If you just moved into a new place, or your just feel like your current one needs and upgrade, there are about 1,000 ways you give your room a makeover. There are also about a thousand reasons I suggest starting with accent walls, but the biggest are as follows. One, because a single wall isn’t very hard to transform. It can be done in a few hours. Two, because you can get away with bolder colors or patterns if you stick to one wall. Three, because it gives a room an instant focal point. Four, because it saves money. And five, because a lot of times, one wall is really all it takes to transform the looks of an entire room. I really could go on but I’ll stop there.
I’ve personally relied on the accent wall quite a bit already in our new condo, which needed to basically be painted from top to bottom. My two favorite results are in our nursery and master bedroom, which I wallpapered and painted, respectively. Here’s the rundown and results of each.
I’ve never wallpapered and was frankly pretty intimidated by the whole process, the soaking, the pattern matching, the trimming … not to mention if you ever change your mind. I decided go to for it in our son’s nursery because the wall I wanted to wallpaper was only 9 ft x 9 ft, and I didn’t want to re-paint the entire room, just give it a new spin. But the main reason I went the wallpaper route is because I discovered that there’s a whole new genre of wallpaper out there that’s both easy to put up and easy to take down…
Here’s the room the way the previous owners had it:
After what was literally about a month of looking, I settled on Graham & Brown’s Marble Gray and White pattern. It went with the neutral theme of the nursery, and felt fun but not babyish, which is nice since it can grown with our son.
Plus, the wallpaper was paste the wall style, which is easier than traditional wallpaper because you don’t need to soak it in water before applying it. Instead you just use a paintbrush to paint the wall with wallpaper paste, and then stick the wallpaper to the wall. The good thing about a small wall + easy product is that the entire project took about 3 hours. The hardest part of this particular paper was matching the pattern–if it wasn’t for that I probably could have shaved an hour off. Disclosure: My mother in law helped, and I would definitely call this a two-person job.
Here’s the room after the wallpaper went up, baby photo bomb and all.
The master bedroom was a bit of a different story because the whole room needed to be painted. I didn’t like the original paint color, and the walls were also just filthy. Pure, simple white is my favorite paint color, but I knew I wanted to add some character to the room and make it feel a little more sophisticated. There is no color out there that says “sophisticated” more than black, so that’s what I settled on.
Here’s the room before we moved in.
The key with a black wall, or any color wall really, is to make sure you get the right shade. Things always, always look different in the store than they do on the wall. So, I did some research on Pinterest and went to Lowe’s with three colors in mind. Only one of them was from a brand Lowe’s actually carried, Tricorn Black by Sherwin Williams. The other two shades, Soot and Onyx were by Benjamin Moore, but both Lowe’s and Home Depot can mix BM paint colors (and other brands they don’t carry) as long as you have the names.
Here they are on the wall, from left: Tricorn Black, Soot, and Onyx. I ended up going with Onyx, because on my walls it looked like the truest black. Tricorn Black was a bit too purple, and Soot was a bit too gray.
One thing to note about painting an accent wall: it’s essential to tape off the walls, trim, floors and ceiling with painters tape, because any coloring outside the lines will be very apparent. The edges — taping them then trimming them with paint–was definitely the most time consuming part. But all in all, this project also only took about three hours from start to finish.
Here’s the final space:
In my opinion, two totally transformative and worthwhile projects that made each room feel more elevated and thoughtful. What do you think?