Utilizing Accent Colors


We all love bold and vibrant colors. Yet most homeowners are reluctant to use bold paint colors in their home. Why? There are several reasons, I think.

Firstly, too much of a single vibrant color can wash out a room and overwhelm the viewer. I’ve seen any number of rooms sheathed entirely in red or (worse yet) pink and it served only to give the viewer a headache.

Secondly, too much of a dark color can soak up all of a room’s available light, turning the room into a small, dark cave.

In spite of these drawbacks, all room NEED color. They create personality and depth. They can also be used to accent furniture and artwork.

Accent colors are a fantastic option for those worried about “overdoing” color in their space. Do you want a punch of vibrant red without worry about migraines? Use red as an accent color.


Accent colors can be done in a couple of different ways. The most popular way is to create a dividers of some sort on your walls. A chair rail or trim placed around the center of the wall. A wallpaper border. Beadboard paneling. Anything that can effectively divide the wall(s) into two separate pieces.

The accent color should be used on one half, and a lighter, more neutral color on the other half. Red and white really compliment each other well, as do blue and white.

Another ideas it the use of an accent wall. Choose a single wall in a room (usually the shortest and most visible wall) and paint that with your bold color choice. Then paint the rest of the room with something bright and neutral.

Both of these ideas will allow you to give your space a much-needed splash of color without suffocating the room in that color.

How do you know what color to choose? Look in your existing furnishings and artwork and find something (perhaps even just a small detail) that you like, and use that.

For more creative ideas, consider using a faux finish painting technique!

2 Responses

  1. This is helpful, but what I’d like to know is HOW to paint the accent wall. To get the nice crisp edges w/o the one color all over the other or fuzzy corners. Every painters tape I have used has bleed through or pulls the paint off no matter how long ago it had been painted.

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