A Bad Feature Wall
- Is on the wrong wall
- Is on too MANY walls
- Has the wrong finish on it (too shiny)
- In the bathroom
- Doesn’t relate to anything in the room. These walls are often a reflection of the homeowner’s personal tastes, without considering the needs of the room and its products/furnishings
A Good Feature Wall
- Highlights a room’s natural architecture
- Adds fake architecture or personality to a room that is lacking interest
- Picks up on a colour that is already existing in the room either in hard surfaces or on linens/artwork/dominant decor
- Nicely contrasts a colour that is already existing in the room
Now, before we get into great feature room COLOURS, let’s talk about placement.
Where Should You Put a Feature or Accent Wall?
The Headboard Wall in a Bedroom
This is ‘usually’ the main long wall that you first look at when you walk into a room. 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 turn around to see the headboard/feature wall.
This can be the area ABOVE the fireplace or the walls on either side of the fireplace. 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 beside and above the fireplace, rather than having a bump-out above the fireplace.
Sure, it won’t brighten the hallway, but it WILL add personality and depth!
The Main Wall in the Living room or Family Room
This is usually the wall that the longest piece of furniture is on.
On a Unique or Interesting Part of the Drywall
This can really vary depending on the home and the layout.
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.
In a Staircase
This can be the back wall of the landing area (on a 2 part staircase) OR the main wall that runs along one side of the staircase from top to bottom.
Now to the good stuff, paint colours
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 primary OR graying out.
Benjamin Moore Anchor Gray
Anchor Gray will give you a blue, but subdued approach compared to the strength of Hale Navy.
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.
Benjamin Moore Steel Wool 2121-20
Steel Wool is a subtler, softer approach. It’s more of a soft, medium depth and leans considerably grayer, with more of a blue-purple undertone to it.
The Best Dark Gray & Charcoal Paint Colours for an Accent or Feature Wall
While I might lean hard into the blues and grays with blue undertones, 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
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 Amherst Gray
Amherst Gray is 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.
Benjamin Moore Escarpment CC 518
Escarpment is a beautiful, considerably warm gray with a decent purple undertone in it.
The Best Greige and Brown Paint Colours for an Accent or Feature Wall
The thing with greige is that it really is only greige up to the medium range, after that it starts to favour brown, gray, green or purple – it can lose a bit of its ‘greige’ look. Kingsport Gray below are really on the boundaries of greige. Any darker and they start leaning into gray or brown more definitively with more noticeably undertones at times.
Benjamin Moore Brown Horse 2108-30
Brown Horse is brown, but not overly fudgy (a technical term) NOR grayed-out.
Benjamin Moore Kingsport Gray HC 86
Kingsport Gray is a pretty classic colour. It’s nestled nicely between gray and brown and is more likely to favour the brown over the gray, but not by a HUGE amount.
While it’s not technically a ‘feature wall’, it acts as a feature of sorts as the powder room in our last home was small enough that I could wrap it right around the room!
Benjamin Moore Whitall Brown HC 69
Whitall Brown is a beautiful brown 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
Now, you might be in the mood for MORE colour, and 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.
Benjamin Moore Tawny Rose 2173 20
Tawny Rose is a rich, rusty colour – not red, not orange, not brown, just a beautiful blend of them all!
Photo by Artez Photography
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 the feature wall! Just be sure to not mix the 2 up or you could have some stanky walls and a terrible snack.
The Best Almost 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 the colours with the darker LRV’s are just too much for a space. 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 darned 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!
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.
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 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.
So, there you have it my funny friends!