Lately I have had many interior design clients asking for help in selecting an accent wall color in order to make a particular wall “pop.” While I am all for accent walls “of color,” I find the rebel in me looking for more unusual ways to give that one special wall some drama. Paint is, by far, the least expensive method, but being creative about texture is also something to consider. We are all very comfortable using tile, glass, metal, any number of materials as kitchen back splashes, but when it comes to a living room, entry or two story staircase wall, the default seems to be paint. Hmmmm. How to break the mold and think outside the box? Perhaps the most “wow! wall” I’ve seen recently, and one I desperately wish I had come up with, is one that goes up a staircase wall. It is gold leafed in brick size units that are arranged in a parquet style of quarter turns. They are not perfectly uniform in size nor shape, and they have a slight random feel to how they were laid. The effect is an amazing combination of rich, warm, elegant beauty with just a dash of wild serendipity thrown in. And, you’ve never experienced the grandeur of how light can play off a wall until you’ve experienced this wall. Lately, I have used horizontal wood planking applied in several different ways as wall treatments. Sometimes the planks will be deeply stained and highly polished, laid very tightly together to minimize seams, and wrapped around a corner to run the length of an adjoining wall to give the treatment even more drama and a sleek, three dimensional effect. I have also bolted iron rods vertically on a wall from floor to ceiling and then affixed horizontal planks to them, leaving fairly thin spaces in between. The planks are offset from the wall, lending depth, and the wall behind it is painted an accent color that peeps through the spaces. The planks I selected were more weathered and in keeping with the industrial chic style that is so popular lately, but in truth, there could be a sleek, sophisticated, and polished way to apply this wall treatment depending on materials selected. One last example…I have bought salvaged old tin ceiling tiles and white washed and weathered those that weren’t already in that condition, and tiled the wall instead of the ceiling. They can be used to create a headboard effect in a bedroom, a living or dining room cottage style accent wall, one can add a frame around them or not depending on the effect you desire. So, before you choose paint, a perfectly lovely choice, let your imagination run wild about materials and what dramatic effect you would like to achieve. Find the rebel inside yourself.