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How to Create an Accent Wall in Your House

How to Create an Accent Wall in Your House main article image
Posted on September 25, 2021 by Jennifer Carroll
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We bought our home almost two years ago and I started doing some simple renovations right away. We painted the inside of the house, and I painted the fireplace surround with a whitewashing technique and decorated the living room first thing. I worked on the bedrooms and my husband’s office and put some effort into the bathrooms. I saved the kitchen for last because I wanted to take some time to formulate my ideas. And ya’ know what? It’s hard to work on a kitchen when you’re using it all the time!

This past spring, I decided I was ready to do some simple, on-a-budget decorating. I knew I wanted an accent wall on the only blank wall in the room. Kitchens generally don’t have a lot of wall space because appliances and other necessities like a sink and possibly a window fill the walls.

I cleaned my kitchen from top to bottom before I started any projects. I wanted to see exactly what I had to work with. I also spent some time looking at sites like Pinterest and décor sites that match my style choices. I had started a collection of things that I wanted to use so that when I was ready everything I needed would be available. A little planning never hurt anything!

Inspiration

My inspiration was our fireplace surround. It was a red brick that I painted with a whitewash. I love the way it turned out and I wanted a similar look in the kitchen. I had a few options to consider. Home Depot and Lowes both sell 4’x8’ panels that look like brick. I didn’t like the colors that were available, but I knew I could paint it just like my fireplace. I would need at least three panels to cover my wall and at least one person to help hang them.  I decided not to go with that option though. My husband doesn’t enjoy the DIY process quite as much as I do, and this would have been a bigger project than I could handle by myself. We work very well together in most instances, but if it involves measuring or artistic input, Dan would rather not be involved.

I ended up ordering a wallpaper I saw on QVC. I knew it would work with the other elements I had ready to display and it was something I could do in a couple of hours on my own. I began the process by wiping down the wall from top to bottom. If you’re going to apply anything to your walls it’s a good idea to clean them first. I think that was the hardest part of the process. Seriously. Have you hung wallpaper lately? Or ever? Years ago, it was a complicated process that involved several tedious steps and potentially ended in tears. This wallpaper is a whole new animal. You unroll it, trim it to the height you need to cover your wall from top to bottom. The pattern on the brick was made to match up at any point, so I just unrolled the next length and matched up the mortar lines. I did that five times and the bricks were all laid! It really was that simple.

Time to decorate!

After my wallpaper was installed the canvas of my accent wall was ready to decorate. I started with three floating shelves. I picked these up at my local Habitat for Humanity Resale Store when they had a 50% off sale. They were a cherry finish and I wanted them to be lighter, so I painted them with chalk paint, distressed them a little, and gave them a finish coat of wax. They didn’t come with the hardware needed to hang them, so I bought a hanging kit for floating shelves at Home Depot. I decorated the shelves by adding items that coordinated and went well together. It’s important to use items that vary in height and texture. I put my taller pieces like the breadboards in the back where they could still be seen after I added the smaller decorative elements.

To add texture to my accent wall I used a greenery garland from Hobby Lobby. They were fifty percent off which is the only time I buy anything from Hobby Lobby. If the item you’re looking for isn’t on sale this week, just wait a week or two and it will be. I don’t usually need anything so badly that I can’t wait a few days to save a little money.

I found most of the items I used on my accent wall at thrift stores. If you like to go thrift store shopping and see an item you like that isn’t the color palette you’re looking for – paint it! Paint is the cheapest and easiest way to give almost anything a makeover. I found the iron frames I have stacked on my accent wall at my favorite thrift store for a dollar apiece. I loved them, but they weren’t the right color. I just gave them a coat of the same chalk paint I used on my shelves, distressed them, and hit the high points with some bronze gilding wax. I have the same color featured throughout my kitchen and this little touch helped tie my look together. And I love the openness of these frames. I didn’t want to cover the brick wallpaper with bulky things that would cover the look I was trying to achieve.

I had plans for my whole kitchen, not just an accent wall. I resurfaced my countertops, painted my cabinets, and installed a backsplash. But in a sad turn of events, I fell climbing off my ladder. It’s been a few months now and I have finally recovered from my injuries. I am back at it, and I can’t wait to tell you how I renovated the rest of my kitchen. Until then – happy crafting!

Please visit me here to see my latest creations!

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The Barnyard Boutique


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