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WHERE Should I do a Feature Wall and What COLOUR Should it Be?

Posted on October 17, 2020 by KylieMawdsley

 

The Best Paint Colours and Spots for Feature or Accent Walls

It’s funny, I never thought I liked feature walls. However, looking at EVERY HOME we’ve lived in – I’ve always had them (and let’s not start counting how many homes we’ve lived in…). What I’ve realized is that I actually love feature walls, I CRAVE feature walls – what I dislike so much are MISUSED and abused feature walls. And in my decorative travels, I’ve seen WAY too many of them.

Benjamin Moore, Wish, Eternity, Polo Blue dark navy feature accent wall. Wood flooring, orange sofa. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, diy decorating, client p

Benjamin Moore Polo Blue feature wall (I have some awesome clients!)

So, what’s the difference between a bad feature wall and a good feature wall? Excuse me while I twitch a bit here…

A BAD FEATURE WALL

  • is on the wrong wall
  • is on too MANY walls
  • in the bathroom (rarely works)
  • doesn’t relate to anything in the room

This bathroom (next) is one of the FEW bathrooms that can support a feature wall. This is because the tub area acts as a feature in itself and suits having a backdrop…

Benjamin Moore Collingwood with Sherwin Williams Peppercorn feature wall in primary bathroom, Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online diy ideas (2)

A GOOD FEATURE WALL

  • highlights a room’s natural architecture
  • adds fake architecture or personality to a room that’s lacking interest
  • picks up/repeats a colour that’s already existing in the room either in hard surfaces or on linens/artwork/dominant decor
  • nicely contrasts a colour that’s already existing in the room

Best dark room paint colour, Benjamin Moore Knoxville Gray, blue green gray color blend. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint

Benjamin Moore Knoxville Gray

And you might be surprised to hear that I have five feature walls in my own home – that’s right, five. But you wouldn’t know it because they work off the home’s natural flow and suit the rooms they’re in. It’s like I know what I’m doing or something – wink wink.

Now, before we get into great feature room COLOURS, let’s talk about placement.

The 7 Places You Can Paint an Accent or Feature Wall

1. THE HEADBOARD WALL IN A BEDROOM

The headboard wall is usually the main wall that you first see when you walk into a room, you usually walk UP to it. It’s rarely the closet/door wall and isn’t the window wall very often either (contrary to a few of my photos). It’s also not ideal if you have to walk into the room and have to turn around to see the headboard/feature wall. But again, a particular layout might dictate otherwise!

Benjamin moore White Dove on walls, best white paint colour with gray feature wall in teen girl bedroom. Kylie M Interiors Edesign

2. THE FIREPLACE OR TV WALL

When painting around a fireplace, this can be the area above it OR the walls on either side of it. As for a tv wall, it would be the ENTIRE WALL around it. You won’t often find the feature wall colour on the walls beside AND above the fireplace – only when the drywall is one continuous piece, rather than having a bump-out above the fireplace.

If that wasn’t totally clear, this next photo shows how only the BUMP-OUT is painted the feature colour and the walls on either side stay the main colour.

Sherwin Williams Natural Tan, living room wood beams, vaulted ceiling, fireplace, beige sectional, dark wood floors. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour consulting

Family room, tv hung on wall, shiplap feature wall Sherwin Williams Grizzle Gray with beige sectional, south facing exposure. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour consulting, advice blog

3. THE BACK WALL OF A HALLWAY OR STAIR LANDING

Sure, it won’t brighten the hallway, but it WILL add personality and depth!

Hallway update with laminate wood look flooring, Benjamin Moore Gray feature wall, Sherwin Williams Creamy and door to bathroom. Kylie M INteriors E-design

4. THE MAIN WALL IN A LIVING ROOM OR FAMILY ROOM

The main will is usually the wall that the longest piece of furniture is on.

Benjamin Moore Hale Navy with beige sectional, best dark blue paint colour. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online color consultant

5. ON A UNIQUE OR INTERESTING PART OF YOUR ARCHITECTURE

What’s unique can REALLY vary depending on the home and the layout. In fact, some features are better left the same colour as the main walls.

Kitchen wood cabinets, Sherwin Williams White Duck, wood beams, feature similiar to Mindful Gray. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, diy blogger

Home office, feature wall Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black with Benjamin Moore Cloud White. E-design and colour consulting services

6. THE MAIN BACK WALL IN THE DINING ROOM

This often works best when the remaining dining room walls are painted the same colour as the adjoining rooms, just so the palette doesn’t get too busy.

