Stylize an accent wall in your home with the alluring warmth and depth of wood, whether you select a gorgeous rustic style or upscale chic. Warm, rich, and timeless, wood has long been a material of choice for floors, trim, and cabinetry. There are numerous ways to enjoy the colors and textures of raw wood in your home, whether you prefer a subtle touch or a full-on feature wall. The colder temperatures of fall and winter inspire gravitating toward warm woods and textures. A wood accent wall is one of those versatile details that looks great just about anywhere, and as the temperatures dip, you will find yourself loving the look of wood in every color and shape. The impact is strong, and layers of texture and warmth can bring a rustic sophistication to traditional or modern spaces. Possible applications are numerous — no space is off-limits.
Browse this collection to see how it can also add character and beauty to your walls. If you are seeking further inspiration on accent walls, browse through some past articles on 51 Modern and fresh interiors showcasing gray paint and 41 Sensational interiors showcasing black painted walls.
Shipping-Pallet Headboard. Make a headboard out of rustic and worn-looking wood from shipping pallets.
Reclaimed and Rustic. Clad one wall of your bedroom in reclaimed boards of various lengths, arranged horizontally. Using boards with a variety of tones and leaving the nail holes visible adds to the rustic appeal. Choosing the wall behind your bed gives the impression of a full-wall headboard.
Bed wall. A bed wall is a great location for a wood accent. I find the natural patina of wood to be very calming and a perfect choice for a bedroom. I especially like the way the texture of this wall gives just enough interest to this minimalist room but does not compete with the spectacular view.
Warm rustic with bright white. Opposites attract, and that’s certainly true for this fresh interpretation of soft modern. This room is so calming and minimalist, with its sharp contrasting textures of smooth bright white and smoky rustic wood. This is such a perfect vibe for a bedroom. Notice the pendant lights at either side of the bed in place of lamps, saving space on the petite nightstands.
Play up the rustic. Yes, a wood accent wall can also be distinctively rustic. Play up the lodge experience with barn wood and branch furniture. Consider an unexpected soft color like lavender to contrast the edge of the wood.
White on Wood. Put a fun spin on tradition in your kitchen by installing white cabinetry on wood walls. Opting for open shelves over wall cabinets helps showcase the beautiful wood walls and provides a layered look.
Wood as wall art. This idea is almost a full accent wall but more like a piece of art. Consider artful configurations of wood on a focal wall in a dining room or home office.
Sleek and modern. Wood accent walls can look sleek and modern, not rustic at all. Walnut is a great choice for a modern accent wall, especially applied vertically. Notice the modern neutral palette of solids and textures. No need for art; the wood accent wall is the star.
Floated. This idea reminds me of a warm, rustic art installation all by itself. Naturally, it’s the perfect place for a great piece of art and a great idea for defining spaces in an open floor plan.
Reclaimed with color. This fun, rustic wood accent wall features reclaimed wood with a touch of color. The punchy red accent table looks right at home in this mix.
Horizontal and Zen. The slim horizontal styling of this wood accent wall creates the perfect Zen-like atmosphere for this master bathroom. The choice of a squared-off modern bathtub makes this bathroom distinctively minimalist and spa-like.
Inset accent wall. There is a great transitional vibe of this inset wall against the bright white walls and soft layers of the three-tiered chandelier. A shapely mirror and mirrored sideboard attractively contrast the horizontal pattern of the white oak accent wall.
Stairwell detail. A stairwell is a perfect place for a wood accent wall. The high nature of a stairwell will create a dramatic effect, with a great opportunity for accent lighting. Run the boards horizontally to visually expand the width of the space.
Photo Sources: 1. Julia Robbs, 2. Habachy Designs, 3. The Urban Stylist, 4. Jeffers Design Group, 5. This Old House, 6. Anthropologie, 7. BHG, 8. House Beautiful, 9. Allure Interiors Inc., 10. Blender Architecture, 11. Bruce Johnson & Associates Interior Design, 12. SHED Architecture & Design, 13. AMW Design Studio, 14. Cornerstone Architects, 15. Jordan Iverson Signature Homes, 16. Capital Building, 17. Meritage Homes, 18. Design Associates, 19. Wellbuilt Company, 20. LKID, 21. Pinterest, 22. Robert Hawkins, 23. SB Architects, 24. BHG, 25. Hufft Projects, 26. Light Locations, 27. Stikwood, 28. Les Collections Dubreuil, 29. Dane Cronin Photography, 30. Clayton&Little Architects, 31. Union Studio, 32. Imagine Living, 33. Urban Design Centre, 34. Jeffers Design Group, 35. Studio Schicketanz, 36. Jersey Ice Cream Co., 37. Cornerstone Architects, 38. DuChateau Floors, 39. Frenchs Cabinet Gallery llc, 40. Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, 41. NB Design Group, 42. Jersey Ice Cream Co., 43. Risinger Homes, 44. General Assembly
25th Street Residence is a Victorian home designed by Geremia Design, located in the Noe Valley neighborhood of San Francisco, California with a storybook facade and modern interior. The homes blueprint for stylish living addresses the ever-changing needs of a growing family. The designed wanted the house to be durable, functional, and flexible while still maintaining a strong design perspective.
