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Is it time to consider a statement wall?


Do you have — or want to create — a statement wall?

Also known as an accent or focus wall, these terms are interchangeably used for the same concept — a wall or partial wall that is different from the other walls in a room or open space.

Angela Carroll Ast, an interior designer and owner of ABCA Design Decorating Den Interiors in Milford said some clients with shiplap wall coverings are now thinking about how to mix things up.

“In big open concept spaces some clients are also thinking about adding a bead board wall — which could be a different color than the other walls,” she said.

Adding texture to a single wall — behind a sofa, to compliment a fireplace or in a bedroom behind the headboard — are natural places to think about doing something different.

Accent wall options

Whether it’s fabric, stone, a paint color, wallpaper or hanging textiles or art, the focus wall is a way to personalize a space — and amp up a room’s visual impact.

“It might be laminate planking running up the walls for a wood effect” for a fresh and updated take on using wood paneling, Ast said.

Better Homes & Gardens — — reports wood paneling — a retro staple wall treatment from the 1960s and 1970s — is coming back as a modern and reinvented version.

Subtle choices for an accent wall could mean using a shade of the same paint color — either darker or lighter — to highlight one wall, she explained.


Doing one wall a different tone or slight color shift from the rest of the walls can create interest in a room, and it isn’t obvious, according to Ast.

“I think it’s sophisticated to do beige, grays and light browns,” she said.

Using greige — a tone between gray and beige that can lean toward warm or cool and works with a spectrum of color shades and tones — is enjoying a home décor resurgence.

“Sometimes we’ll do patterned wallpaper or a different paint color” in a bedroom behind a headboard, she said.


Cloth, vintage quilts, woven tapestries or other kinds of textiles can become a stunning room focal point.

“I think there is a longing to have those older pieces (displayed) and quilts can be that item. And I think people are often scared to use those things because they’re precious,” Ast said.

Check with an interior design professional about the proper way to hang a vintage or antique quilt to protect the piece and maintain its value.

Another way to achieve the look is to create a wall collage using framed scraps.

“The quilted look — and we see it more in clothing — (includes) a lot of pattern, big patterns and colors,” she said.

Personalize it

Ast motivates clients to consider adding textiles on a “gallery wall” with photographs, or to think about having personal mementos framed or placed in shadowboxes to display them.

“I encourage (clients) to take Grandpa’s medals (for example) or a carved plate or commemorative plate — things that are personal items that can mix in (to create) curves or a shadowbox effect. There might be a fabric scrap of something in there, too. Do something a little creative in the mix,” she explained.

Drape it

Another option is to use draperies to achieve a focal wall — with or without windows.

With this approach “the entire wall is covered in the drapery and it becomes a texture,” Ast said.

Ripplefold (hardware mounting) and draperies create a floor-to-ceiling textile option, often with soft pleating, while adding a fluid element and movement to a room — especially those with angular or sharp edges.

“It (the mounting) almost disappears, and it can be mounted to the ceiling. It’s a very contemporary option and can become a room focus itself,” she said.

“These offer texture and not a lot of pleating or fabric but it has a lot of back and forth. I’ve done it in bedrooms (instead of) where a headboard might be been located,” she said.

Venetian plaster

An ancient plastering technique, Venetian plaster is entering more conversations for home wall and ceiling treatments, according to Ast.

Mixed with lime or marble dust, Venetian plaster is a textural way to achieve an elegant wall treatment and it’s a high-impact material.

The plaster is applied wet using thin layers and allowed to dry in between coatings. The thin layering creates a buildup of plaster material. After the final layer is dry, the surface is “burnished” to a glossy sheen. reports the technique dates to the 1st century and is enjoying more home décor interest as the demand for unique, handcrafted techniques and natural materials continues to flourish.

“I’ve heard a lot of people talk about Venetian plaster and not as a focus wall, necessarily but as an element in a room or for the “fifth wall” (the ceiling). It’s becoming more popular,” Ast said.

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