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Decorating & Furniture/What walls to paint as an accent wall?


We just bought a home, and we have alot of painting to do. The living room is large with several angles. It is also very open to the kitchen and dining room area, basically a sunken living room. We have brown furniture in different shades of brown, so we don't want to use a brown color as a main color, but we want something to match. We chose a cherry chocolate (deep red) for the main color, since the room is so large, and thinking of adding a medium tone brown on some accent walls. We just can't decide which walls or how many. When you walk in the front door, the living room is to the left up three stairs. There is a bay window area, a fireplace on a wall alone, a plain wall against the kitchen wall, and the foyer area that also leads downstairs. All of it is white right now. I was thinking of painting the bay window area a brown color, as well as the wall with the fireplace. I just don't know if that would look right, or if another wall needs to be painted to balance. Can you help? Are there any guidelines to accent walls?

Thanks for writing.  There are different reasons for adding accent walls; to draw attention away from the natural focal point; to add drama; to add some color punch etc.  Decide first why you want to paint an accent wall or two.  

Painting all your walls red would be way too overpowering.  The color is fabulous, but staying in an all red room for any length of time tends to make one a little nuts!  (That's the scientific term. ;>)  

At this point, your focal point is the fireplace wall.  If you want to draw further attention to it, paint it red.  If you want to draw attention to another area of the room, paint that wall red.  Long story short, wherever you add the most color, you'll create the most interest.  

If you opt for two contrasting walls, my best suggestion is to use two "adjoining" walls so that the color forms a right angle.  

Hope this helps you decide.  Also - in selecting the brown for the walls, consider the medium shade of your "brown" furniture for a more "put together" look.


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Jennifer Taylor Wojcik


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