We worked with a newly-wed couple to build out this Victorian home in Noe Valley. We dove into a full-scale remodel that transformed the traditional Victorian into a bright, modern home that can accommodate their growing family.
Geremia Design directed the layout of both the interior and the exterior, using innovative materials and finishes. Custom light fixtures and furniture are the highlights of this project.
1. Divide and Conquer
Geremia’s team decided to approach the front living space as “an adult entertaining zone.” The custom-made sectional (visible above in the far right corner, behind a low storage piece holding games, toys, and books) is located between the wall and a hot-rolled steel–clad closet, creating a “corral” in which the kids can play within eyesight of the adults. The closet doubles as an industrial statement and—thanks to its magnetic surface—a place to display postcards and drawings.
2. Keep Your Options Open
Geremia bypassed the traditional concept of a singular dining space in favor of multiple seating options to reflect everyday and entertaining needs. The dining table accommodates eight for a dinner party, while the durable barstools at the concrete island work perfectly for casual weeknight meals for this family of three.
3. Keep It Simple (But Add Interest)
Geremia opted to keep things fairly neutral in the nursery, allowing her client’s son to grow in a space that would stay relevant. Eschewing a totally minimalist aesthetic, she enlisted a former Rhode Island School of Design classmate, Terry Powers, to paint a mural inspired by animal imagery from the ’70s. Touches of bold color—a tangerine screen-printed blanket by Caroline Z. Hurley, a lacquered blue display shelf by Brooklyn’s Wintercheck Factory—round out the room.
Photos: Matthew Millman
The Butte Residence is a striking modern home and artist studio designed by Carney Logan Burke Architects, located on an extraordinary 38-acre site on a butte in Jackson, Wyoming. The site overlooks the confluence of the Snake and Gros Ventre Rivers and commands panoramic views of the Teton Mountain Range and National Parks.
The design was driven by the desire to capitalize on the potential of this site while weaving the architecture of the buildings into the topography, maintaining a modest profile on the skyline. In addition, the owner, a collector of contemporary art and sculpture, desired architecture with character and materiality that respects western tradition but embraces abstract, clean, light-filled spaces.
By organizing the program in a series of volumes that range across the site, individual spaces open to varied views and access points; from dramatic sweeping vistas to intimate, secluded experiences within the trees.
Gently curving roof forms separately capture public and private functions within the residential program. Springing from and returning to the topography of the site, the roof profile mimics the soft shape of the butte and creates a series of protective canopies that provide shelter in the harsh western landscape.
Photos: Paul Worchol
Maison Glissade is a contemporary reinterpretation of the traditional chalet designed by Atelier Kastelic Buffey, set on a narrow lot in a private ski club development in Collingwood, Ontario, Canada. The residences form retains the convention of a gable roof, yet is reduced to an elegant two storey volume in which the top floor slides forward, engaging an adjacent ski hill on axis with the chalet.
The cantilever of the upper volume embodies a kinetic energy likened to that of a leading ski or a skier propelled in a forward trajectory. The lower level counter balances this movement with a rhythmic pattern of solid and void.
While the project provided many challenges in both design and cost effectiveness, the team at Wilson Project Management rose to the challenge, meeting the demands of the project at every level. We have found them to be a highly efficient, hardworking and hands on group. Their knowledgeable team was able to troubleshoot the demands of the project, all the while maintaining a strong working relationship with both ourselves, the trades involved, and the client.
Photos: Peter A. Sellar
Two Barns House is a stunning modern dwelling designed by architecture studio RS+, located in a quiet northern district of Tychy, Poland, near the forest complex. Access to this 2,701 square foot (251 square meters) home is achieved by a cul-de-sac from the main road connecting the plot in its north-west corner. Zoning plans based on the analysis of the urban area imposed roof geometry and the maximum height of the building. The rectangular shape of the plot and its orientation towards the south-west suggested preferred location of the building.
Requirements of investors was that the house have to be open to the south garden, spacious and comfortable. To accomplish this and to split the volume, we divide the body of the building in two materially and functionally different parts. We turned first shape towards south and include in it the whole day zone.
To let residents maneuver their cars easier, we headed second shape toward the entry to the plot. Here we placed the rest of functional areas. In addition, we shifted both solids relative to each other to further enlarge the driveway, which due to the relatively narrow access road must be used to turn back. This procedure also allowed us to create shaded and private part of the terrace which is directly accessible from the bedroom.
