When decorating a bedroom, consider how using accent colours and pattern can add interest to inject a touch of personality. A feature wall is a great example of how to tailor the space for a look that feels unique to you and your tastes.
A thoughtful bedroom colour scheme and wallpapered panels play a key role in making a sleep space feel all the more intimate and personal.
What is a feature wall?
Quite simply, a feature wall is one that stands out from the remaining walls within the room. Whether it's an accent wall of colour or wall dressed with a statement wallpaper, the 'feature' element means that it captivates with an alternative design.
Which wall should be an accent wall in a bedroom?
You have four standard walls and a ceiling to consider as the fifth wall, so the choice is all yours on which you select to standout.
Most commonly, a feature wall will play the perfect backdrop to a bed, making it more of a focal point. But there's no rule to say that's the only way. If you have architectural elements on an alternative wall – such as a fireplace or the entrance to a en suite – this could lend itself perfectly to becoming the accent wall.
If decorating a small bedroom space, use a feature wall at the far end or on the side of the bed to create interest and add depth to the scheme.
Bedroom feature wall ideas
1. Use pattern to highlight architectural details
Play on a room's existing features when creating your feature wall, such as a chimney breast and alcoves. Due to the landscape of the walls these details naturally stand out, so adding a captivating pattern or a splash of bold colour helps to enhance them further.
If you're wallpapering the chimney breast with a pattern, pick out a key accent colour to decorating the adjoining walls. This will make the look feel cohesive.
2. Wallpaper a headboard panel
If choosing the wall behind the headboard to play the accent wall, why not make a real statement with a dedicated papered panel.
Think outside the box when it comes to creating a 'feature' wall. Make a boutique-hotel-style design feature by hanging a few drops of a striking wallpaper behind the bed. Always try to make it slightly wider than the headboard to frame your bed perfectly. To really add a design wow factor, create neat raised edges with wooden battens covered in matching fabric – but this finish is optional, if you want less work.
3. Incorporate colour with pattern
Allow your feature wall to stand out but seamlessly tie in with the rest of the decor, to master an effortlessly well-thought-out decor. If using a patterned wallpaper to create your feature wall, select a key colour to play prominence within the rest of the room. Here yellow brings a sunny disposition to an otherwise monochrome look.
4. Create interest with painted block colour
Use block colour to fashion a unique feature wall. Create the illusion of panelling with different colours, above and below a designated height line. Use this painted wall panel to act as a backdrop to frame and enhance a headboard and give great prominence to a bed.
This simple trick can also help to add height to a room with low ceilings, a useful paint hack for smaller bedrooms.
5. Embrace a bold accent colour
When using dark colours in a bedroom it's often most favourable to use the hue as an accent, rather than an overpowering presence on all four walls. A brooding dark shade can help to give purpose to a wall, best suited to the wall against which to host the bed. Use the same colour in lighter shades to furnish the remainder of the room to unite the colour palette.
6. Paint the ceiling as the feature wall
To really make a style statement try including the ceiling into your decorating scheme. Considering the ceiling as the 5th wall gives you further options for adding a coloured accent wall. In an all-white colour scheme a strong pigment on the ceiling can help to add personality without encroaching on the scheme. The accent colour can help to anchor soft furnishings and other accessories, to make the look feel more cohesive.
7. Tailor the space to suit your taste
A feature wall needn't mean a whole width of a wall. Use the space as you see fit to create the accent that suits your personal taste. Using a few drops of your chosen wallpaper can help to create a mural effect within a dedicated space, say above the headboard between built-in wardrobes.
Utilising this space helps to make the most of the wall's potential. Making a feature of an awkward sized expanse of wall that would otherwise be rendered a waste, is a great way to add thoughtful detail to the decor.
8. Make a feature of areas of interest
Don't be afraid to let a feature wall be a wall that plays an important role within the room already. If there's a doorframe or window on your chosen wall you can still incorporate a decorative feature wall – if anything it just adds to the aesthetic.
Likewise, this trick is handy if you perhaps don't want said features to stand out for all the wrong reasons. Incorporating them into your the decor of your accent wall stops them from being the thing that catches the eye. As part of the feature wall they become part of the bigger picture – therefore less 'obvious' as standalone features.
8. Create a view with picturesque wallpapers
Make a display of your feature wall. Choose to create a bespoke panel of pattern to add artwork to a chosen wall. Choosing a decorative Toile wallpaper helps to add character to a bedroom scheme. The scene depicted in the design can act as a view in place of a real life one from the window beyond, a great idea if the room is lacking an idyllic setting.
9. Be mindful of colour accents
When using colour or pattern to create a feature wall it's best to stick to a limited scheme. The black and white of the heavily patterned feature wall are echoed through the bedding, rug and even the furniture and lighting choices. The more subtle hints of red on the wallpaper are also cleverly incorporated as pops of a stronger accent colour to seamlessly tie the whole look together.
10. Choose an alternative wall
There are no rules that the chosen accent wall has to be the wall with the bed in front of it. Make a feature of a wall that plays another important role, in this case the wall against which the dressing table is placed. This helps to frame furniture and give more of a sense of purpose to a far side wall – because the two adjacent walls already play key roles by housing the bed one side and fitted wardrobes at the other.
11. Welcome texture to walls
Make a feature of the wall by playing with textures. Wooden panelling can add interest to walls that doesn't have to overpower in the same way pattern or colour perhaps might.
If you can't envision where to begin with affixing real wood, you can easily fake it these days with highly realistic faux wood wallpapers.
Feeling inspired to add an accent to your bedroom?
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Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.
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