I know I am going to sound like every other design site out there here but here it goes *Deep Breath* “An accent wall can really add drama to your home”. Okay, I got it out there. No onto the meat of the post.
Accent walls are simply a wall that is different from the the other 3 walls in the room. This is the place where you don’t necessarily have to splurge on materials, but you do have to step outside your comfort zone a bit.
I love using alternative material like stone, wood, tile, mirrors or a water feature to draw attention to a wall, but using one of these things on all four walls would be too much. Four stone walls would make the room look like a cave; all wood walls would look like a sauna; all tile will feel like a locker room; all mirrored walls would look like a water park; and all mirrors would make it seem like you live in a fun house. While I can appreciate “over-the-top” design, this could be too much for people.
The Solution is the creation of an accent wall. Keep the stone or the pallet boards to one wall as opposed to all four. This will give your home a touch of the masculine “log cabin” feel without being too overwhelming. This will quite possibly become your favorite aspect of the room, and the wood will warm up the room considerably. (Warning, having a wood floor and a wood wall may be too much).
Wallpaper is a cheap way to create an accent wall. Wallpaper can be very masculine and very bold, which could be exactly what you are looking for. Some of my favorites are from Andrew Martin in London. Using his autograph wallpaper as an accent in your media room (My Office is filled with books and movies) is a great original touch. There are cheaper wallpapers out there, but I just loved the idea of having copies of signatures from T.S. Eliot, Jackie Kennedy and John Adams on the wall in your library.
There really aren’t any limits when it comes to accent wall. Just walk around your local home improvement store or craft store and find something you like. All paint stores have ways to apply paint that gives the wall an alternative finish, using a sponge instead of a roller on one wall will give it a completely different texture, combining that with a more defined color will have a very dramatic effect. Look at the textures they suggest, and see what you like. The great thing is that if you decide you do not like it, there is not lengthy demolition process the way there would be with stone or wood.
Graffiti is another option. Yesterday’s Street Art post has seen a great response, so go ahead and attack the space behind the couch with your stencils and spray paint. Sure, you will probably have to cover it up when you want to sell the house, but it can be a great personal statement that you won’t be able to see in the wallpaper section of your local Glidden store. Just make sure it is well done. You don’t want it to look like the typical graffiti you see by the highway overpass. You want it to be something special. You will have to see it every day, and you want it to look like you commissioned a professional artist as opposed to had your house broken into by a local crew of felonious drop outs.
So take a look around and see what you like. There are no real wrong answers here. It is simply another great avenue of self expression.