25 feature wall ideas: how to create an accent wall, with paint or not

Add a focal point to your living room, bedroom, hallway or other space with these feature wall ideas. Use paint, wallpaper or what you already have to make a statement.

Floral mural in green bedroom with blue upholstered bed, grey throw and low pile rug
(Image credit: Furl)

You can easily bring more personality and style to your home with the best feature wall ideas to hand. Whether it's a clever splash of paint to add an accent to your living room, or if you want to wallpaper a wall in your bedroom, this is a creative home decor project that is about as customizable as it gets. 

Go big, or not, add color, in unexpected ways... However you want to do it, creating the feature wall of dreams is easily done (and doesn't have to be the most expensive of wall decor ideas either) when you're giving your space a total makeover.

Wall decor expert Chelsea Clark, Head of Brand at Lust Home notes how 'Decorating is no longer about following rules, you really can make any wall a feature! But if you’re looking for a good place to start, go for a wall with existing features, such as a fireplace or wall panelling. Make architectural elements in the room pop by creating your feature wall around them. Make the most of your space and go for a feature wall that you can decorate from floor to ceiling.'

1. DIY a feature wall with paint

Grey and blue bathroom with upcycled vanity unit using grey chalk paint

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

Wall painting ideas are all the rage to add a touch of your own personality using a little creativity or even just a piece of tape... Go freestyle and paint trim with paint from Annie Sloan .

2. Add a pink mural

Pink floral wall mural in bedroom with jute rug, modern pendant lighting and pink throw

(Image credit: @agi_at_59)

Like to feel pretty in pink? Agi @agi_at_59 brought a little piece of paradise to a small bedroom space with this pink wall mural. Created using Surface View and complemented by use of similar hues and equally as flamboyant furnishings around the room. It's a look to copy. Clark also recommends to 'Be playful with your feature wall and turn color up to the max.'

3. Let it feature in an unexpected place

Grey stairwell with glass chandelier and bold feature gray geometric wallpaper

(Image credit: Interior Impressions Minnesota)

This is the perfect example of how a feature wall can define even the most unexpected areas in your home. This gorgeous Minnesota home lacks an entry way, just the stairwell, so the talented design team at Interior Impressions used a bold wallpaper to help the walkway stand out from the rest of the home.

4. Get an industrial feel with exposed brick 

Exposed brick wall painted in blue and pink by Farrow and Ball with wall painting, plus a small dining table with green chair and blue stool

(Image credit: Farrow and Ball)

A wall of exposed bricks has long been a seen as a holy grail of interiors, something that we are all desperate to have as a feature wall in our homes. For some lucky home owners stripping away old plaster will instantly reveal an expanse of beautiful brick, for others it’s more a fake until you will make it situation, with the help of wallpaper or brick slips. 

If you've revealed your bricks but are disappointed with the finish, you can draw attention to the wall by keeping the brick texture, but hide the mismatched or ugly colours with a freshly painted finish.

5. Make it all about the shelving 

Delicately wallpapered hallway with contemporary mirror and floating shelf

(Image credit: Chasing Paper)

We all know that shelving ideas can make best use of a blank space. Dress a wall with a dotty wallpaper for a subtle design and be strategic with your choice of shelving deco for a feature.

6. Fake a slatted feature wall

Slat effect wallpaper in 70s-inspired lounge with leather couch, gray cushioning and large area rug

(Image credit: I love wallpaper)

A slatted wall makes a cool and contemporary feature in any home but, the real deal can often come at a cost so faking it with paper is one of the coolest wallpaper ideas going to create a space that has depth.

7. Exposed brick effect wallpaper

White washed brick wallpaper by Wallsauce

(Image credit: Wallsauce)

Real exposed brick isn't a realistic option for everyone – particularly if you're renting or live in a new build – which is where stylish brick effect wallpaper or mural comes in. It's half the hassle, but achieves the same industrial feel that so many homeowners are after.

