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5 accent walls no design fan can resist

Accent wall design/Photographer: Emily Minton Redfield/An accent wall by Duet Design Group.

The right accent wall is chic, not cheesy—but it’s also an art that few have mastered. We checked in with 5 top interior designers on their recent accent wall designs—plus, tips on how to approach the technique. Read on for the colorful scoop!

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Traci Connell of Traci Connell Interiors starts by considering "where the main flow of the room will be and which wall would be best to make a statement." Kirsten Grove of We Three Design suggests choosing "a wall that feels like the anchor wall in the room. An example of a good accent wall would be a fireplace wall. It already acts as the pillar of the room." Headboard walls, hallways, and even "the fifth wall, the ceiling," designer Kate Rainwater of Duet Design Group points out, are all fair game and pose "a great opportunity to add a pop of color or go bold."

Accent wall in jewelry store/Photographer: Jenny Losee/Interior design by We Three Design.

When sourcing your accents, keep it simple: "If you’re choosing a wallpaper with a variety of color and pattern, choose a paint color that complements the paper without competing," Kirsten suggests. "For instance, if your wallpaper has blue, green, taupe, and black represented, choose a taupe or a soft green as the paint color. You never want the wallpaper and paint color fighting for attention!"

Bedroom interior design/Photographer: Jessie Preza/Interior design by Rachel Cannon Interiors.

Molly Ballard of Castle Design says, "Keeping paint colors complementary to the paper helps maintain balance in a space. For example, we are using a rather loud paper in a client’s primary bath water closet. Instead of wrapping a long, narrow space in something that might make the room feel smaller, we are only applying the paper to one wall." She’ll then scan the wallpaper’s background color, and match a paint to cover the remaining walls.

Accent wall bedroom design/Photographer: Hector Sanchez/Interior design by Barry Goralnick.

Try using the accent wall to highlight art, like Barry Goralnick ofGoralnick Architecture & Design. "Featuring one accent wall can provide drama, but still create balance. I really like color behind art. At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, there is a lot of background color and fabric. It makes the art pop," he says. "People assume you need a white wall, which is not really true."

Accent wall design/Photographer: Michael Hunter Photography/Interior design by Traci Connell Interiors.

Molly is using a similar technique to highlight art, but also conceal a design flaw in a home with "a wall that creates the perfect focal point for a fabulous piece of art to pull you in and guide you down the hallway. Guess what absolutely had to be on that wall? Two 14" air return vents to balance the heat from the windows surrounding the stair!" Her fix? An accent wall, couples with "a dynamic piece of art to distract the eye from a necessary evil."

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