Sherwin Williams Clary Sage, best green paint colour. Kylie M INteriors E-design, online paint color expert blogger

7. IN A STAIRCASE

This can be the back wall of the landing area (on a two-part staircase) OR the main wall that runs along one side of the staircase from top to bottom.

photo display in stairwell or stairway

Now, are you ready to get into the juicy stuff? No, we’re not looking in my side table drawer, we’re looking at paint colours!

Not sure what to paint the other walls in your room? The Best Off-White Paint Colours

 

BTW, thank you to all of my Online Paint Colour Consulting clients for sending in their AFTER photos – you make my colourful little world go round!

The Best Navy Blue and Gray-Blue Paint Colours for a Feature or Accent Walls

Blue or gray with a blue-undertone is one of my FAVE choices for a feature wall, as it can suit both warm AND cool paint colours.

Benjamin Moore Hale Navy HC 154

Oh, Hale yes! Hale Navy is definitely the King of the navy world. Why? Well, he’s that fine blend between committing to navy blue, without going too primary OR too gray.

Benjamin Moore Hale Navy blue feature wall with Chantilly Lace in boys nursery bedroom. Best white paint colour. Kylie M INteriors Edesign online paint colour consultant blog

Chantilly Lace and feature wall in Hale Navy Benjamin Moore in boys nursery bedroom. Kylie M Interiors paint colour reviews online paint consulting blog

Read more: The Best Navy Blue Paint Colours

Benjamin Moore Anchor Gray 2126-30

Anchor Gray is a beautiful dark navy blue with a STRONG gray in it, offering a blue, but subdued approach compared to the strength of Hale Navy.

Benjamin Moore Anchor Gray, White Dove trim, travertine stacked stone fireplace, tobacco brown leather chairs, gray carpet. Kylie M Interiors E-design, online paint color consulting. Best blue paint

In the above photo, while this colour actually wrapped around the room, the idea is to show you the colour beside the fireplace to accent the colours in the stone.

Sherwin Williams Cyberspace SW 7076 and Web Gray SW 7075

Cyberspace comes in a HOT second place to Hale Navy. Same idea – but a bit grayer, while still leaving a great shot of navy on the wall. Web Gray is like a slightly lighter version of Cyberspace and can come across just a touch grayer.

Family room with stone fireplace, Sherwin Williams Cyberspace, leather, laminate wood flooring, chartreuse chair. Kylie M INteriors E-design and home

Stair landing with open railings to entryway. Shiplap feature wall in staircase. SW Pure White and Web Gray. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour advice blog

Benjamin Moore Steel Wool 2121-20

Steel Wool is a GRAY paint colour with a subtler, softer approach to blue. It’s more of a soft, medium depth and leans considerably grayer, with more of a blue-purple undertone to it.

Family room with photo gallery wall, gray sectional. Sherwin Williams Creamy and Benjamin Gray feature wall. Hemnes bookcases and accent chair. Kylie M Interiors

The Best Dark Gray and Charcoal Paint Colours for Accent and Feature Walls

While I might lean hard into the blues and gray-blues, I have to say that the request I get the most often HAS to be gray – just good old gray. But, as you may or may not know, gray has undertones, so make sure you pick the RIGHT gray for your room!

Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray HC-168

Chelsea Gray is a VERY solid medium-toned charcoal gray with a softness to it, so it’s not an icy cold gray. It can pick up a vague green undertone.

Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray in dining room with white wainscoting and red accents. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, online paint colour consulting expert. Client photo

Read more: Paint Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray

Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray

Amherst Gray is a DARK gray paint colour along similar lines to Chelsea Gray, but it has more depth (more in the med-dark range) and can also grab that wink o’ green.

Diy industrial metal looking fireplace surround. Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal and Navajo White. Kylie M Interiors Edesign online paint color consulting and blogger. Client diy

Read more: Paint Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray

Sherwin Williams Dovetail SW 7018 and Dorian Gray SW 7017

Dovetail is a medium-toned warm gray paint colour. It favours a vague purple undertone and can grab THE TINIEST touch of green, but it really rarely shows up to the party. Dorian Gray is a lighter version and is just slightly more likely to grab that wink o’ green.

Sherwin Williams Dorian Gray, linen headboard. Kylie M E-design, online paint colour, decorating consultant

home staging and decorating ideas for the bedroom

Read more…

Paint Colour Review of Sherwin Williams Dovetail

Paint Colour Review of Sherwin Williams Dorian Gray

Benjamin Moore Escarpment CC 518

Escarpment is a beautiful, considerably warm gray paint colour with a decent, but not overwhelming purple undertone.