Find a similar exposed brick wall mural at Wallsauce.

8. A dramatic still life mural

Dark painted floral mural in a dramatic living room with cherry red velvet couches

(Image credit: Carpetright)

Wall murals are definitely the new (more affordable) alternative to artwork. Why spend a fortune on an oversized piece of art when you could choose a print that covers an entire wall? 

We love the dark and moody vibes of the floral mural in this living room, you can find really similar prints at Surface View

  • Check out our pick of the best mural ideas for more inspiration.

9. Color block over paneling

Blue and white living room with wall paneling and white linen couch with blue and yellow ochre detailing by Vanessa Arbuthnott

(Image credit: Vanessa Arbuthnott)

Color blocking has been a major trend in feature wall ideas this year and adds a load more interest than just a wall of one block color. We can’t get enough of this fresh white and blue combination – perfect for a fresh finish in a light-starved living space. 

10. Wall stickers aren't just for kids' rooms

bedroom with white scheme and blossom wallstickers from Oakdene Designs

(Image credit: Oakdene Designs)

Wall stickers may not seem like the most grown up solution for a feature wall idea, but we promise there are some really gorgeous designs out there. Plus if you are an interior design commitment-phobe or renting your place, they are a pretty easy to remove. Use one to make more of a focal wall – such as behind your sofa or at the head of your bed. 

11. Create a living wall

White and green living room with open wooden shelving and large collection of houseplants

(Image credit: Sofa.com)

We all love house plants, so why limit yourself to just a single Monstera? Try adding plenty of plants to your shelves to create the look of a living wall or get yourself some hanging pots . 

Collection of mirrors, clocks and frames on a white wall behind a white couch with eclectic assortment of colored and patterned cushions

(Image credit: La Redoute)

Got an ever expanding collection of much-loved art, family photos or favorite postcards? Try grouping them together to bring one of the best gallery walls ideas to life.

If symmetry is your thing, measure them carefully before hanging to get even spacing. If you like a more laid back approach, just work out your arrangement on the floor first prior to picking up your hammer.

13. Enhance space with a mirror wall

Arranged mirrors on a wall and over a glass and wooden antique cabinet

(Image credit: Stuart Cox)

It’s the oldest interior design trick in the book: a strategically placed mirror can make a room feel bigger. But rather than just hanging one large mirror, combine lots of mirrors in different shapes, sizes and styles to add extra interest. 

14. Simple statements

Floral green dining room with leaf wallpaper and white table by Little Greene

(Image credit: Little Greene)

Possibly even easier than just painting one wall, wallpapering is the simplest of feature wall ideas you might have realized by now. If you are working with a small space or a narrow wall in a hallway, go for a large-scale, bold print, but keep the background light and bright. 

15. DIY an ombré wall

Ombre wall in a dining room

(Image credit: Crown)

It would seem that the ombre effect is a trend that’s not going anywhere. It started on the catwalk, spread to our hair styles, and now the dip dye style has seeped into our homes. The best thing about an ombre wall? It’s actually super simple to DIY.

16. Floating shelves and frames

Yellow sofa with artwork on shelves

(Image credit: Loaf.com sofa)

Putting up a few floating shelves is possibly the easiest and most inexpensive of feature wall ideas. Copy this look and layer up your photos and knick knacks just as you would with a gallery wall. Keep it interesting by changing it up every once in a while, we like to do it with the seasons.

17. Add a rustic feel with a 'wood' feature wall 

Lucy Kemp Victoria Road house: Dark bedroom with parquet wood-effect wall behind bed

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies © Future)

Herringbone and parquet patterns are everywhere at the moment, well, we say everywhere, mostly just on floors, but we love it on the walls too! It adds such a lovely rustic feel to this bedroom, and works so well to warm up the blue of the painted walls. If you love this feature wall idea, check out Wayfair they have a really similar design. 

