You often hear the word “accent” used in decorating and interior design. But what does it really mean, especially when designing a bedroom? The easiest way to define “accent” is in terms of fashion. Think of pants and a top – that’s the base. Now add jewelry and accessories – those are the accents. In terms of the bedroom, accents include things like bedding, window treatments, pillows or artwork that add color, texture and patterns. Besides these few types of accents, there are many more to consider; here are some accents you can use in your bedroom to add color and fun patterns.
Updated by Michelle Ullman
01 of 09
An accent wall is one wall in a room that is painted or wallpapered in a different color or design from the other walls. In the bedroom, it’s usually the wall at the head of the bed. Accent walls are a very effective and dramatic way to add color, make a small room appear larger, or add a touch of pattern. While paint is the most common finish for an accent wall, other options include striped wallpaper -- as in this lovely bedroom from Summerhouse Interior Design -- paint, wood paneling, decorative paint techniques, wall stickers, or a wall mural.
02 of 09
Trim includes the 2 – 5” wooden (sometimes plaster) strips found along walls at the floor (baseboards) and sometimes at the ceiling (crown molding.) In some homes, particularly older houses, trim also accents the windows. And finally, trim can also include beadboard, as shown in this bedroom. While many people simply paint trim the same color as the walls, or perhaps paint it white, you can use trim to add a splash of color to your room by choosing a bright, dark or high-contrast color instead. Generally, semi-gloss or high-gloss paint is the best choice for trim, as it’s easier to scrub away scuffs and dust from the smooth paint surface.
03 of 09
Light Fixtures and Lamps
Light fixtures--such as chandeliers, lamps, and ceiling fans--are not only functional; they also serve as decorating accents. Your bedside lamp is one of your bedroom’s most important accessories, so don’t miss out on this easy chance to add color and interesting shape to your room. Ceiling light fixtures, particularly pendant lights and semi-flush mount fixtures, are also a great way to update your bedroom’s entire style. If your bedroom is small, you’ll need at least two sources of light besides the windows. Larger rooms need a minimum of three light sources, as in this romantic bedroom from Kriste Michelini Interiors.
04 of 09
An accent pillow--as the name suggests--is a pillow used to add accents of color, pattern and texture to your bedroom, as opposed to the bed pillow that cradles your head while you sleep. Accent – or throw -- pillows are the easiest way to add a quick shot of color and pattern to your bedroom. Every bed benefits from one to three throw pillows, along with a couple of shams, but more than that tend to become a pain when it’s time to make the bed or slide between the sheets. With nearly endless colors, patterns, shapes and designs available, you can match any bedroom decorating style with a throw pillow.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
While your large pieces of bedroom furniture, such as the bed and dresser, are not accents, smaller furnishings, such as a statement headboard, foot-of-the-bed bench, small armchair or table, generally qualify. Typically, you’ll only add one or two unique pieces to your bedroom to avoid décor overload, although a large, carefully themed bedroom can sometimes take more.
06 of 09
An area rug is a piece of carpeting--which comes in various sizes--used to add protection and warmth in a bedroom with hard floor surfaces, as well as add accents of color, pattern, and texture. There are many different styles of area rugs, so no matter what your decorating theme, there is a rug to match.
07 of 09
Artwork generally refers to the accents hanging on your walls. Every bedroom needs at least one large or several small pieces of artwork hanging over the bed or the dresser – use art as a focal point or the inspiration for your bedroom’s color scheme. There are more styles and types of artwork than there are decorating styles, but there isn’t one that’s better than the rest – the right artwork for your bedroom is the piece that you love and that complements your furniture and other accessories. The beautiful bedroom shown here is from Walter Powell Architect Inc.
08 of 09
Accessories or Trinkets
Whether you call them collectibles, tchotchkes, accessories or trinkets, these are the accents that finish off your décor and showcase your personality, your tastes and your lifestyle. Common collectibles include figurines, antique books, jewelry boxes, candles, flowers, vases, or any other decoration besides a painting or piece of artwork. These little knick-knacks and accents complete your bedroom color and design concept. The collectibles that work best in your bedroom depend on your decorating style; for example, if you’re putting together a sleek, contemporary bedroom, you wouldn’t use rough, hand-thrown pottery or country-style baskets. The beautifully styled dresser top here is from Erin Gates Design.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
A throw blanket, also called a toss blanket, is a convenient, small blanket perfect for covering your shoulders while reading in bed, providing an extra layer of warmth over your feet, or merely adding a touch of color, texture and pattern to the foot of your bed. They come in many different materials and designs, and are another easy way to add a nice touch of color and pattern to your bedroom.