Accent Wall Ideas: 15 Design Trends to Update Your Style
| Fact Checked By: Ashley De Zeeuw
Published: March 20, 2020 | Updated: March 30, 2021
If you want a quick, easy, and budget-friendly way to refresh your room, an accent wall is perfect for you. There are lots of accent wall ideas out there to inspire your style, but you might be asking yourself, “Are accent walls still in style?”
The answer is undoubtedly, yes! There are a lot of reasons for this.
First, accent walls are budget-friendly. You can improve your space without breaking the bank. They also offer a good way to decorate small spaces. Plus, if you’re a renter, or you’re just not ready to commit to a permanent change, plenty of accent walls are temporary or easily changed back.
With all those benefits in mind, it’s time to explore some accent wall ideas and gather inspiration for your personal style. We’ll cover accent wall types as well as the biggest trends. But first…
Accent Wall Dos and Don’ts
Before you start on your wall decor, consider these tips to make sure you’re completely happy with the final result.
- Pay attention to color tone and temperature: The last thing you want is to put the finishing touches on your wall and then realize that something about the color or pattern seems off. Make sure everything in the room coordinates before you begin.
- Consider how the space is used: A bathroom accent wall has different requirements than a bedroom or living room accent wall. How is the room typically used? Will it face exposure to lots of moisture or sunlight?
- Think about installation difficulty: Some accent walls are more difficult to install than others, and you might even need to hire a pro for some of them. Still, if you’re really in love with the look, the extra effort will be worth it.
Now, without further ado, here are the biggest trends in accent walls!
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Accent Wall Types
Choose from a variety of options, including peel and stick vinyl, wall tile, and even decorative plant panels.
Wood Accent Wall
Wood plank accent walls are by far the biggest trend right now, and for good reason! With tons of color and grain options, there’s a wood look for virtually any style.
Right now, there’s a high demand for reclaimed wood paneling made from old barn wood or pallets. Lots of people choose reclaimed wood because its warm and rustic look fits with farmhouse style trends. Still, you can just as easily create a cool and contemporary aesthetic with wood.
The thing about wood is that it doesn’t do well with high moisture. For areas like bathrooms, real wood walls can struggle, so it’s best to go with a wood-look tile alternative. Wood-look tile can even mimic reclaimed wood. It’s hard to tell it apart from the real thing!
If you want a cheaper option for less moisture-prone areas, consider wood-look laminate for walls.
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Vinyl Accent Wall
Peel and stick vinyl tiles are one of the easiest options for sprucing up your space. Installation is as simple as removing the backing and firmly pressing the tile into place on a dry, clean surface.
The adhesive is strong enough to secure the vinyl tiles to the wall for as long as you want, but it still allows you to easily peel off the tiles if you ever want to remove them. That makes peel and stick vinyl the perfect wall covering for renters.
Vinyl wall tiles come in various colors and patterns, and you can easily find some of the trendier looks, like Moroccan tile and geometric patterns. On top of all that, they’re affordable, too. What’s not to love?
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Tile Accent Wall
Wall tile is the most versatile and durable option for an accent wall. Because manufacturers can make tile look like almost anything, from natural wood and stone to more decorative shapes, you’re sure to find tile that fits your style.
Tile is the best solution if you want to create an accent wall in a high-moisture area like a kitchen or bathroom. All glazed tiles are waterproof, and the permanent installation means your walls and backsplashes will stay safe and dry.
With a tile accent wall, you can create bold focal points in any space, with the assurance that it’s there to last. It’s a great way to invest in your home!
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Floral Accent Wall
There’s nothing like the great outdoors, am I right? Florals and greenery bring brightness and freshness to any space. While a floral stencil or wallpaper would work just fine, you can kick it up a notch with the hyper-realistic visuals of artificial plant decor.
It’s easy to cover an entire wall with artificial plant panels, and when you’re done, you have the beauty of live plants without all the work! This trend of plant wall panels is especially popular in bright, airy contemporary spaces.
Best of all, you can use artificial plant decor both inside and outside. While it looks realistic, it won’t attract pests, and it’s simple to clean as well.
Stone Accent Wall
For a luxury look, natural stone or stone-look tile is the way to go. Stone-look wall tile works with any aesthetic, from rustic to modern and everything in between. 3D stacked stone and pebble tiles are especially popular right now.
The beautiful shapes and color variations in natural stone are popular with people who want a touch of authenticity in the home. However, with natural stone, that beauty comes with a hefty price tag. Stone-look tile is a budget-friendly alternative that doesn’t require as much maintenance.
