Building an accent wall can be intimidating. But with a few simple tips and tricks you can gain the confidence needed to create a work of art right in your own home, with style and grace. Whether you decide to use pictures or mirrors, shelving, paint or shiplap, we are here to help you get started.

Choose the Wall

The first step is deciding which wall to become the accent. The accent wall is generally the first thing you see when you walk into a room. It may have unique features or placements such as a fireplace, built-in shelving or even a staircase. The accent wall could even be the anchor wall behind the bed. Once you’ve chosen the accent wall you will now decide which items you will use to create the look you are envisioning.

Let’s talk Shiplap, a type of wooden board that has been historically used in exterior siding for barns, sheds, and older homes as a form of siding. Shiplap has become extremely popular with interior design in recent years for its ability to deliver a rustic yet cozy feeling. Shiplap is affordable, easy to install, can be removed easily and it will compliment any room. I personally love using shiplap behind a bed as it can also serve as a head board. Shiplap also looks great in replace of a traditional mantel around a fireplace, but it can be incorporated into any space you choose. Making Joy & Pretty Things has an awesome DIY, do it yourself, tutorial for installing shiplap into your home.

Pictures & Gallery

Do you have an assortment of pictures you want to display without taking up valuable shelving space? Arrange your beautiful memories onto an accent wall. You can add in a few mirrors to reflect light and add depth into the room. Pottery Barn has great advice and design plans for arranging your own gallery with minimal effort. While figuring out which will go where on your wall you can map things out using ScotchBlue Original Surface Painters Tape to get a better idea of how thing’s will look when hung. Before you put any holes into the dry wall, we recommend using these Command hooks that are super easy to apply and won’t create any damage.

Proper Use of Color

If you’re imagining something simpler but don’t want to lack creativity or skimp on showing off your style, consider painting one or two wall’s a different color then the rest of the walls in the room. This is a great way to add color into a neutral room or bring in neutrals. You can leave the wall solid or create a pattern for a little extra pop! House Painting Tutorials goes into detail about deciding what walls to paint and how to highlight an existing point of interest. One thing to remember is there are thousands of colors in the world that can be yours for just a few dollars a gallon but there are only 7 colors in the paint spectrum, eliminating a few colors before you go into the store will help you choose something that is right for you. Also, before you commit to one color, try a few samples so you are not limiting yourself. This will also cut cost and time when figuring what is best for the look you want to achieve.


If you’d like something more unique, consider wallpaper, it recently made a huge come back in the design world and has since come a long way from what you would find in your grandmas living room. If you’re shopping second hand it can be hard to find enough for a full room but a partial bolt will make a striking accent wall. Rosie’s Vintage Wallpaper has great prices with designs that look like they just came out of a time capsule.

Temporary Solutions

Are you feeling overwhelmed yet? Thinking of making a big design change doesn’t have to be a permanent one. There are temporary options you can choose from before diving into something. Mountain Modern Life shares how they added design into their small space, this method can easily be applied to any sized area for an affordable cost and little work.

Final Remarks

When planning your accent wall remember, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, and your accent wall is going to take some time as well. Don’t rush into anything, allow your space to take time and keep an open mind. You might think something doesn’t “look good” but look at it from another angle. Sit down and enjoy the space, it might tell you what would look best. Pay attention to existing features, try different things and you will find what works.

When it comes to accent walls, let your creativity be your guide and follow these tops to create a masterpiece.