How I Use Photoshop to Plan an Accent Wall


Quick backstory: the master bedroom was painted the same color tan on the walls and ceiling with a border around it. It was one of the last rooms I tackled in this house because a) Everything was just so tan and unmotivating and b) I had very little interest in what the bedroom looked like. I mean, the most I do when giving a home tour is vaguely gesture at the slightly open door and say "That's the bedroom but it's messy and there's nothing in there anyway." Vicious cycle. I finally did something about the tan, which got me motivated to do more, but that's for a later post; right now, I just want to focus on accent wall planning!

original bedroom wall

That magnificently professional picture is the original I took with my iPhone; however, side note: do you realize how hard it is to take a halfway decent bed picture? Pillows are the most rebellious photo subjects and our room is so tiny I had to scrunch up against the wall to get this shot. Rant over.

As you can see, the room is rather plain (save for that bonkers duvet that was my grandma's. I can't get enough of it). I painted the walls and ceiling a simple ultra white so I could have the perfect blank canvas for my wacky exploits.

If you don't have Photoshop/don't want to learn all this, you can still just take separate pics and throw them together for ideas, either on a mood board or Pinterest. This little project is more in depth because if I can, I just will.


I cropped and adjusted the brightness in the picture first, then cut out the wall behind the bed with the lasso tool (I have a tablet that makes this easier, but the pen tool would work, too). I applied a subtle drop shadow to the original image for more realism (because heaven forbid this look WEIRD).


Then the fun part! I scoured Hygge & West's wallpaper (my love) and took snippets of a few that popped at me. Now, I plan on actually painting this wall, not using wallpaper, so I had to keep that in mind. I'd prefer something a little more organic so I don't go bananas trying to make anything too perfect (I'm looking at you, bottom middle that I love despite myself...). This is more of a game plan to determine the right look and color palette, not what the final product will look like.

All I did was put the wallpaper on a separate layer under the original picture layer so it peeks out through the big hole I cut, and adjusted as needed. Some have had their hues messed with so they're not exactly what you might see on H & W's website, because I'm a ruthless barbarian when it comes to hue and color selectors.

There's no big reveal here (gasp! Betrayal!), but planning is its own process, and I'm still toiling over which one I like best (I've stared at that lineup until I'm cross-eyed) and I may even go back later and add more patterns. I just hope this helps you make some bold choices you otherwise wouldn't've made, since, you know, shopping photos is pretty low-risk as opposed to actually painting a wall.

Now get planning! Go wild and make some bad choices! What's there to lose here? :)