4 Experts Tips To Choose Wall Accents

Like icing on a cake - wall accents are the finishing touch that can breathe joy and life into your living space. However, the shear number of options for room décor available can feel overwhelming.

Here are 4 tips to keep in mind when choosing the right wall accents for your home.

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What size wall accents should I buy?

Wall accents and décor can range from tiny, 5x5" canvas prints to oversized hanging sculptures.

Narrowing down which sized pieces to look for will depend on where the piece will be located and how much space you have.

Need something to hang above the sofa or bed? => Go big!

Oversized and extra-large wall accents go great above key furniture centerpieces such as beds and sofas. They not only help to pull the overall theme and colors of a room together, but they can also serve as the base inspiration for other decorations like pillows, rugs, and lamp shades.

While sofa and headboard sizes can vary, you can always use the "2/3 Rule" to select the right sized of wall accent to pair with it. This rule of thumb suggests that any piece of wall art or décor hanging over a sofa (or bed) should be two-thirds its size.

For example, if your sofa is 6 ft long, you should choose a wall art piece that is around 4 ft in length to hang above it. The same rule can be applied to headboards, dining room tables, and any other large furniture pieces.

Big Green Metal Plate Wall Decor
Big Distressed Blue Solid Wood Wall Décor
Big Multi Colored Metal Wall Décor
Big Olive Gray Metal Wall Decor
Big Mint Green Solid Manufactured Wood Wall Décor
Big Floral Metallic Wall Décor

Looking to make your small room feel larger? => Keep it simple

Cluttered walls can make a small room seem even smaller. If you are low on space, try to keep wall art and décor as simple and minimalistic as possible.

You can do this by purchasing one medium or large piece of wall art to serve as a focal piece. Large mirrors - especially for smaller rooms - are perfect for this as they help to bring light in which can make the space feel larger.

To avoid making the room feel crowded, limit the number of additional pieces in the room. One large piece will make a much greater impact in a small room as opposed to multiple small to medium sized pieces.

Antique Silver Glass Metal Wall Décor
Floral Manufactured Wood Wall Décor
Rustic Wood Text Wall Décor
Wood Dream Text Wall Décor
Square Mirror Glass Wall Décor
Glass Beads Black Metal Wall Décor

Working around chair railing in the middle of your walls? => Create a gallery

Chair railing is beautiful, but it can be difficult to decorate around. If your living or dining room has chair railing, try to create a "gallery wall" by placing multiple small to medium sized pieces on the upper half of the wall. This will help keep your chair railing and wall décor in balance.  You can do this by purchasing several different wall accents and letting yourself get creative.

If you'd like to go for a uniform look, buy multiple pieces of the same size and shape and evenly space them in row. This technique often looks best in multiples of three.

Alternatively, you can purchase several different pieces of various shapes and sizes and then arrange them in a cluster. For this technique, you will want to buy one medium sized piece to serve as an anchor. Then, you can use anywhere from 3 to 10 smaller pieces of a similar color or theme to arrange around it.

Gold Metal Wall Décor Set
Teal Metal Wood Wall Décor
Orange Wooden Flower Wall Décor Set
Boat Yellow Metal Wall Decor
Brushed Metal Birds Wall Décor Set
Multicolor Wood Fish Wall Décor Set

Which color of wall décor should I choose?

In order to choose the right color of wall accents to purchase, you should first take a look at the color of your walls.

What if my walls are neutral tones like white, cream, sand or grey? => Play with pops of color!

If you are working with a neutral background, now is your chance to summon your creativity! Using the wall as your canvas, feel free to experiment with a variety of colors and textures.

If you already have a defined color palette for the room, choose wall art that will complement your existing scheme. Try to let less prominent colors shine through statement pieces that will bring life to the room.

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Wildlife Wood And Metal Wall Décor
Painted Hummingbird Wall Décor Set
Wood World Map Wall Decor
Iron Hand Painted Wall Décor
Hand Painted Dimensional Wall Décor

What if my walls are a bold color like bright yellow, orange, or red? => Balance

If your walls are bright and bold, go for wall décor that will help to balance it out. Too many colors on the wall can seem chaotic, and in some cases can make the room feel smaller.

So, if you are choosing a painting or a photograph, go with a neutral color pallete like black and white, grey scale, or sepia. You can also go with either all white décor or all black décor to really balance out the brightness.

With bright walls, it's important to remember that the wall color is the focus and statement for the room - avoid purchasing pieces that will compete with that.

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Floral Gold Metal Wall Décor
Modern Black Metal Wall Décor
Ceramic Sparrows Wall Décor Set
Today Is A Good Day Wood Wall Décor
White Resin Deer Head Wall Décor

What if my walls are a softer pastel color? => Go neutral

If your walls are a softer color like light pink, blue, or yellow, then neutral pieces in white, cream, and sepia tone will be your friend. Bright colors and black can be overpowering on soft backgrounds, so avoid purchasing pieces that will dominate the space.

Soft colors are also a great opportunity to incorporate fairy lights, black and white vintage inspired photographs, and floral prints. These items will complement a pastel palette well and help to keep the space soft and light.

