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Design Ideas for Kitchen Accent Walls

An accent wall gives a room personality. It transforms the space from a blank slate to a personalized creation. There are many ways to create an accent wall for a living room or bedroom, but what about the kitchen? What types of designs work best for kitchen accent walls? Check out these design ideas from O’Hanlon Kitchens to get inspiration for your kitchen renovation.

A Decorative Range Hood with Bold Tile underneath

This is one of the most popular accent wall ideas for kitchens because it combines beauty and function. You need a range hood in your kitchen. Might as well dress it up! You can use a beautiful mosaic tile or accent tile backsplash to draw even more attention to the range area. Use this as a focal point in the kitchen, and add elements throughout the room that mimic this design decision.

Accent Paint or Wallpaper

Perhaps the easiest way to create a kitchen accent wall is to paint a contrasting color on one wall. This could be something bright and bold, or it could be soft and subdued. For instance, you could choose a bright yellow accent wall to add a wow factor from the first sight, or you could opt for a soft butter yellow that soothes the eye. Learn more: How to Choose a Kitchen Accent Color.

Wallpaper is also making a comeback these days, so you could choose a fun pattern for the walls. Just be sure the wallpaper isn’t too busy compared to the tile and countertops.

Reclaimed Wood, Stone, Brick and Other Materials

Rustic, industrial, farmhouse – many design styles use natural or reclaimed elements to create visual interest. In a kitchen, you could install a faux brick accent wall, reclaimed wood, or natural stone. You’ll need to be leery about where the accent wall is, as those materials are not always easy to clean. If you want the accent wall in a backsplash area, you’ll be better off with low-maintenance tile.

Eye-Catching Artwork

If you’ve got enough wall space to hang a big piece of art, go for it! This would allow you to keep the colors in the kitchen neutral and add pops of color through art. If you want to change the color scheme of the kitchen later on, you can swap the art for something new.

Chalkboard Paint

You could turn your kitchen accent wall into an interactive feature by using chalkboard paint on the wall. This works best for flat walls, not textured walls. The chalkboard paint applies much like regular paint, but you can write on it with chalk or chalk pins. You could draw fun artwork on the walls or write out the menu for the week – whatever your heart desires.


Joanna Gaines from HGTV’s Fixer Upper took the shiplap trend to an entirely new level. It was already making its way around homes in America, but the show’s success catapulted the use of this building material. If you like the look of horizontal boards, consider using shiplap for your kitchen accent wall.

What Not to Include on Kitchen Accent Walls

There are many design ideas for kitchen accent walls, but there are also some designs to avoid. We don’t want you making a design mistake in the most used room in your home. Here are some elements you should NOT include for your kitchen accent wall:

  • Matte paint in a food prep area. If your kitchen accent wall is near your cooktop or sink, choose a shiner finish that’s easy to clean.
  • Absorbent materials or fabric. These materials are going to absorb the grease and odors in the kitchen, creating a stinky mess months down the line.
  • Complex molding designs. Decorative molding can be beautiful in any room, but be careful about how you use it in a kitchen. Every piece of trim is one more surface you have to clean.
  • Glass and mirrors. These surfaces show every smudge and fingerprint you could possibly get on the wall. If you go with this option, prepare for the maintenance to come.
  • Real plants. You can use plants in a kitchen, but you must be careful about the plants you select. If the plants cannot withstand the heat and humidity that kitchens naturally accumulate, you may be better off with faux plants or a different species.

O’Hanlon Kitchens is proud to offer kitchen remodeling in Maryland and Pennsylvania. We have a direct replacement program that replaces your cabinets and countertops, as well as full kitchen remodeling that includes everything you need. We would love to help you design your dream kitchen. Call 443-285-0558 to get started.  


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