How to Make Over a Room with an Accent Wall… Plus My Living Room Makeover

One of the things I love about my apartment is that I can paint the walls. This is the first home in which I’ve had this freedom. Granted, I have to paint the walls back before I move, but it’s a small price to pay for a large, luscious expanse of color.

Aqua accent wall living room makeover Opal Silk Behr The DIY Homegirl
When I first moved in, I wanted to paint every room! But when I considered the cost, time, and effort it would take to paint (and paint back when I’d move down the road), that dream got a little smaller.

No worries, I came up with a compromise: paint an accent wall in only one room. I chose my living room, since this is the largest room and would benefit the most from some color.

Continue reading to find out how I transformed my living room with an accent wall and my tips on how you can do the same.

I wasn’t sold on the idea of an accent wall at first. I couldn’t get past thoughts of random walls painted hunter green, rose, or country blue… I must’ve been traumatized by bad examples in the 80s.

But when I checked out some examples of how an accent wall can be great when done properly, I was sold. An accent wall would save me time, money, and most importantly, infuse my space with uniqueness.

Here are my favorite tips for painting an accent wall in your home:

  1. Choose a wall that includes a focal point or interesting architecture, such as a fireplace.
  2. If your room lacks a focal point, create it with the accent wall. Upon entering the room, use the wall that your eyes naturally rests upon.
  3. Test your paint color options in the room before taking the plunge. You can do this by buying sample paint pots and painting a large piece of foamboard. Compare it to your decor and observe how the color changes during the day, evening, and in artificial light.
  4. If you’re creating an accent wall in a bedroom, your best bet is to paint the wall in which the head of the bed sits. This helps anchor the bed as the focal point.
  5. Another option is to select the wall that receives the most sunlight, as it will reflect its painted color on the other walls of the room.
  6. Paint your accent wall a bold color. It’s the perfect balance between infusing your space with stand-out color and going overboard.
  7. Take your time cutting in! Because this wall will pop out and be more on display, you want your lines to be crisp.

Actually, I painted almost two accent walls. :) I created an L-shape by using the longest wall in the living room, the one that starts in entrance of my apartment, and most of the wall that includes my patio doors. I chose these walls to draw the eye into my living room upon entering and to give this room an enveloping effect of color.

For my accent wall, I chose aqua because it would be harmonious with my existing decor of navy blue and cobalt. But the shade had to be perfect: bright, yet mature and sophisticated. It also had to be a shade that would easily coordinate with a new color scheme if when I change it in the future.

Finally, perfection came in Behr’s Opal Silk, a shade of aqua reminiscent of the sea.

Behr Opal Silk accent wall living room makeover by The DIY Homegirl

My living room also received a makeover with some of the decor. I changed the curtains on the patio doors to sheers in a soft aqua color that matches the walls. (Teresia from IKEA.) I did this to give the illusion of more width in the room.

living room cobalt navy blue decor Arabesque MCM DIY furniture

Before…

navy cobalt blue gray aqua living room accent wall makeover The DIY Homegirl

…after.

I also added more houseplants to the room. To accommodate the extra plants, I whipped up a few macramé hanging baskets. The shelves I’ve had for some time; I revamped these by painting them with the same wall paint. The milk glass on the shelves add a vintage, yet modern feel to the room.
Living Room Aqua Accent Wall Makeover sofa corner with macrame and milk glass wall shelves chopstick holders ZZ plant Anita bush navy cobalt The DIY HomegirlOne of the biggest changes in the decor was in a simple swap of wall art. I originally had my DIY inkblot art hung in the corner behind the sofa, but my DIY distressed Absinthe poster was a much nicer fit.
Distressed Absinthe poster canvas art aqua living room accent wall makeover The DIY Homegirl

I also restyled the wall where my TV and Expedit bookshelves sit. To reflect the limited natural light my living room receives, I hung a wall mirror here. The mirror also adds more color by reflecting the hanging plants and the painted accent wall opposite it. More macramé and houseplants were used to help soften all the angles in this area.
Expedit TV console entertainment center living room accent wall makeover mosaic mirror macrame hanging basket houseplants DIY inkblot art The DIY HomegirlThat’s it! I haven’t shown you the entrance or dining room yet, as I’m still adding some finishing touches to these areas. Be sure to check back for these updates and more, as I work my way through decorating this new home of mine!

What was your first paint color? What do you think of accent walls? Does your home have an accent wall?

Thanks for visiting! Let’s stay connected!

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34 thoughts on “How to Make Over a Room with an Accent Wall… Plus My Living Room Makeover

  1. Sharon V

    What a big impact the accent walls make! I especially like the mirror over your tv and how it reflects the aqua to that side of the room, makes it look like artwork instead of just a mirror.

    Reply
  2. Corinna Ashley [ForMyLoveOf]

    I grew up and lived in rentals up until I was 21. My husband and I bought a house and I have been on a mission to paint every single wall. We first did my son’s room Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore. Then I painted a Hexagon patterned accent wall in the living room. I recently finished up the living room and adjacent hallway with a bright, slightly grey teal. I love painted walls, and you are so lucky that you have that option in a rental! <3

    Reply
    1. The DIY Homegirl Post author

      Ah yes, I remember your hexagon wall! Yours was so unique and creative, it stuck in my mind (that’s saying a lot considering how forgetful I can be!). Thank you for commenting and stopping over!

      Reply
  3. dana@chocolateandsunshine.com

    Hi. Visiting from Huckleberry Love Linky tonight. First time and happy to have found you as we both love home design. Great colors and I like the two accent walls you featured. I’ll follow your social media. Great to meet you!
    Dana

    Reply
  4. Carrie From Carrie This Home

    I love the color you chose for the accent wall! How great it is that you’re able to paint in your apartment because it really makes a difference! I’ll be featuring this post at the next Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop!

    Reply
  5. Shelia

    Wow! The paint color made a huge difference – it looks great! I love the way you provided contrast by using the royal/navy blue. Great job!

    Reply
  6. laura irion

    things i love: that you made it an L-shape…i’ve really never seen an accent wall done that way and it adds so much interest! i also love how you painted the wall shelves the same color as the wall. they add texture without being busy, and really show off those wonderful white vases. great job on a great room!

    Reply

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