Back against the Wall
Many homes can feel boring and cold, even after putting in furniture and some decoration, particularly when lots of concrete, often painted white, is used.
Consider creating a focal, or accent, wall. By adding a bit of colour or texture to a wall, or two, the impact of the white walls can be softened, drawing the eye and create a point of interest within a room.
Usually the accent wall is the first thing that people see when entering a room. Accent walls can also be used to define a separate area in a larger space. In an open-plan house, you can use an accent wall to define a smaller reading area, for example.
By far the simplest, and most popular, way to do this is with a gallon of paint and a few hours over a weekend. For more drama, however, consider thinking in three dimensions. Using a different material can be a very dynamic and exciting way of creating interest in a room. The juxtaposition of a different kind of material, preferably in its natural state, adds contrast, texture, depth and visual appeal right away. Accent walls are particularly useful in expansive spaces, allowing a designer, or homeowner to break up the space, visually.
There is a wide variety of materials that can be used. Consider using a unique material such as stone, tile, a hardwood, or even brick. We explore some interesting material choices that can be used to give your accent walls some real zing.
Brick. Quite possibly the original accent wall. It will give a good grounding to otherwise modern rooms. While traditionally red brick is easiest to find, there are other colours that are available. Bring old-world charm into a modern space. Experiment with a herringbone bonding pattern to offer some uniqueness. Mix and match dark, with lighter shades of brick to break up any monotony.
Hardwood. A material just as comfortable being a wall as it does being a floor. A wall clad in hardwood is a great way to add warmth to a room. Hardy woods such as greenheart or mahogany are a few local favourites, but the choice of material is really only limited by imagination (or availability). Thin pieces installed horizontally give the impression of a larger or longer room. Alternatively, choose pieces with varying grains and install at different depths for a 3-D illusion.
Stone. With the different kinds of stone available, combined with the different sizes and finishes, every wall will be unique. Anguilla stone is one such option. Local availability and familiarity among local builders makes this material worth considering. Travertine, marble and granite are popular, if expensive, options. Natural or manufactured stone veneers and stone tiles give the look of high-end masonry work, but at lower cost and weight.
Textured gypsum wall board. A decidedly modern material in inspiration, as well as execution, it is becoming a very popular way of creating a textured wall. Very modular, these panels allow the patterns to be replicated seamlessly over a large area. Although they typically come in white, the panels are easily painted to work with, or contrast any colour scheme. Add some creative lighting to bring the three-dimensionality to life.
Tile. Not just for bathrooms and kitchens, tiles are a great alternative to consider for an accent wall. The choices of colour, size, texture, finish, quality and type of tile are endless. Tile is also a great option since it is fairly easy to source.
For a departure from the norm, consider sheet mosaic tiles in glass or stone, to add visual texture and interesting patterns. For a high-end, modern look combine glossy, high-quality marble tiles with paper-thin grout lines.
Grasscloth. Similar to regular wallpaper in its application, this material is great way to add natural texture to your accent wall. Manufactured from long strips of dried natural plans, such as jute, grass, or hemp, the fibrous nature of the material allows it to hide the holes left back from removed picture hooks or thumbtacks.