Can I still paint accent walls?

Paint accent wallsAlmost everyone I talk to lately keeps asking me weather accent walls are out of fashion.  I would say, YES and NO.  They have always been out of fashion as they are typically done.  Most people do not know how to choose a wall to be painted.  This drives me crazy!  A lot of people just think they want to add color, and just start picking walls, without any real thought.

I will never forget a customer of mine that lived in Littleton, CO.  It was a very nice ranch home, with high ceilings, and an open floor plan.  We were to paint a majority of the main area.  She wanted one particular wall painted red…and I mean RED with a capital R!  The problem was, the wall she wanted to paint was huge and very oddly shaped.  I told her that the red was just going to accentuate the fact that the wall looked like a misshapen football goal post.  She would not budge.  So when we were done, she had tan walls, and a big red goal post.  BUT, she said she liked it.  It was the exact thing I try to avoid with every home.  I try to give advice, but ultimately it is their house, and we do what the customer wants.

Accent wallsThis type of accent wall has never been in style.  Another tragedy I see people do happens after they move into a new house with white walls.  They want to add color and so they pick a wall in about every room in the house and just paint those.  Now, this is not as bad, and I have actually done ONE house this way that turned out nice, but as a general rule, it looks like they just painted some random walls in their house and were too cheap to paint the whole thing.  Now, I know what you are thinking, “You just want to sell more painting.”  Well, I always want to sell more painting, yes, however, I want my customers to LOVE the new paint job, and if that means doing only part of the house now, and the rest later, than that is what I want them to do.  It is actually more expensive to paint accent walls only.  We have about the same prep time, and you get way less for your money.  Not to mention that a new house is always going to be painted with flat paint, and will not hold up over time.

Fireplace accentThe one house that we did paint accent walls only and ended up looking really nice was still a $5000 project (yes, big home).  We did paint a few rooms completely, but the walls we did paint, were quite large.  It was a large contemporary home, and the jewel tones that were selected worked really nicely with the art that was in the home.  My only regret is that I never got back to take pictures of it.  Maybe this year.

So, how do you paint accent walls and make it look nice?  What I tell all my customers is that the wall needs to be symmetrical.  Nice and even.  Usually a peaked wall, a wall with a window on each side looks nice, or just the back wall of a bedroom.   The other area we look for is anything with architectural interest.  A fireplace, a bump out, an art niche.  Things we want to highlight in the home.  Next, we want to pick a color that highlights the things it is by or seen with.  Color is very subjective to what you see it with.  So I look at pictures, rugs, tile, etc. to pull in the color to make it cohesive.

So, yes you can still do an accent wall, but it needs to be strategic.  You can’t just paint a wall and call it an accent…well, I guess you can, it just won’t look very good.  If you want some inspiration, please go to our portfolio, and look through some of our pictures.  There are a ton of good examples.  Another great place is to look at houzz.com.  Great website for inspiration.

If you need some help picking colors or painting, please contact us at 303-346-1694 or send us a request here.