How to Create a Dining Room Accent Wall that Draws the Eye In

Dining room accent walls

Are you consumed by the many choices available when it comes to designing your accent wall? If you are overwhelmed by thoughts of how to choose the perfect dining room accent wall, you aren’t alone. There are many things to consider, and which wall to use as the accent wall is just the tip of the iceberg. We provide you with inspiration and tips on creating an accent wall that captures attention.

How to Choose a Dining Room Accent Wall

Selecting the correct wall is the first step in creating an eye-catching design. Poor choices are the difference between an incredible space and one that’s just a bit “off.” You need to be confident when you select the wall that it will naturally draw people’s attention when they walk into the room.

The best wall to accent tends to be the first one you see once you enter a room. Yet since many rooms, dining rooms included, can have several entry points, this may leave you wondering which one to choose. If this is the case, select a wall with architectural cues like fireplaces, serving nooks, or places of interest. This will be your focal wall.

Things to Consider

Accent walls tend to be contrasted and coordinated colors. You can use wallpaper, rocks, or additional treatments to make them the focal point of the room. A simple way to transform a room is by adding a brighter color. However, there are many options available when creating an accent wall.

  • Select an Advantageous Color: If your goal is to make a short wall appear longer, then select a cool tone like blues, pinks, or greens. To make long walls appear more balanced with the rest of the room, use warm colors like yellow, orange, beige, or red.
  • Search for a Solid Wall: Walls that don’t contain built-ins, windows, or doors are great choices for an accent wall. This will add visual interest to simple spaces. 
  • Consider Your Furnishings: If the accent wall you are considering is mostly concealed by your existing furniture, using this as a focal point will diminish the effect. Select a wall that is open, or rearrange your furniture if possible.
  • Walls Need to be Symmetrical: Refrain from selecting walls that contain various sized windows, slopes, or strange niches.

The aim in decorating a dining room is to make it feel like a warm, welcoming, and comfortable place. Always keep this goal in mind whenever you make design decisions.

Eye-Catching Designs for an Accent Wall

When selecting a color, determine whether you want this wall to stand out and draw attention, or whether it should match with the rest of your decor. However, color is only one part of the equation. With design advances, it is possible to create multiple looks for a dining room that you never imagined for a spectacular effect.

Add a Wall Mural

Wall murals aren’t only for bedrooms and living rooms. They can be incorporated very well in modern or contemporary dining rooms. Cityscapes are commonly used, but any backdrop can look great in a dining room.

Use Wood Paneling

Wood panel wall in modern dining room

Wood panels can look great when incorporated between two windows for a more elegant feel, or as a backdrop on a long wall. It creates a richer atmosphere and tends to do well in lighter-colored dining rooms.

Accent a Nook

To really make a splash, use a bold color to draw attention to a nook in your dining room. You can either use a bold, bright color to provide that pop or use wallpaper to add visual interest.

Cover a Wall with Tufted Material

Tufted materials can add a retro seventies appeal, or it can make a dining room feel more formal and elegant. By selecting one in a brushed suede material, you can elevate a room and make it feel richer. Silks tend to provide more of an elegant feel to a formal dining room.

Apply Wallpaper

Dining room wallpaper for accent wall

Using wallpaper for an accent wall is like putting a large piece of art on one wall. If you have a smaller room, you can make a wall appear longer by using horizontal stripes. Likewise, if the ceiling is low, you can use vertical stripes to give the illusion of height. This also works well if you want to accentuate already high walls.

You can also use wallpaper with any style if it complements your decor. Wallpaper tends to be a personal choice and is reflective of the homeowner’s personality.

Board and Batten for a Rustic Look

This type of design is commonly used in rustic farmhouse designs. They contain alternating narrow wooden strips accompanied by wide bands. This type of paneling uses the narrow wood strips placed over joints of a wide board to provide a layered, geometric effect.

Do a Gallery Wall

Gallery Wall dining room

If you can’t add wallpaper or paint the wall in your dining room, you can still bring visual impact to a wall by incorporating a gallery wall. You can place small rocky shelves on flagstone accent walls, install shelves containing deep shades of brown, add mirrors, or arrange pictures or shapes on the wall to generate a focal point.

If you choose to incorporate mirrors, consider flanking wall sconces beside each of them. It can provide further illumination and generate a warm glow to the room when entertaining.

Use Wall Molding

Dining room with elegant, geometric white molding

Molding has a reputation for being a little old school, or over the top. However, it can be incorporated in contemporary and subtle ways. It’s also perfect if you are going for a rustic farmhouse look. Wainscoting, chair rails, and paneling can transform a monochromatic wall.


There are several ways to generate a striking dining room accent wall. The easiest and most affordable way is to paint it a bold color. However, sometimes it is worth it to go the extra mile with an accent wall and use wall murals, paneling, or other methods to create visual interest. Accent walls are the perfect way to quickly elevate the look of a room with little effort.