Once you’ve built a custom home, the next step is interior design! One design idea many people ponder over is accent walls. Accent walls, or feature walls, are single walls in a room that are highlighted in some manner. It could be that they’re painted a bold color, covered in shiplap, or wallpapered. Accent walls used to be super popular, but they’ve fallen out of favor recently. If you’re considered one, here are all of the pros and cons of including an accent wall in your custom home!


Pros of Accent Walls


Highlight Interesting Features

Accent walls work best when they highlight a pre-existing interesting architectural detail. That includes elements like an asymmetrical wall, a fireplace wall, or any other cool details. The accent wall will pull even more attention to the architectural detail, really making it pop.


Creates Definition

In open-concept homes, sometimes people struggle with defining different spaces. Items like furniture and rugs can help separate the living room from the dining room, but so can feature walls. An accent wall can draw attention to one area of open-concept space, visually helping to define it from the rest.


Makes Rooms Feel Larger

Depending on the room and the wall chosen to be featured, an accent wall can make a space feel larger. In a smaller room, painting one wall a dark and dramatic color can add depth to the space. This makes the room feel bigger than it actually is. Be careful with this idea though as sometimes an accent wall can have the opposite effect and make a space feel smaller!


Adds Texture

When people hear “accent wall” they often think of paint. But accent walls can be made using brick, stone, wool, wallpaper and so much more. These elements add texture and dimension to a room, which is a great way to make a space feel richer and more thoughtfully designed.


Cons of an Accent Wall


Reads Dated

Accent walls were widely popular during the early 2000s. Due to that, these days many people often consider them dated style-wise. It doesn’t help that most people don’t know how to properly do an accent wall, which leads to bad results that only reinforce the idea that feature walls should be left in the past.


Chops Up a Space

While accent walls can define a space, they also tend to just chop up a room. Many people pick any wall to highlight, but not every wall should be accented. Picking the wrong wall, or doing an accent wall in the wrong room, can just make the space feel choppy and not cohesive.


Makes a Room Busy

There is such a thing as too much design in a space. If you have a room that is already bold or cluttered, adding an accent wall will only make the situation worse. Sometimes less is more. A downside of feature walls is that they can make a room feel chaotic or too busy.


Pulls Focus or Feels Random

The key to a good accent wall is picking the right room and wall for it. This is by far the biggest mistake people make. Often they select any wall, even if there is nothing worth highlighting. This can result in the feature feeling random. It can also lead to the feature wall pulling focus from other elements that might be more worthy to highlight.


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