What's one of the most common things clients ask me about? Accent walls!
The main thing when deciding to do an accent wall is to use it as an actual "accent" and not "just because". Many people go to accent walls when they can't decide between 2 colours. You want your accent wall to be an area that should be highlighted, so the choice of wall is as important as the colour.
To make your accent wall work, follow these tips:
The accent wall needs to relate to something in the room. Carry the colour and tone of the accent wall into other elements. If there is nothing else in the room that coordinates with the accent wall, it will look out of place. Bring the accent colour through with throw pillows, area rugs, upholstery, drapery, floral arrangements, etc.
Avoid leaving the other 3 walls white. The most effective way to do an accent wall is to paint the accent wall in a darker colour and paint the remaining walls a light or medium neutral tone that either relates or contrasts. Leaving the other walls stark white makes the accent wall less effective.
Accent walls can also be used to change a room's shape. An accent wall can visually shorten a long room or widen a long one. One place accent walls tend to be used incorrectly is in a long hallway - painting the end wall of a hallway a darker colour doesn't have the same effect as it does in a long room - because you only see the one wall, the dark colour recedes and can make the hall seem even longer. A better option is to paint one long wall one colour, and the other long wall a slightly darker version of that colour.
Accent walls can be great when used correctly. Because it's only one wall, you can change the colour easily when you tire of it, and it's easy to be more adventurous with colour when it's only one wall and not the bigger commitment of all 4 walls!