Decor – Accent Wall

The accent wall has been a favorite of designers and home owners for a while now. Some designers are big advocates of creating a focal wall with color while others prefer to have color encompass the entire room. One wall that is colorful, as this predominately white dining room, is the norm. Having more than one wall painted in an accent color can divide the space and begin to feel busy.


This dining room is a gorgeous example of how an accent wall can anchor a space, elevating it to feel more than ordinary. The soft blue grey paint of the accent wall is a nice contrast to the warmer wood tones of the floor and blonde wood table.  Orange upholstery on the chairs, another warm color, pops against the cool tones of the grey wall.


This contemporary dining room is typically minimalist.  There are no flourishes on the furniture or lighting, nor is there ornament on the accent wall.  The blank wall becomes like a large color field painting in the space.  The trapezoidal shades on the light fixture appear more sculptural against the grey wall. The off white shades would be lost against a white wall.  A neutral area rug beneath the table works with both the colors of the floor and table as well as both the orange and grey.


Keeping the furniture lines and color palette very simple gives more weight to the accent wall. Because this is a contemporary space, leaving the wall bare is an option that works.

Perfect for the Kitchen: Food Themed Art

At first glance this photograph might appear to be of an exotic type of marble or granite. Or perhaps a marbleized paper or faux painting technique. It is none of those things. It is a cross section of a cabbage shot in close-up. Yes, cabbage.


Food based art and photographs can be beautiful and food themed art is also the perfect wall accessory for the kitchen and dining room.


Kitchen walls are typically filled with cabinetry and appliances, but rarely is ever wall surface filled. Most kitchens are left with some blank wall space and some more than others depending on the size and style of the kitchen layout. What to put on these blank kitchen walls can be challenging.


It is not wise to put original oil or acrylic paintings near a cooking area. Grease in the air can cling to the surface of the artwork. Dining rooms are a better choice for paintings like these that are not framed behind glass. Watercolors, drawings, collages and photographs can all be hung in the kitchen since the majority of time they are framed with glass to protect their surfaces.


Choosing what food themed art to hang can be based on several factors, including the style of your kitchen, your favorite food and other colors in the flooring and cabinetry of the kitchen. Traditional kitchens would do best with traditional still life style art, while contemporary and modern kitchens could have food art that was more abstract. Be inspired by food photography to take your own shots and frame them.

Windows Instead of Walls

There is a lot of talk about focal walls in decorating. What if you have more windows than walls in your room? Sun rooms and rooms with walls of windows can be tricky to decorate given you don’t have wall space as a focal point. In the case of too many windows, let the view outside be the star.


Garden rooms and sun rooms can have three walls of windows, leaving just one wall as a place to hang art or place a television. Place furniture in an arrangement that highlights both the view through the windows and the focal wall. Common arrangements of furniture right up against the perimeter will mean you are facing away from the view in a room full of windows—and not taking advantage of the view.  Some furniture that faces into the room is acceptable to create conversation areas.


Use flooring to designate seating areas in the sun room or garden room just as you would a living room. Often sun rooms feature both sitting and dining areas so rugs can help distinguish these two spaces. Ask your retailer about color stability in sunlight when purchasing flooring for a sun room or room with a wall of windows.


A wall of windows can be dressed with window treatments that allow you to control the light flow into the space. Curtains and shades, even when left open, will give the windows a more finished look. Coordinate these design elements with other colors and patterns in the room.

Putting Pattern on Your Walls

Everywhere you look today there are patterned walls.  Blogs, shelter magazines, and design shows are all featuring pattern on the wall. These patterned walls can be done with paint, stencils, fabric and wallpaper.  Which material you choose is a matter of personal choice and how much time and effort you want to put into this trend.  If you’ve ever removed wallpaper from the wall, you know it can be more work removing it than installing it.


Wallpaper is the classic choice for adding pattern to walls. Wallpapering a room can be done by a DIYer but it isn’t a simple task.  Do your research before running out and buying the paper and paste.  There are many tutorials online about installing your own wallpaper. If you do it yourself, start with a single wall or a small space.


Paint can be used to make patterns on the wall that range from simple stripes down with painter’s tape to elaborate stencil patterns that resemble hand-painted wallpaper.  Painting a pattern on the wall can take longer than hanging wallpaper but is easier to cover up and less expensive for materials.


Fabric can also be applied to the walls for instant pattern.  Simple starch and water will hold the fabric on the wall. This is a great option for renters who can’t wallpaper or paint.


Complement your patterned walls with a patterned area rug for layers of pattern in the room. Or keep it simple with solid colored carpet or area rugs on wood floors.

