16 Awesome Budget-Friendly Accent Wall Ideas

Deep blue accent wall in living room with gray couch next to floor to ceiling window

The Spruce / Michelle Becker

If you're looking for a budget-friendly way to make a big impact in any space, an accent wall is the answer. Forget the "one red wall" style of accent walls from several years ago; accent walls have gone creative. You don't need a huge budget to create a stunning custom look in your home with an accent wall. There are accent wall ideas no matter your taste or budget. Color is the least expensive and easiest way to create an accent wall, but there are many other stylish ways to customize your space.

  • 01 of 16

    Pick a Paint Color

    black accent wall

    D Burns Interiors

    Creating a stunning accent wall can take little more than a gallon of paint and an afternoon for painting it. Choosing the right accent wall paint color is important as it will become your room's focal point. Choose a color that works well with your other colors in the space. If your existing wall color is warm, you'll want to choose a warm wall color. Be careful even with neutral colors, as they have color undertones and temperature that can make your accent wall look out of place.

    Faux-finish accent walls are not as popular as they once were, but using metallic paints or plaster techniques are still very much in style. Be sure to try your faux-finish technique on a piece of wallboard before trying it on your wall, that way you'll have practice time and a preview of how it will look. Consider taking a free workshop at a local home improvement store to perfect your technique and get help recreating your accent wall at home.

    Figure out how much paint you need with The Spruce's Paint Calculator. 

  • 02 of 16

    Add Curtains

    curtains as an accent wall

    Cathie Hong

    Ditch the paint and wallpaper—floor-to-ceiling curtains can add a dose of unexpected drama to a space. These white curtains flow with the rest of the walls, yet the fabric provides texture that still creates a perfect accent wall.

  • 03 of 16

    Try Temporary Wallpaper

    wallpaper accent wall

    Ann Living

    Temporary wallpaper is a huge trend and is very budget-friendly. Also called "renter's wallpaper," this product is removable and requires no paste or water. You can have a lot of fun with patterns and colors you might not want to live with permanently. Temporary wallpaper is perfect if you'd love a stylish look without the commitment. The best spots for a temporary wallpaper accent wall in your foyer, behind a headboard, and in a room lacking any real architectural features. 

    Choosing bold wallpaper patterns in vertical stripes can make your ceiling look taller, and horizontal stripes make your room look larger. You can use temporary wallpaper in clever ways to update your space easily and affordably. Don't limit yourself to a simple wall application; you can use this wallpaper to line the back of shelves or inside cabinets to add a peek of color and pattern.

  • 04 of 16

    Add Temporary Wood Planking

    lightwood plank accent wall

    Arbor & Co.

    Everywhere you look reclaimed wood is popping up in home decor. You can easily and affordably add that weathered style to your home with this innovative product.  The simple wood planks can help you create a warm accent wall without the heavy lifting.

    There are no limitations to where a wood accent wall could go in your home. You can create a warm and inviting family room or add style to your foyer. You can also add the look of reclaimed wood to the sides of a kitchen island, a bar, or the back of open shelving or cabinets. 

    Continue to 5 of 16 below.
  • 05 of 16

    Use Tile On an Accent Wall

    kitchen with tile accent walls

    Erin Williamson Design

    Tile accent walls are stunning and can change your space. Your options for the tile accent wall include tiling the entire wall in gorgeous glass or stone for a high-end look. This is the most dramatic way to add a tile accent wall but may not be affordable for every budget.

    If you love the look of a sleek tiled accent wall but don't have the time or budget for a big tiling project, consider peel and stick tiles to create your room's focal point. The new peel and stick tiles are much more elegant than past products and include more design options. 

  • 06 of 16

    Go Small and Subtle

    small nook accent wall

    Afro Bohemian Living

    An accent wall doesn't necessarily need to take up an entire wall—especially if you're dealing with small nooks or awkward spaces. Choosing an interior color that actually highlights is key. This corner space gets a facelift with the neutral brown paint on one side, allowing it to stand out amongst the rest of the white decor.

