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Hot Home Trend: The Accent Wall Is Back

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It's bold and adds a dramatic statement to a room.


By: Melissa Dittmann Tracey | October 4, 2021

Make a bold statement with just one wall. The accent or statement wall is coming back as a home trend in 2021, says Brian Santos, director of education for Fresh Coat Painters, a nationwide painting firm, who’s also known as the “Wall Wizard.” Statement walls also pay homage to another hot trend emerging in home design: the influence of the “Roaring Twenties.”

Santos says many homeowners are getting inspired by harkening back to the 1920s, when vibrant wall colors were the norm. Consumers are tying in deeper, brighter colors—such as bronze, teal, and black-and-gold combos—with all the “Agreeable Greys” and beiges that have recently dominated design concepts.

But instead of covering an entire room in these bolder colors, homeowners are adding just a hint of hue with the statement wall. “The background palettes for three walls are mostly neutral,” Santos says. “And then, you use the fourth wall as a focus wall to add more drama to the room.”

View some of the ways accent walls are making a statement.

Black Walls

Paint the wall that showcases your television jet-black. That’s what Santos did while keeping the surrounding walls a lighter beige and white. “It’s a museum kind of effect,” Santos says. “It’s not just a shade up or down in tone but a very dramatic contrast.”

Photo courtesy Fresh Coat Interiors

Stripes or Patterns

The statement wall can become artwork with bold patterns like black and white stripes.

Photo courtesy Fresh Coat Interiors

Subtle Pops of Color

Even a small area can be used to create a focal point, such as a wall niche or section of a hallway. For example, in the foyer below, one wall in a hallway was painted burgundy to complement the beige wallpaper. Artwork was also used to dress up the statement wall.

Photo courtesy Fresh Coat Interiors

Layering the Layout

By painting one wall in your open floor plan, you can bring depth to a space.

Photo courtesy Fresh Coat Interiors

Painted Ceilings

The room’s fifth wall—the ceiling—also can make a bold statement.

Photo courtesy Fresh Coat Interiors


Melissa Dittmann Tracey is a contributing editor for REALTOR® Magazine, editor of the Styled, Staged & Sold blog, and produces a segment called "Hot or Not?" in home design that airs on NAR’s Real Estate Today radio show.

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