Wall Treatments Beyond Paint and Paper

Beyond paint and wallpaper there are other options for decorating the walls in your home. Thinking a bit out of the box you can come up with a variety of unique and different treatments for walls. These include fabric, upholstered panels, leather, wood and stone.  Of course in the kitchen and bathroom tiles and stone are common wall treatments.

Fabric can be applied to walls in a similar fashion as wallpaper. Applying it with starch and water makes it easy to remove and a great option for a rental property. Adding padding behind the fabric and finishing with trim will create a traditional look that can also help block sound.

Upholstered panels, as seen in this room, are great for a media room or home theater where they can muffle sound from outside as well as in.  Along with carpeted floors, these panels create a sound barrier for the room. Panels can be covered in coordinating upholstery to your furniture or flooring. Leather and suede are also good options for these panels. Panels can also be cut and created in a range of sizes, from squares to larger vertical panels.

Wood panels, beadboard, wainscoting and board and batten are all additional options for wall coverings. Wood can add pattern and texture to the walls. These can be stained or painted to match your décor.

Next time you are making over a room or hall, consider one of the above options beyond a coat of paint or wallpaper for a look that is anything but ordinary.

Chic Hotel Room Provides Design Inspiration

Take inspiration from a chic hotel bedroom when thinking about redesigning your own bedroom.  This stylish bedroom is at the Hotel Yountville in Napa Valley, California.  What makes this room so chic and stylish while simultaneously being comfortable? Let’s take a look.

This is not a huge space yet the layout creates both a sleeping and a sitting area.  A fireplace tucked into the corner adds a romantic, country touch. The fireplace can be seen from both the bed and the seating area.  The bed faces the French doors leading to a private terrace—what a lovely view to walk up to. The white painted beamed ceiling and darker floor makes the room feel more spacious. The dark walnut wood floor anchors the lighter palette of the room. The ebony four poster bed and writing table stand out in the airy room.

The colorway is kept to a simple palette of white, gray and tan, with black and orange accents. White sheers soften the dark lines of the four poster bed. Pale stone gray walls create a soft backdrop for the furnishing and accents in the room. Colorful accents in throws and pillows make it easy to change the colors with the seasons or your mood.  A black floor lamp and black and white art tie into the color of the bed. Neutral upholstery in tan and pale gray linen adds texture without adding color and pattern. Natural elements, like the driftwood table and jute rug, add organic elements along with the stone fireplace.


Cozy Attic Room

Converting attic space to something useful can be tricky. When you have this type of ceiling slant, the possibilities and functionality are minimal.

However, if you don’t ask too much of the space, it can be a charming addition just because of its small size and off-beat style.

The homeowners chose an inviting dark wood flooring to emphasize the old attic feel. Older and antique furniture in a variety of colors contribute to a modified shabby chic style. The one surprise comes from the plush cream-toned rugs. Their off-beat shapes and rich texture makes them feel more like animal skins than rugs.

Choosing to place the furniture as though the room is normally shaped but much smaller allows the sharply slanting ceiling/wall style to seem normal. Instead of hanging pictures – almost impossible on these walls, the containers of silk flowers add warmth and also help define the pretend walls in this room.

If you have an upper room with sloping ceilings and walls, there are a number of design choices that help compensate for the situation. Some people choose to put cupboards or bookshelves covering the sharpest edges of the room. Others will put chairs, sofas or beds along the low walls, allowing people to use the space in a sitting or lying position.

This homeowner is not afraid of letting the room stand as it is. The glass-paned French doors at the opening help create the impression of a secret room, providing a special space to practice music, write notes and sit in the comfy chair and read.

Contemporary and Functional

Somehow an extremely modern bathroom doesn’t seem likely to also be extremely functional. This bathroom is a noticeable exception.

From the daring color scheme to the clean lines of every element, this bathroom demonstrates the modern look with flair. The curves of the unique tub echo in the vases that hold the only other color, the natural green of a few plants. One other natural element serves to accessorize the room simply – a handful of grey water-rounded stones.

Up-lights above the white rectangular cabinets provide generous and indirect lighting for the entire room. This lets the glossy red flooring shine throughout, actually showing white reflections from the tub and vanity. This room’s use of red dares to make this vivid color the strongest positive element in the room. Black lower shelving/cabinet units step into the background. White alternates background and foreground – background with the upper cabinets and definitely foreground with the tub and sink shouting out against the darker tones.