  • 07 of 16

    Use Mirrors

    mirror accent wall with marker writing

    Ashley Montgomery Design

    Paint and wallpaper are far from your only option when creating an accent wall. Especially in a smaller room, a wall covered in mirrors can be a gamechanger, allowing the space to appear larger. While mirrors themselves can be pricey, there is a budget-friendly alternative—mirror panels. These thin sheets of reflective paneling allow you to stick the sheets onto the wall to give the appearance of traditional mirrors. They come in various sizes, shapes, and styles that can help you bring your accent wall ideas to life.

  • 08 of 16

    Paint a Mural

    mural of greek busts in entry accent wall

    Brexton Cole Interiors

    If you're feeling artistic, you can't go wrong with painting a mural to serve as an accent. Keeping the art on one wall keeps everyone's attention focused on the masterpiece, and allows you to make a giant impression without going all out on every wall.

    Continue to 9 of 16 below.
  • 09 of 16

    Get Colorful Behind Shelving

    bright and bold wallpaper

    Casa Watkins Living

    Wallpaper is not just for bedrooms and living rooms—kitchens can join the fun as well! Pairing colorful, eclectic wallpaper as a backdrop for floating shelves can help the space from feeling too overwhelming. Additionally, knowing you're only using the style on one wall gives your permission to go outside the box a bit more than you might when having to keep the entire room in mind.

  • 10 of 16

    Paint Geometric Shapes

    painted accent wall

    Dazey Den

    Paint doesn't have to reach all four corners to make an impact. The trend of painting geometric shapes on walls, particularly headboards, isn't an unknown concept—but can be applied to other rooms as well. The white wall with a simple yellow circle still creates a contrasting accent, yet still feels cohesive with the rest of the space given it matches the golden hue on the remaining walls.

  • 11 of 16

    Use a Vibrant Hue

    colorful accent wall

    Erin Williamson Design

    When opting to paint an accent wall, you have plenty of colors to choose from. While staying neutral or subtle is one route to take, don't hesitate to get bolder in your color choice, especially if you have a theme in your room that supports it. This room already boasts a midcentury modern vibe, and the stunning blue wall only adds to its charm.

  • 12 of 16

    Pair Fun Wallpaper With a Gallery Wall

    accent wall with pattern wallpaper and gallery wall

    Dazey Den

    Another wallpaper pairing that is vastly underrated? Gallery walls. Choosing one wall in your home to be the focal point, add a festive or vibrant print, and then layer photos, artwork, or other types of decor to create an eclectic gallery wall. You will likely be surprised how many items in your home can easily be added to the concept, as well as how many inexpensive art prints exist online, so you don't have to blow your budget in the process.

    Continue to 13 of 16 below.
  • 13 of 16

    Try Felt Stickers

    blue wall with felt stickers to create moon and stars motif kid's bedroom

    Home by Polly

    If you're not much of a painter or muralist, but still want to create a striking scene in your child's bedroom, there are other options available to work with. Peel and stick felt stickers can transform a simple wall into a galaxy, as shown in the bedroom above.

  • 14 of 16

    Combine Textures

    accent wall with olive green paint and wood panels covering part of the wall

    Home and Spirit

    Accent walls do not require you to stick rigidly to one texture. This living room includes a working space and having the desk against the accent wall almost gives the impression of a separate room. The olive green paint pairs flawlessly with the warm wood pannels covering only 1/3 of the area. The natural colors and texture align to create a wall you can't take your eyes off of.

  • 15 of 16

    Go Neutral

    nature scene wallpaper in grayscale colors

    Michelle Berwick Design

    If you prefer a more minimalist vibe but still want to try an accent wall, then simply keep the color palette neutral, but create a distinct design on one wall. This bedroom adds a foggy forest nature backdrop in grayscale to only one wall—and the results are striking.

  • 16 of 16

    Use Vintage Book Covers

    accent wall covered in vintage book covers

    Mid Century Jo

    If you're big into the DIY scene and want to be a bit more eclectic, then it's time to step outside the norm. This accent wall is covered floor to ceiling in vintage book covers—which can be found inexpensively at thrift shops and donation centers.

Watch Now: This Paint Roller Instantly Gives You Custom Wallpaper