Monday, October 20, 2008

Ask Cristina: What Color Should We Paint an Accent Wall?

Dear Cristina, (via my website

I am having a difficult time finding the right color for our great room. It is fairly large, 20x30, with a cathedral ceiling 22' high. On one wall there is a floor to ceiling stone fireplace, taking up the entire wall. The ceiling is a honey tongue and groove wood and the floor is a natural oak hardwood. The furniture is a southwest design. Is it okay to paint just one wall a dark color and the rest a lighter shade? Is a brown too much with all the wood?

Dear Marti,
Sounds like you have a beautiful room. I can't tell you which color to paint, but I can give you a few ideas to think about that may help you with your decision.
  • Painting one wall a strongly different color than the others creates an accent wall. Only do this if there is something on that wall or the architecture in that part of the room that you wish to emphasize. Click here to read more about accent walls.
  • How much brown is too much? When you have a lot of brown wood and still want more brown, I suggest that you choose an accent color that has brown (or a warm base color) in it, but is different from the wood. Examples are: Deep eggplant, Terracotta Reds, Deep brownish Greens, or even a Deep teal or Navy that is brownish in tone. (The paint store professionals can help you identify these colors.)
  • If you insist on a brown accent wall, then choose something strikingly different in value from your existing woods, such as a deep chocolate brown wall.

Send a before and after when you get the room painted. I'd love to post the results.
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