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White Lily Metal Wall Décor
Fir Wood Brown Wall Décor Set
Brown Glass Girl Wall Décor
Black Solid Wood Wall Décor
Metal Star Flowers Wall Décor Set

What accents work best with my style?

If you are looking to achieve a specific theme or style for your space, wall accents are the perfect way to add character and bring the look together!

What if my house has a rustic or traditional country theme? => Experiment with textures

If your house has a rustic or country theme, you have the perfect opportunity to experiment with textures. Textures like woods, metals, and burlap work great in this theme as they are earthy and will help the space feel warm and cozy.

To prevent the space from looking too dated or over the top, consider choosing only a few textured pieces. For example, placing a large, reclaimed wood sign or window as a centerpiece is still traditional but also in line with contemporary style. Try surrounding the piece with understated photos, prints, or whatever vintage-looking trinkets you can find.

Other examples of popular rustic/traditional country wall accents include:

  • Metal wall racks
  • Hanging mason jars with lights or flowers
  • Vintage-inspired wooden or metal signs
  • Faux taxidermy 
  • Windmills
White Resin Faux Taxidermy Wall Décor
Windmill Head Metal Wall Décor
Metal Pot Hanger Wall Decor
Handed Painted Iron Wall Décor
White Brown Wood Text Wall Décor Set
Silver Metal Round Hanging Wall Décor Set

What if my house has a modern and contemporary look? => Try sleek lines and geometric patterns

Modern design is all about keeping your décor light, simple and minimalistic. To bring this theme to your walls, try to go for large statement pieces that incorporate sleek lines, abstract patterns, and solid colors.

Gallery walls are also very on trend and are a great way to add a ton of personality while still staying modern.

Other examples of popular modern/contemporary wall accents include:

  • Abstract animal sculptures
  • Mirrors and mirror collages
  • Shadow boxes
  • Gold or silver hanging wall sculptures
  • Sunbursts
Gold Metal Swirl Plates Wall Décor
Geometric Gold Metal Wall Décor
Brown Metal Figural Wall Décor
Solid Wood Shadow Box Wall Décor
Gray Glass Mirrored Wall Décor
Gold Metal Ornamental Sculpture Décor

What if my house has a calming/relaxation theme? => Go back to nature

If you want your space to have a more relaxed and spa-like feel, think about incorporating pieces that represent nature. Stones, seashells, and images of plants are a great way to bring serenity to the space. Sandstone pieces also work really well for this as they are lightweight and can easily hang on the wall.

In terms of color palettes, you will want to avoid bright colors and stick with neutral, natural tones with soft textures. To bring even more life to the walls, try to find some mounted pots with plants or experiment with sone hanging greenery.

Other examples of popular calming/relaxation wall accents include:

  • Coral or sand dollar shaped wall sculptures
  • Sundials
  • Reclaimed wooden shelves
  • Floral or scenic paintings
  • Bamboo frames
Antiqued Gold Glass Wall Décor
Gray Metal Abstract Wall Décor Set
Blue Wood Coral Coastal Wall Décor
Silver Metal Leaf Wall Décor
Tin Metal Wood Wall Décor
Black Shell Modern Metal Wall Decor

What if my house has a vintage or 'shabby chic' theme? => Think eclectic pieces and florals

If your home has a vintage vibe, the sky is your limit for wall art. You'll want to find some eclectic pieces and trinkets that have a bit of character.

While you may want to go with a common color scheme, this theme can also work if you incorporate wall art of many different colors. However, try to choose a few pieces and then group them together in groups of three or four.

You can also try to look for distressed items that look antique. Black and white photographs, antique prints of posters, and obscure paintings are wonderful ways to add a ton of character and personality to the space.

Florals will also be your friend. Try going for a floral-print canvas, real hanging plants, or even flower-shaped stone wall sculptures.

Other examples of popular vintage/shabby chic wall accents include:

  • Hanging birdcages
  • Hanging wall planters
  • Crocheted dream catchers
  • Ceramic or metal flower sculptures
  • Reclaimed wooden mirrors or photo frames
Inspirational Quotes Wall Décor Set
Distressed Beige Metal Wall Décor
Off White Ceramic Wall Décor
Dreamcatcher Wheel & Feathers Wall Décor
Cream Decorative Metal Bird Cage Set
Glass Metal Birdcage Picture Frame

How can I use wall accents in an open floor plan?

Open floor concepts can be tricky since the living room, kitchen, and dining room blend together. However, similar to how you need to be strategic with the size and placement of your furniture in order to keep spaces defined, you also need to be strategic with wall art.

Try to use larger pieces to define key spaces. For example, one large accent piece over the dining room table can help to define that space as the dining area. This technique also works with sofas or chairs for living rooms.

Additionally, you should try to keep your color palette throughout the shared space monochromatic. However, you can still play with accent colors - and wall art is the perfect way to do that. For example, if your palette incorporates white, blues, greens, and yellows, use blue wall art pieces for the kitchen, green pieces for the living room, and yellow pieces for the dining room. This is a fun way to define each space but still keep it cohesive.

Jessica started out as an interior photographer, but her love of pretty settings took her to the field of interior design, where she can combine two of her greatest passions, creating and then capturing the beauty of homes.