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Picking an accent colour to enhance each room

The colours you pick set the tone for your home, and while you may long for bold, dramatic colours, that kind of commitment is scary. Instead of using daring colours for the whole room, make an accent wall. You get the colour you’re looking for with less potentially-overwhelming risk.

woman painting an accent wall

Choose your wall

Pick your accent wall before you decide what colour to make it. Warm tones (think red, yellow and orange) tend to make a space shrink, while cool tones like blue and green make an area appear larger. If you have a long wall or a large space, warm colours work. If the room is tiny, stick with cooler colours.

Look at your light

Take a good look at the light that streams into your space and think about how it will affect your colours. If your accent wall is hit with warm sunshine all day long, painting it yellow or other warm tones may just be too much. Instead, choose a cooler colour so the two can balance each other out. Blues, greens and purples make great accents in rooms with tons of sun.

The same is true for a wall that gets little or no light. A warm accent wall may be just what you need to warm up a dark and dreary area. It’s surprising how a splash of yellow, gold or even orange can brighten the tone of a room.

Look at what you’ve got

Unless you’re looking to completely overhaul your room, take a look at your current decor. Do you have more than one colour already floating around? If so, think about choosing one of those hues for your accent wall. For instance, if you have a fabulous sofa or a piece of artwork you love, consider pulling a colour from it to help bring cohesion to your room. Too many colours can make a room confusing, so it’s important to accentuate with a colour that’s already part of the space.

Go with your gut

Have you always wanted a red dining room or a lime-green family room? Painting an entire room a vibrant shade like those may be enough to send you into a panic. Make your dreams come true in a way that’s a little less dramatic by using that colour for your accent wall. It’s a lot less shocking (and a lot easier to change) when you’ve only painted one wall.

Quick Tip

Before you commit to a colour, paint pieces of posterboard with it and hang them on your wall for a few days to see how they’ll feel.

More colour tips from SheKnows

A guide to painting accent walls
Chic walls on the cheap

10 Bright and budget-friendly bedroom decorating ideas

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