, like a beautiful piece of art, a special collection, or a unique sculpture then highlight it with an accent wall!
- To Define– Many homes today have an open-concept design for their main living space. Accent walls can define and break up spaces to help create coziness. (The main floor of my home is long and narrow and includes the kitchen, dining and living areas. To break it up, I accented the center dining room area with two accent walls in buttery yellow. It’s subtle, but I love the results!) This concept also works well in businesses like bookstores, libraries or large retail stores. Accent walls can help visitors understand and define the different areas of the space.
- To Direct People– In large commercial spaces such as hospitals, schools or museums, accent walls can be used to create “pathways.” Visitors can easily be directed to certain areas by following accent walls. It’s less likely they will get lost if they follow specifically colored accent walls.
- To Increase Visibility– This is like highlighting, but it has a slightly different purpose and works best in commercial spaces. An accent wall can increase visibility of a business name/logo or increase readability of a menu board or price list. An accent wall can increase visibility of limited editions, special collections, or sales as well. It’s also a great idea to use an interesting or bright accent wall at the back of a retail space to increase visibility and draw traffic to that area.
So there you have it. My 5 rules for an accent wall. Keep in mind these are not hard and fast rules. I’m not a huge rule follower and do believe that rules are meant to be broken. But in design, one should ONLY break rules if there is a good reason for it. So, use these reasons as a guideline and then get to work on that accent wall!
P.S. If YOU have a fabulous accent wall, please PM me pictures on my Leslie Kelley COLOR Facebook and I’ll share a few!