A feature wall, or accent wall, draws the eye when you enter a room. The purpose of a feature wall is to create interest or personality to the space by creating a focal point.
The feature wall gained popularity in the 1990’s when several television home renovation shows began using them in almost every makeover project. The trend has continued today.
A feature wall defines the space in an open floor plan such as a living room/dining room or living room and study nook or office.
In the bedroom, the feature wall is often behind the headboard or bed. While living rooms and bedrooms are the most common rooms to feature an accent wall, kitchens and bathrooms are also popular choices. A kitchen and breakfast nook will often have a distinctive wall to define each space.
Also called a focal wall, it has a distinctive feature that defines it from the other walls in the room. This can include a fireplace or built in bookcase.
There are many ways to feature a wall. The most common is with paint. A bolder or darker shade of paint is used to accent or highlight an area. This can also be achieved with wallpaper featuring a stripes, geometric patterns, or floral design.
Other media used as accents include stone, tile, brick, shiplap, paneling, bead board, and 3-D panels. Van Dyke’s has the EnduraWall Panels in dozens of styles, Legacy Door Panels, and urethane molding and corners for creating decorative shapes. Other considerations for your project include chair rail, crown molding, baseboard molding, lighting, wall sconces, window hardware, wood appliques, corner guards, shelf brackets, pilasters and columns, and decorative corbels.
I am refurbishing the living room in my recently purchased 1960’s split level home and am using white bead board behind the green patterned sofa as a feature wall. I considered paint, 3-D panels and wainscot as options, but elected to go with the white bead board to match the period of the home.
The curtains are maroon, green and gold adding a nice pop of color against the beige walls. The room has original hardwood floors. I will add a decorative mirror flanked by sconces and chair rail as the finishing touches on the feature wall. A new light fixture along with a decorative ceiling medallion will add a focal point on the ceiling. New switch plate covers will complete the makeover.
As this project has just started, I will post pictures when completed. If you have done a feature wall project, send photos of your project as inspiration for other DIYers.