When To Wallpaper An Accent Wall

If you are looking to add some “wow” to a room, have you ever considered doing a wallpaper accent wall? When we moved into our current home, I planned on making the third bedroom into my office since I work from home.

This area used to be an outdoor porch at some point. It’s a smaller room two steps below the level of the rest of the house, so the ceilings are nice and tall.

The room is right next to the steps to go down to the basement, so you can see right into the room from the rest of the house. I wanted to do something that felt fun and tied the room into the vibes of the rest of the house.

Doing an accent wall seemed like the perfect way to add some personality to the space, and doing a wallpaper accent wall turned out to be perfect for the room!

If you are wondering when to wallpaper an accent wall, here are all the ways to figure out if that’s the best path for you!

accent wall of wallpaper in office

Q: Which wall should be the accent wall?

A: Usually an accent wall is determined by whichever is the first/main wall that you see when you walk into a room. You want that to be the “WOW” moment when you walk into the room, so it’s a good idea to have that be the first thing you see.

The exception to that general rule would be for a bedroom, as you usually want to choose the wall that the bed is set against (where the headboard would be) for your accent wall.

Q: What type of wallpaper is best for an accent wall?

A: The type of wallpaper that you choose will depend on how bold of a statement you want to make with your accent wall. If you want bold and dramatic, choose a wallpaper with lots of patterns or colors to really draw the eye to that wall. If you want something more subtle, try a more muted color palette with less colors or a less busy pattern.

You should wallpaper an accent wall when …

... When on a wallpaper budget: For this, I don’t necessarily mean that you want to generally decorate a room as cheaply as possible (usually wallpaper doesn’t fit into a super low budget unless you do a Super Affordable DIY Wallpaper Hack), but that you love wallpaper (but don’t have the budget to do a whole room).

Generally, an accent wall is going to be about 1/4 the cost as it would be to do a whole room, so it’s definitely an overall savings but you get to have a pop of that paper you love.

… When learning to DIY wallpaper: Like most skills that you are learning, it can be a good idea to start small and build up as you grow your toolkit. So if you are wanting to tackle wallpaper yourself (totally doable for a crafty person and saves you money on install costs), I would really recommend doing an accent wall before trying to do a whole room.

You don’t have to worry about trying to wrap the pattern around the corners like you would if you do the whole room, and it gives you a smaller space to learn the skill. You can also identify what you would do differently next time, what tools would be more helpful, or what type of paper you’d rather work with the next time around.

… When some walls of a room have challenges: By “challenges,” I mean that some other walls may be an odd-shaped, much taller than other walls, have a nook of sorts, or have other features or details that would make it hard or awkward to wallpaper.

Keeping the paper to one accent wall means that you don’t have to deal with challenges that other walls in the room may have where wallpaper may not be a good idea.

… When the pattern is “too much” for a whole room: Some patterns of wallpaper are super busy and full (that may be what you like about the paper in the first place), but you may not feel like you can handle a whole room of that pattern.

Doing a wallpaper accent wall is a great way to add some of that amazing pattern you love without feeling like you are going to get dizzy as you walk around the room.

TIP: Want your wallpaper accent wall to look more integrated into a whole room? Try painting the other walls to match the main background color of your wallpaper (like how my walls are white and the main background of my wallpaper is also white).

This allows the adjacent walls to kind of merge into the wallpaper rather than it feel like a hard transition (although that can look dramatic in a cool way, so it’s up to you to decide which you want).

accent wall of wallpaper in office

Love this wallpaper I used? You can also find a similar removable style here!

accent wall of wallpaper in office

Looking for a wallpaper for your wallpaper accent wall? Try one of these or see Our Favorite Wallpaper Sources (By Style!) for more!

collage of different floral wallpaper
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collage of different neutral wallpaper
2 / 3 / 46 / 10 / 11 / 12

See more accent wall ideas here!

I absolutely love how the wallpaper turned out! My mom and I hung it ourselves in one afternoon (thanks, mom!!) and it adds a lot of texture and personality to the space.

My office makeover is almost complete and I can’t wait to finish the rest of it now! Hope this helps you decide if a wallpaper accent wall is right for you! xo. Laura

Product Sources: Wallpaper/Hovia (similar removable option here), Pink Desk/Target, White Chair/Target, Brass Lamp/Walmart, Moroccan Rug/Etsy, Velvet Curtains/Amazon, Chandelier/ West Elm

Can you have two accent walls?

Nope. Not in one space, anyway. The reason it’s an “accent” wall is that it’s a special feature in the room, so having two walls in the space be your accent walls will just feel confusing. Either do one wall or the whole room. But, you can have more than one accent in a home as long as they are in different rooms.

Does an accent wall have to be wallpaper?

Not at all! You can have a different color paint be your accent wall, or a different texture like a wood or paneled wall. Paint will be the easiest to change in the future (although you can do removable wallpaper) and traditional wallpaper. A wood wall will be more effort (although possible to change) a few years later.

  • So many gorgeous choices! How do I pick?! Thanks so much for all this info. Very helpful. We hope to move overseas soon which means we’ll transition from a ranch-style home to a rented apartment. I’ve been looking for ways in which we can make the space our own.

  • I’d love to do a few accent walls with wallpaper.
    I’m not sure which one to use, peel and stick or pasted one.

    The easiest and most economical?

    Thanks
    Cathy

    • Hi Cathy!
      It really depends on the product…some peel and stick is almost as much as regular wallpaper so it may be more about if you want it to be semi-permanent with regular wallpaper or removable with a removable peel and stick. Hope that helps!

      Laura

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