What’s more parts of the house shade each other so that the master bedroom does not collect direct sunlight in the afternoon, letting the room to cool down before the night. We connected both shapes with bright, open and glazed mezzanine. The choice of very durable materials, and resignation of the gutters gives the possibility for the house to retain its original appearance without maintenance throughout its entire existence.
To keep the building comfortable, we placed on the ground floor all zones necessary for everyday living, and the rest on the first floor. Interiors designed in two-color and warm minimalist style stands in contrast to the facade with a cool colors.
The quality of the building and its details is the result of high quality materials, good workmanship and constant supervision by designers over the investment.
Photos: Tomasz Zakrzewski
The Norwich Drive Residence features inspiring design and novel use of materials, the personal home of architect Clive Wilkinson, located in West Hollywood, California. The 3,300 square foot house was designed by the architect with the need to address two separate issues. From an urban design perspective, it needed to conform to City of West Hollywood design guidelines and fit into a small scale residential neighborhood, at the same time as transitioning in scale from the adjacent commercial strip of Melrose Avenue. In response to interest from friends, it also needed to provide a kind of prototype for an economical ‘starter urban house’ that would accommodate the new young urbanite lifestyle.
The second goal was complicated by specific site conditions: the lot was a non-standard trapezoidal form, widening towards the rear, as well as having a commercial building to the north that overlooked the site.
In an effort to reduce the house to a set of essential ideas, responses to existing conditions began to set the pattern of the house. The mass to the street was broken down allowing a single story over the garage and roof terrace. It was possible to screen the front yard with greenery, so an olive grove was planted up to the street. On entering the front gate, a visitor can see the full depth of the site – from the olive grove, through the glazed living room, to the rear yard and swimming pool – which enlarges the scale of the house. The living room is compressed in height, but opens to the two-story kitchen/dining room. All links between rooms are articulated on the diagonal with openings in corners, which again enlarges the sense of space.
The house addresses contemporary California living. There is one unified social space – the heart of the house – comprising living, dining and kitchen. Bedrooms are simple spaces re-convertible into studio or office type uses, especially the upstairs front room which is divided with a sliding wall. The master bedroom is located on the ground to emphasize a separation from the outside world (no views over the neighborhood) and a close link to the heart of the house. It has open bath and dressing areas, and a concealed video projection system for watching TV or movies in bed. The bathroom has a freestanding bath that opens to the pool via sliding doors, and the shower has double glass doors that allow wet bathers to shower directly after swimming without wetting the interior. Video projection is also used in the living room.
The building is a smooth stucco box – a vernacular LA type – with the living areas opening up to the exterior via large sliding glass doors. The house’s environmental performance is passive and uses basic sustainability ideas: electrically operated skylights exhaust hot air using a chimney effect in the double height space – and keep warm air inside during winter, insulation is optimized, underfloor heating is provided on ground level and the outside landscape uses a low water xeriscape approach, with a mostly gravel ground cover suitable for the desert location. From another sustainable viewpoint, the house is located in walking distance of the owner’s office, as well as walking distance of about 35 restaurants and bars, reducing car use considerably.
There is a raw expression of structure throughout the house – ceilings are exposed diagonal wood sheathing with a sprayed insulation roof on top. Floors are either smooth concrete, or wide plank quarter sawn oak, or white rubber stud. Walls are white drywall. Clive Wilkinson uses color and creative expression in many of his projects, but the intention here was to avoid expression and achieve a house that was both a simple art studio, which allowed the mind to wander without associations, and an adaptable place to socialize with friends.
Photos: Benny Chan, Fotoworks
Blue Ridge Residence is a striking steel and glass home designed by New York City-based studio Voorsanger Architects, located on a 200-acre farm in Charlottesville, Albermarle County, Virginia. read more
Chelsea townhouse is a three story contemporary renovation with a garden extension completed in 2011 by architecture studio Archi-Tectonics, located in Chelsea, New York. The existing 3,400 square foot brownstone townhouse is a New York landmark. The existing structure was gut-renovated and a 550 square foot garden extension was added to two floors and a roof terrace. The client, a fashion designer, was interested in a ‘textured’ and layered approach.
The new rear extension is conceived as a light airy space which creates a filter to the garden space beyond, adding more light and better views. The new garden facade is a 3d folded steel and glass structure with reclaimed tropical palisander infill. It extends the library on the garden level, the living room on the parlor floor and creates a terrace for the master bedroom area above.
The interior of the townhouse is gut-renovated; the top floor is raised, the garden floor is lowered and a completely new wood and glass staircase with a skylight is inserted, lighting the stair space all the way down. Large sets of sliding doors at the living/ entry and bedroom/bathroom areas are creating flexible use of space; these doors are 3d CNC milled with wood and glass patterns.
Photos: Richard Powers