If there’s one thing I could watch for hours, it’s painting. There’s something so therapeutic about seeing someone transform a blank canvas into something beautiful that has me watching the same video on repeat. Heck, even watching someone painting a wall will entertain me.
So after stumbling upon a video from TikTok creator @JessieFinds painting accent squiggles and various shapes on her walls during one of my late-night scrolls, I was immediately sucked in. It took the whole accent wall and accent arches to a whole new level, and it has completely changed the way I look at painting a wall.
I found myself doing a deep dive through the app to see what other color and shape combinations creators have made and have various ideas. I’ve seen swirls of neon pink, turquoise triangles that take up an entire corner, and even specks of metallic accents that pop. Right now, I can picture a bright coral circle behind my desk and some golden squiggles that would highlight my triangular ladder bookcase.
It's definitely fun to experiment with your own home and try things that make you happy,
Interior designers have also noticed this emerging trend and also adore how much personality these accents bring to a space.
“I think it's definitely fun to experiment with your own home and try things that make you happy,” Jade Joyner, co-founder, principal designer, and chief creative officer of Metal + Petal, says. “I think people get so focused on what they should do in their home, it's nice to see people take a little risk and do something different.”
Malka Helft, the founder of Think Chic Interiors, explains that this funky shape trend has evolved the circular furniture and midcentury modern vibes that are making a major comeback. She also believes that because how things evolve on the app, it’s made this design trend expand rapidly. “What I love about TikTok, in general, is that it just spreads these trends really quickly,” Helft says.
Another great thing about painting wall accents is that it’s an affordable DIY and is renter-friendly, explains Charlotte-based interior designer Brenna Morgan, as opposed to say applying wallpaper for an accent. If you do mess up or absolutely hate the project, you can always cover it up with primer and the original paint color.
“I'm all about an accent wall,” Morgan says. “I think that painting shapes on a wall is so awesome especially for the rental demographic because it's just paint. When your rental is up, you can just paint over it.”
When it comes to deciding what color palette you want to go with for your own space, Helft recommends looking on Pinterest or paint company sites that are filled with some unexpected color combinations that will work with the furniture and décor you already have. Earthy tones like terracotta and sage green have taken over the trend, but Joyner would like to see more experimentation with metallic or iridescent colors or even painting these shapes using a different sheen of your current wall color for some added interest.
To choose your shapes and where you want them, Morgan says to choose the wall people are going to see when they walk into your space, but won’t completely overtake a room—there can be too many shapes.
“An accent wall is exactly that,” Morgan says. “It’s a wall that’s supposed to accentuate the rest of the space, so most likely it's going to be your focal wall or the first wall people see.”
While more geometric shapes will be easy to form with proper measurements and painter’s tape and circles can be easily made with string, a thumbtack, and a pencil, the more abstract squiggles will likely have freehand. “I think the first thing everyone needs to know is that it is not going to be perfect,” Helft says.
Because of this, she advises placing décor and furniture in front of these shapes to hide the imperfections in a way you can still see the general shape. For example, you could place a mirror in the middle of a terracotta arch blob or add some shelving in front of a teal circle.
Joyner also recommends adding some juxtaposition to the painted shapes. If you’ve painted some curvy shapes and squiggles, pairing those with very square, linear furniture pieces would add some definition.
“If you're going to try something like this, try it in a way that makes it your own,” Joyner says. “Paint is not that expensive, and it's a great way to express yourself.”