If having genuine stone is important to you, but tiling a full wall would break the bank, consider using natural stone as an accent in a smaller area, like a kitchen or bathroom backsplash.
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Brick Accent Wall
Exposed brick is sought-after for its contemporary industrial style, but there’s also something classic and timeless about it. Because it’s so versatile, brick is a popular choice for accent walls.
Sometimes creating a brick accent wall means uncovering existing brick, but more often you’ll be installing a brick-look veneer. With brick-look tile, you get that same classic surface with less hassle.
Photorealistic imaging ensures that no one will be able to tell if it’s the real thing or not. Another great thing about brick-look tile is that it can be installed in places where real brick might not be the perfect option, like in bathrooms.
Paint Accent Wall
Paint is a cheap and easy way to create an accent wall. All it takes is a pop of color or a pattern to add some depth and personality to any room. With this low barrier to entry, there’s no surprise that paint can be the first choice for many people.
As you choose the color and/or pattern, make sure you don’t pick something that clashes, since even neutrals have undertones and temperatures that might not go with everything. When considering patterns, think about what’s really popular in tile right now: herringbone, chevrons, geometrics, and stripes.
While simple and easy, paint can fall a bit flat. If you’re looking for something that really shows off your style, consider branching out with a painted mural or stencils.
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Wallpaper Accent Wall
Wallpaper once had a less-than-stellar reputation, because it could be hard to install and even harder to remove. These days, wallpaper is really easy to apply and peel off, so it’s a great option for an accent wall for renters. Sometimes it’s even called renter’s wallpaper because it doesn’t require any water or glue.
Along with easy installation, you have a lot of styles to choose from when it comes to wallpaper. You can find those classic floral patterns or go with something really modern; the choice is yours!
Wallpaper accent walls work best in low-moisture areas, so avoid bathrooms. Try to use wallpaper in areas without a lot of architectural features. This will make the application easier and also allow the pattern to be the star of the show.
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Accent Wall Trends
You know about your wall treatment options, so now it’s time to discover some of the trendiest accent wall ideas.
Herringbone Accent Wall
When you’re talking about accent wall trends, you have to talk about the herringbone pattern. This incredibly popular pattern is perfect for accent walls, adding a pop of personality to any space. It’s pretty easy to copy in your own home. Just install subway tile at intersecting 45-degree angles, and ta-da! You have a herringbone accent wall.
Stenciled Accent Wall
Stenciled walls offer an effortless way to include both color and pattern. The color doesn’t necessarily have to be bold, as many people are opting for a subtle or geometric pattern with neutral colors. That allows you to experiment with more adventurous decor. While stencils are usually painted, lots of porcelain and ceramic tiles are coming out with already-stenciled looks, such as the tiles in this image.
Decorative Accent Wall
Abstract and highly decorative accents add an artisanal touch. This category includes so many unique styles that it’s hard to describe them all, but you can expect patchwork looks, bold shapes, and one-of-a-kind personality. Typically, if you go with a highly decorative accent wall, it’s a good idea to tone it down with clean lines and neutrals in the rest of the room.
Geometric Accent Wall
Complex, modern geometric patterns are incredibly popular right now. Bringing a geometric pattern into your space gives you the opportunity to play around with colors and contrasts. If you make a bold statement with your pattern, it adds another layer to the decor.
Striped Accent Wall
Striped accent walls are a classic! Vertically striped walls make the room look taller, while horizontal stripes on an accent wall can create the appearance of a larger, wider room. You can achieve the striped accent wall with tile, paint, or even wallpaper.
Textured/3D Accent Wall
Subtle wall texture is a growing trend for accent walls because texture creates an accent in a different way. If the color matches the rest of the room, but the texture is different, then it adds interest to the room without being overwhelming. This is a good choice for more minimalist spaces.
Glass Accent Wall
One fun way to add dimension to an accent wall is to experiment with different finishes. Move away from that dull matte and explore glass tiles, metallics, and mirrors. Adding some reflective or glossy surfaces can be overwhelming if you apply this treatment to the whole wall, which is why it’s the perfect technique for a modern accent wall.
Did we miss anything? Leave it in the comments – we’d love to hear your thoughts!
The world of accent walls is an exciting place, constantly offering new, innovative ways to introduce style to small areas. If you have any questions, or if you want more help creating the perfect accent wall for you, get in touch! We can hook you up with a personal flooring consultant.
Or if you’re ready to get creative on your own, you can start with free samples.