Master bedroom, Benjamin Moore Collingwood with Escarpment feature, accent wall. Kylie M Interiors Decorating and E-design

Sherwin Williams Gauntlet Gray SW 7019

Gauntlet Gray is the med-dark version of Dovetail, so it has more body and visual weight to it.

Read more: Paint Colour Review of Sherwin Williams Gauntlet Gray

Sherwin Williams Classic French Gray SW 0077

Classic French Gray is a more standard ‘charcoal’ or gray that can grab the faintest touch of green (SO vague).

Read more:Sherwin Williams 10 Best Gray and Greige Paint Colours

The Best Greige, Taupe and Brown Paint Colours for a Feature or Accent Wall

I do get a lot of Online Color Consulting clients wanting a dark greige paint colour. The thing with greige (and taupe) is that it really is only greige up to the medium range, after that it starts to favour brown, gray, green or purple and loses a bit of its ‘greige’ look. Keystone Gray (and Kingsport Gray below) are really on the boundaries of greige. Any darker and they start leaning into gray or brown with more noticeable undertones at times.

Read more: What’s the Difference Between Greige and Taupe?

Sherwin Williams Keystone Gray SW 7054

Keystone Gray is a beautiful, soft, medium-toned greige that slightly favours beige warmth over gray, but not by much.

Maple kitchen update with Benjamin Moore White Dove and Sherwin Dovetail island, Keystone Gray walls. White quartz countertops. Kylie M Interiors Edeign, online paint color consultant

Benjamin Moore Brown Horse 2108-30

Brown Horse is brown, but not overly fudgy (a technical term) NOR grayed-out.

Dark bedroom with gold and yellow accents with dark wood furniture. Benjamin Moore Brown Horse

Benjamin Moore Kingsport Gray HC-86

Kingsport Gray is a classic neutral paint colour nestled nicely between gray and brown. It’s more likely to favour brown over gray, but not by a HUGE amount.

Edesign, online color consulting. Kylie M Interiors Benjamin Moore colour expert. Feature accent wall in Kingsport Gray, other walls Accessible Beige, upholstered headboard

Sherwin Williams Anonymous SW 7046

If you aren’t afraid of green, Anonymous is WICKED gorgeous. It’s a solid medium to med-dark greige with a gorgeous green undertone.

Paint colour palette including Sherwin Williams Collonade Gray, Anonymous in powder room and Benjamin Moore Gibraltar Cliffs feature wall. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, online paint color consultant

While the above photo isn’t showing a feature wall (in the powder room), it acts as a feature of sorts to the hallway, as the room was small enough to be wrapped up in it!

Sherwin Williams Backdrop SW 7025

Backdrop is a brown paint colour with a REALLY nice dose of gray in it, making it ALMOST taupe with a soft purple undertone.

Benjamin Moore Whitall Brown HC-69

Whitall Brown is a beautiful brown paint colour with a lower LRV. It’s a softer approach compared to the depth and richness of Brown Horse.

The Best Paint COLOURS for an Accent or Feature Wall

If you’re in the mood for MORE colour, I get it, I love colour too. But, for the sake of mass appeal, I wanted to focus on the most popular colours that my clients are asking for. If you need help picking your fave colour, I’d love to take a look at your home via my E-design! Otherwise, let’s take a quick boo at a few beauties…

Benjamin Moore Tawny Rose 2173 20

Tawny Rose is a rich, rusty paint colour. Not red, not orange, not brown, just a beautiful blend of them all!

Feature wall in Benjamin Moore Tawny Rose, Gentle Cream, open layout dining and family room. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, online paint colour consulting. ARtez photography

Photo by Artez Photography

Similar to Tawny Rose are Cinnamon, which is a bit more orange/bright and Sienna which is a bit darker and more grounded.

Benjamin Moore Smoked Oyster 2109-40

I love me some Smoked Oyster, as it not only tastes great on crackers, but it also looks beautiful on a feature wall! Just be sure to not mix the two up or you could have some stanky walls and a terrible snack.

Feature or accent wall fireplace Benjamin Moore Smoked Oyster, purple paint colour. Benjamin Moore Stone House. Beige carpet. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color consulting, advice blog

Read more: The Best Purple Paint Colours

Sherwin Williams Grizzle Gray SW 7068

Grizzle Gray is a nice blend between gray and green. It is MOST definitely not a gray with a passive green undertone, but it’s also not a strong green – it’s right in the middle!

