How To: The Accent Wall

August 1, 2022

Second only to the natural light, color is one of the most important parts of creating a beautiful and comfortable space! There’s plenty of ways to scheme the color palette, and many methods to construct a beautiful interior. Here’s just a few ways to get started color scheming your space.



Every color scheme has a different energy that it creates in a space. There’s endless combinations and ways to experiment with color. A good place to start when picking colors is a color wheel, as shown below. Trust your gut and think about what color you want to see in each space, and then use the color wheel to find the compatible colors. 


Mimicking nature, when you’re placing your colors, it’s helpful to think about how different colors exist naturally. Picture the outdoors: Darker and rich colors on the floor, like grass, dirt, stone or sand. Mid eye level is trees and brighter colors, moving upward you see the light and bright sky. Organizing the color in a space this way will mimic the natural order of color. 



When building out your home in general, consider what clothing you feel best in. What fabrics make you feel most comfortable? Which colors are you drawn to that you feel represent you the best. Walking into each space in your home, consider how you want to feel in that room. This is all up to your own taste, so you can have a lot of fun in this arena! My biggest tip would be to curate colors, textures, and items that make you feel happy!


This is a solid and straightforward rule for interior design, invented by Mark McCauley. It just breaks down the distribution of color in a way that feels more palatable, so don’t let the numbers scare you! Essentially, 60% of your space should be the dominant color. This 60% space is typically the walls. 30% is your secondary color, or the color of most of the furniture, or rugs, etc. The remaining 10% are going to be your accessories, accent pieces, etc. 


In each room, it’s always safe to choose 3 colors and work from there to paint and decorate the space. To make it simple, pick your favorite color and then find the two complementary colors on the color wheel. There we are! You have the 3 colors for this space. Now, deciding which of these colors is the base color, which is the secondary and which is the accessory is the key to balancing the scheme. Over 3 colors is overwhelming to the eye, but under won’t give you that delicate balance that’s so satisfying.



The Green Lady of Brooklyn is a great reference for somebody who found their color, and dug their heels in. If you have a color you love so much that you could look at it 24/7, it’s not a terrible idea to make a space monochrome. If not the whole space, even just the cabinets or another small space will add a pop of personality, especially when contrasted with white or black surrounding details.

This is just a brief introduction to the limitless world of color theory and exploration, but there’s so much more to decorating a room. From texture, to pattern, to levels and layering, it’s a lot to consider! Hopefully this piece helps you get started on that journey. Happy color scheming!

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