Here’s the amazing functional element to this bath. Many of the rectangles in this room’s wall design hide storage shelves. Shallow at the bottom and a little deeper above, this room provides a yeoman’s share of storage. Doors with spring locks require no pulls to distract from the clean lines. By using this space rather than just letting the design stand alone, the designer provided a certain look for the bathroom and additional storage that can be useful in the bath and for other storage needs.

The magic in this room come from two sources – the beauty of the design and the thought behind the functionality.

Slate Adds Drama

Slate has such variety of color that it is a tempting choice for many homes. However this wall of rectangular slate tiles shows how texture alone can create a dramatic look. Although slate’s colors can range from something simple like this grey to a variety of colors such as rusty red, gold and browns in one piece, it’s the texture that captures the eye in this situation.

It’s all about light here – the cuts and planes of each stone catch the light differently, leading to the feeling that there are different tones of grey on this wall. Actually each tile is the exact same color.

In contrast, the photo below shows a wall with some differing tones of grey. The pattern is more constructed, with rectangles surrounding small squares of stone. This pattern has additional emphasis from the darker toned slate tiles added to the design.

The end result is more eye-arresting than the wall above while still staying color neutral. Slate’s versatility allows it to play a role both inside and outside the home. It works on walls as an extra architectural touch and also can be used on floors.

Generally, slate floors don’t show this level of texture. Slate can chip so it’s important to keep the surface smoother when it will receive wear to avoid that.

If you love the natural look of stone, slate will fit the bill. Come on in and discover how slate may work to add personality and drama to your home design.

Favorite Wallpapers for a Master Bedroom

Carl Robinson, Design Director for Wallquest, Inc., one of the leading studios in the world, shares his wallpaper expertise, from the newest trends to his favorite picks, to create three distinct looks in the master bedroom.

“Bedrooms come in all shapes and sizes, so how do you create your own perfect sanctuary?  One idea is simply to combine a modest headboard with low profile night tables and a soothing color palette to create a peaceful master retreat.  Coordinating wallpapers can be mixed to create distinct, subtlety private spaces within the same room.  This design reflects a gentle beauty and style that is calming and serene, especially in a bedroom, and offers just the right hint of elegance.”

Photo 1

Rose Trail from Bainbridge FB90602, Fairwinds Studio, Wallquest

Suggested Retail: $49.99 per single roll or call 1-800-321-4070

Suggested Coordinates, Rose Trail from Bainbridge FB90902 & FB91702

“I love a bedroom to be romantic, traditional. This paper has a charming English appeal, formal but not stuffy.  Luxuriant blossoms create the illusion of a country garden, but with a touch of whimsy.  The rich colors and blooms are pure romance.”

photo 2

Cape Cod, Flower Bunch #73212, Pelican Prints, Wallquest

Suggested Retail: $45.90 per single roll or call 1-888-425-WALL

“The romance and beauty of Provence radiates from this Toile wall covering.   The soul of this Country French style lies in its grace and simple elegance.  While charming and romantic, this black-and-white design is a classic, and appeals to both masculine and feminine sensibilities, making it an ideal selection for a master bedroom.”

photo 3

Cottage Prints from Wallquest, #VC50900, Blonder Home

Suggested Retail: $39.99 per single roll or call 1-800-321-4070

These papers all are designed as Eco Chic™ by Wallquest. The process begins with carefully selected paper from suppliers who use only pulp from well-managed, renewable resource forests and recycled sources. The production process relies solely on solvent-free, water based inks. Any water used during production is professionally filtered and cleaned before it is returned to the environment.  “When you select a design printed on Wallquest’s Eco Chic™ wallpapers you can be confident that each of these steps is taken with the utmost concern for the sustainability of our natural resources,” said Robinson.

About Carl Robinson:

Carl Robinson was born to a prominent designer in England, and his father’s father was a noted designer as well. He began his career working for his father then worked at Burlington Wallcoverings and also Graham & Brown in England. By 2000, he was serving as a consultant for Wallquest, Inc., whose brands include Pelican Prints, Fairwinds Studios, Sandpiper Studios and Printers Guild Productions. In 2003, Robinson joined the Wallquest team on a full-time basis and today is the company’s Design Director, the culmination of 25 years of experience designing and manufacturing wallpaper.

About Wallquest:

Family owned and operated, with three manufacturing plants in the United States, Wallquest is one of the largest and most innovative wall covering manufacturers in the world.  The heritage of Wallquest goes back to the 1820’s. Its staff of talented artists creates distinctive collections by staying current with trends as well as drawing on its rich heritage of style and cultural themes.  Today its products are sold in more than 40 countries.

To view these and other collections, visit, or call 1-888-425-WALL.