Family room, tv hung on wall, shiplap feature wall Sherwin Williams Grizzle Gray with beige sectional, south facing exposure. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour consulting, advice blog

Benjamin Moore Azure Water 677 or Gulf Stream 670

Here’s a nice pop of colour for you! Azure Water and Gulf Stream or both gorgeous teal colours, so they’re blue-green blends. They both have a bit of gray to calm them down, but Azure Water has MUCH more, whereas Gulf Stream has very little. Azure Water is a bit calmer and Gulf Stream is a bit more fun. Tim is Azure Water, I am Gulf Stream.

Benjamin Moore White Dove on walls and trim with teal feature wall in kids girls bedroom with swinging chair. Kylie M Interiors Edesign

The Best DARK & Black Paint Colours for an Accent or Feature Wall

I love dark paint colours, either on a feature wall or in an entire room. But, not EVERY room can pull them off. Sometimes colours with darker LRV’s are just too much for a space and overwhelm it. Make sure you have the lighting and decor before you commit to one of these bad boys.

Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Paint Colours and LRV

Benjamin Moore Gray 2121-10

You’ll have NO luck finding Gray by its name alone, as Pinterest will show you ALL of Benjamin Moore’s gray paint colours! You need the number/code to find this bad boy – and he’s worth looking at! Gray 2121-10 is a damn dark charcoal with a passive blue-purple undertone. Remember, blue can swing a few different ways, so make sure you’re getting the type of blue you like the most!

Hallway update with laminate wood look flooring, Benjamin Moore Gray feature wall, Sherwin Williams Creamy and door to bathroom. Kylie M INteriors E-design

Sherwin Williams Iron Ore SW 7069

I really really like Iron Ore, like more than just as a friend. In fact…I love him. He’s deep, he’s dark, he’s moody and he’s a great way to get the contrast of a black without the stark/harsh look of it. He can also pick up a vague, almost slate green undertone. I painted our home office this colour in our last home, fondly referred to as the home from Hell our ‘summer home’, but didn’t get a good shot of it as I was too wrapped up in my wine-infused misery. So while I don’t have a great shot of him in the room, you’ll get a glimpse on the interior of the front door below.

Entryway in Sherwin Williams Collonade Gray with oversized large clock, charcoal bench seat and foyer front door painted Urbane Bronze. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, online paint color expert - Copy

Benjamin Moore Raccoon Fur 2126-20 or Wrought Iron 2124-10

Raccoon Fur and Wrought Iron give me the warm fuzzies – but that’s because I love double d’s. Hey, not THOSE kind of double d’s (a girl can dream) but the OTHER double d’s – paint colours that are deep and dark. Raccoon Fur and Wrought Iron are similar to each other, being NOT quite black paint colours. They are just a fine blend of black, blue (with a purple undertone) and dark gray.

Benjamin Moore Raccoon Fur feature accent wall with Pure White and art gallery style display in bedroom. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, online paint color specialist

Moody dramatic feature wall lin bedroom. Benjamin Moore Raccoon Fur with Sherwin Pure White. Kylie M INteriors Edesign. Gallery style artwork

I have Wrought Iron (not shown above) in our master bedroom and it’s wicked gorgeous. However, Tim’s always leaving his undies around, so I haven’t been able to snap a great photo yet. You’ll find that Wrought Iron is just a bit more blackish and slightly less colourful than Raccoon Fur.

Benjamin Moore Kitty Gray 1589

This one is a personal fave, as shown in the hallway of our old home. Kitty Gray is a med-dark charcoal with a GOOOORGEOUS blue-green undertone. I can’t WAIT to get the chance to use this colour again somewhere in our new home.

Benjamin Moore Kitty Gray feature art wall with Collonade Gray. Ken Kirkby totem pole original painting. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, virtual paint color expert

So, there you have it, my funny friends!

Not sure what to paint the OTHER walls in your room? Not sure what YOUR best feature wall colour is?

Check out my Online Paint Colour Consulting packages! 

edesign, virtual paint colour consulting. Kylie M Interiors Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams color expert. marketing (15)

Chat soon,

Kylie M Interiors, decorating blog, e-design, online colour consulting expert. signature

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Originally written in 2019, updated in 2021~



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      Oh you are too funny 😉 Seriously, I HAVE to do a blog post on that – thanks for the reminder! I get so excited about other ideas and get distracted!

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  1. Great post, as always.
    The chandelier in the first photo is gorgeous! Can I ask where I can possibly buy one?
    Thanks so much!

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