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How To Choose The Perfect Accent Wallpaper

JANUARY 20, 2022
Photo credit: Max Humphrey

Bright, bold, and surprisingly easy to pull off, it’s no wonder accent walls are a designer favorite trick in homes. Whether painted or patterned, an accent wall—or a single wall that’s styled up to bring a colorful pop to a room—is a surefire way to make an instant statement. 

You’ve likely come across plenty of painted accent walls on Instagram and Pinterest. To take it up a notch, we’re zeroing in on accent wallpaper ideas, which add even more color, texture, and stylish impact to a room. If you think creating a wallpaper accent wall seems like a hassle, it’s actually easier than you think. And we’re here to provide you with some guidance, from insights on how to choose an accent wallpaper design suited to your need to perfect spots to add it in your home. Find out more below!

Have an accent wallpaper pattern you love but not sure if it’ll work in your home? Our Decorist designers are ready to lend an eye and help you come up with the best approach. 


How To Choose Accent Wallpaper

 Image credit: Caitlin Flemming

From traditional florals to modern geometrics to metallic finishes, choosing wallpaper—even if it’s just for one wall—can quickly feel like a daunting task. So to help you narrow your search for the perfect accent wallpaper, here are some key elements to consider before you start browsing and shopping for your design:

  • Follow Your Style. Use your personal aesthetic as a style compass for your accent wallpaper design. If your home leans traditional, a more classic wallpaper will likely work best with the rest of your furnishings. On the other hand if you’re more of a minimalist, a more neutral and graphic design might appeal more to you and look better in your space. Once you’re clear on the style of wallpaper you want, the rest will be relatively a breeze. 

  • Decide On Color Tones. This may sound counterintuitive, but hear us out. Rather than focus on specific shades and combinations of colors, think in overall tones—which are warm, cool or neutral. Getting too specific too soon about color palettes and nuances in shades can get overwhelming very fast. Instead, by focusing on the overall color feeling of warm hues or neutral tones, you’ll be able to narrow down your focus and dive into color more when you look for a pattern or design you love. 

  • Consider Your Pattern Palette. Now we get to the fun part. Keeping your style and overall color tone in mind, it’ll set you up to identify patterns and designs that resonate with you. For instance, if your style leans glam and your home has lots of jewel tones, an accent wallpaper pattern with notes of cool sapphire and turquoise will work seamlessly. On the other hand, if you’re looking to freshen up the look in your family-friendly home with kids, you may be equal parts classic and modern, and a warm-hued accent wallpaper with bursts of yellow and orange might feel more homey and welcoming. Use your style and color decisions as your guide!

  • Think Materials & Textures. From metallic finishes to smooth performance vinyls, there are endless wallpaper options beyond just color and pattern. If you’re adding an accent wallpaper in a high-traffic room, you may want to go with a stain-resistance performance vinyl. Or if you’re decorating a sitting room that’s reserved for entertaining on special occasions, a shimmery metallic wallpaper might be your pick. With materials and textures, decide by considering how you use your spaces. 

  • Keep Scale In Mind. There are small-scale patterns and there are bold oversize designs when it comes to wallpaper. Depending on where you add your accent wall, the size and scale of your pattern can have a huge impact. For example, a large-scale design on an accent wallpaper in a bedroom will make for an instant focus, whereas a small-scale pattern will be more captivating in a powder room. 

  • Don’t Forget Removable Styles. Today’s wallpaper options include removable vinyls that make it easy to experiment with a wide range of accent wallpaper ideas in your home. If you’re unsure about committing to a long-term accent wall look, this is a great option to test the waters and decide if you want a more permanent wallpaper down the line. 


Liven Up Your Entry

 Image credit: Domino

What better way to welcome guests into your home than with a chic accent wallpaper lining your entryway. Opt for a large-scale pattern or a geometric design that lends form and structure. With any entry space, a big, eye-catching pattern will not only help ground the space but also provide a versatile backdrop that you can easily dress up or down as needed with furniture and decor. Because the entry is a high-traffic area, you may also want to consider a performance wallpaper that’s more impervious to scuffs and stains. 


Add Contrast To Your Living Area

 Image credit: The Spruce

An elegant way to introduce contrast into a living room is to play up an accent wall that’s covered in a bright pattern. It provides a vibrant focal point and can usher in a color, a sense of warmth, as well as a feeling of comfort. Try an accent wallpaper with a small-scale print or design, which will draw the eye from afar and bring an intriguing element to your living space. 


Set A New Dining Focus

Image credit: Cole & Son

More and more, dining rooms are becoming everyday spaces used for meals and work alike. Which is more the reason to give it a style upgrade with a sophisticated accent wall approach. If you’re looking to add a touch of glam in your home, your dining room is the perfect place for a metallic wallpaper or one with a silvery or lustrous finish. Or try adding a modern wallpaper design with a streamlined, minimalist pattern to set a chic, calming scene. 


Punch Up A Powder Room

Image credit: House Beautiful

If you’re looking to experiment with wallpaper in a big way, a powder room or second bathroom in your home is the best place to do so. Whether you work in a wallpaper pattern on one wall or the entire space, it’s sure to give your small bathroom a more elevated and formal look. While we suggest starting with a smaller-scale pattern, there’s no hard and fast rule here, so opt for a large print or a metallic design if it’s more in line with your style aesthetic.  


Brighten Your Bedroom

 Image credit: Heidi Caillier

When it comes to accent wallpaper in the bedroom, decide if you want your space to feel more vibrant and lively or have a softer, more serene look. Either way, we suggest making your wallpaper accent wall in the bedroom the one behind your bed, which will set the overall tone of your space. It also makes for an eye-catching backdrop. For instance, a graphic and moody floral will convey a modern, romantic vibe while a more traditional stripe or floral will provide a feeling of classic comfort and charm. Think of your bedroom accent wallpaper as the window with a view you’d like to see (and never tire of). 


Want an expert to help bring your accent wallpaper ideas to life? Start working with one of our Decorist designers, who are ready to help realize your vision. 


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