18. Use temporary wallpaper in a bathroom to create an instant feature wall

Removable wallpaper in a bathroom

(Image credit: Wallpapers4beginners)

Oh how gorgeous and glam is this bathroom feature wall? This crane print is giving us Gucci vibes (yes, Gucci make wallpaper, and yes, it's gorgeous, and yes, it's extortionate), the lovely green colors and the Oriental style print makes for a dreamy combo. 

19. Paint a cute pattern in a kid's room

Ikea hack with wooden side board and sage green paint

(Image credit: Ikea/Benjamin Edwards)

A kid's bedroom is a space you can get really fun and creative in, so they are the perfect space for a feature wall. We love this really easy DIY idea, all you need to do is create the rainbow shade with masking tape and then paint in between the gaps.

20. Add a feature wall to your garden!

Multicolored garden wall with pots and a pink bistro set

(Image credit: @the_colour_file)

Yes, you can add a feature wall to your garden! Look at this gorgeous idea from  @the_colour_file. This amazing transformation was done with just paint and masking tape and has instantly added a lovely feature wall to plain old brick. 

21. Make use of what you already have 

Couples bathroom with exposed brick wall, pink units and patterned motif floor tiling

(Image credit: Industville)

Sometimes we have a feature wall already, but maybe we can’t see that it’s right in front of us, especially if you are in the middle of a renovation. Take this brick wall for example - there are wallpapers that have an image repeated for a classic brick wall, and if you want to create an industrial feel in your space then instead of plastering it over keep it exposed instead. By painting the other walls you create a feature by leaving it alone and often, simple is best.

22. Frame your headboard for impact

Painted pink circle frames wooden bed with stripped bedding and pink chunky knit throw. Woven chandelier centers the space.

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

Creating shapes with different colors is eye-catching and can be as subtle or bold as you'd like. To create a circular shape like this, you need to put a pin or nail in the middle with some string attached to it measured to the width you want to go - and a pencil tied to the other end. Then you ‘draw’ a circle leaving the pencil mark on the wall. Paint your circle in your chosen color and you then paint the rest of the wall in another or leave it white like this bedroom. 'Another great feature spot is behind your bed - your accent wall can even double as a bedhead.' Says Clark.

23. Blue and big

Blue floral mural with dark teal couch and red cushion in velvet

(Image credit: Sofa.com)

This really is the ultimate feature wall isn’t it? Stunning big blousy floral mural panels that create a dark and dramatic feel whilst adding a burst of color simultaneously. This is a bold look so to make it work you need balance, keep the walls plain but in a color picked out from the mural and accessorize with a beautiful texture like velvet. Add in a pale rug for a spot of contrast to prevent it from all looking too moody if you want to lift the scheme a little. 'Make your feature wall unforgettable with a unique, bold patterned wallpaper.' Adds Clark.

24. Striking stripes

Stripped wallpaper with angular lantern, painted alcove space for white aga and wooden dining table

(Image credit: Little Greene)

Gone are the days of believing we need to paper every single wall in the room, in actual fact, less is always more and you can create an eye-catching feature by only papering one wall, or one side of a room. This kitchen shows you how to make it work successfully and stripes also give the illusion of height so a double win if you pick this design! The black painted surround is a strong look that helps to create the overall statement wall and the white Aga, woodwork and chairs add balance.

25. Create a feature wall that's unique to you

Feature wall ideas

(Image credit: Habitat)

Okay, so this is a pre-designed wall that possibly involves painted MDF in different shapes, however, it shows how to create a spectacular backdrop in this dining room. And one you could create yourself with two or three paint colors and a bit of freehand painting because as we say above, shapes are IN so be brave and have a go – this wall shows you how they can be irregular and still look marvelous. 

Put it in the spotlight. 

Hebe Hatton

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer before moving to the Livingetc team in 2021 where she took on a role as Digital Editor. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration. When she isn't writing about interiors, she is renovating her own spaces – be it wallpapering a hallway, painting kitchen cupboards or converting a van.

With contributions from