fireplace with a wood panel fireplace accent wall

Designing an Accent Wall Around Your Fireplace: 17 Stunning Ideas

Don’t let your fireplace recede into the background! Bring it front and center by designing your space around it, whether that’s your living room, bedroom, or another room entirely.

Every room should have a focal point, so if you have a fireplace, you have the perfect opportunity to create a stunning accent wall. And that’s what we’re here to discuss in today’s blog post – ideas for designing an accent wall around your fireplace.

First, I’m going to share with you seventeen ideas for a fireplace accent wall, and then I’ll answer some commonly asked questions about fireplace wall design. So if you’re ready to get inspired, let’s dive in!

fireplace with wood logs and a stone tile accent wall; text that reads: 17 fireplace accent wall ideas

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Should the Fireplace Wall Be the Accent Wall?

This is such a common question, but the answer is yes! Absolutely.

The fireplace doesn’t necessarily have to be the accent wall if you have a focal point that better fits the way you use your space. But if you have a fireplace, then it can definitely be the accent wall (even in an open floor plan).

Now, if you have large picture windows that show off a spectacular landscape view, along with a fireplace on a separate wall, then you might prefer to arrange the furniture with the view front and center.


Keep in mind that you can still design the fireplace wall as your “accent wall” while arranging your furniture around something else entirely. It just depends on your goals for the room.

How to Design a Stunning Accent Wall Around A Fireplace

Now, let’s move on to the good stuff! Here are some of the best fireplace accent wall ideas for your home. 

Add a Recessed Niche

Consider adding a slightly recessed niche above your fireplace, where you can display a beautiful work of art – just be sure to add lighting that highlights your beautiful painting! 

living room with arched recessed niche above the fireplace

Notice how the niche in this space is slightly curved at the top, mimicking the archway between the living and dining room. 

Change Up the Mantel

Got a boring fireplace mantel? Change it up and make a big statement! You can paint it, extend it, or swap it out for a different style to achieve a completely new look.

‘Step’ the Tile 

Not really into the symmetrical look? You can create a fun, interesting aesthetic by “stepping” the tile upward so that it’s angled instead of perfectly geometrical. 

wood stove with stepped stone tile on the wall

It works especially well with the tiles behind the pictured wood burning stove – finding the perfect balance of rustic and modern. 

Consider Concrete

Wait, what?! Yes, concrete looks really cool on a fireplace surround – it’s so versatile, and it’ll stand the test of time. 

Keep It Natural With Wood

Wood panels (or even wood-look peel-and-stick panels) on the fireplace surround will bring in lots of texture from nature. Extend the wood look even further by displaying neatly-cut logs in a niche next to your fireplace.

contemporary dining room with fireplace and stacked logs

This fireplace looks so cozy surrounded by a lighter colored wood, and the clean lines lend to the room’s contemporary styling.

Add a Decorative Screen

Nope, I don’t mean a TV screen. Rather, add a decorative fireplace screen in whatever pattern suits your taste for a quick fireplace wall facelift.

Go Bold and Beautiful

Painting the fireplace accent wall a darker or bolder color than the other walls is perhaps the most common choice. This is because it’s the easiest way to make a big impact in any space.

So if you really want to make a statement (that you can easily change when you get sick of it), go big with a bold paint color.

fireplace with teal painted surround

The teal paint color in this room really makes an impact when paired with white trim and lighter colored curtains, and continuing the same color onto the walls creates a seamless transition.

Incorporate Texture

Rather than creating contrast with color, consider bringing in contrasting textures. Natural materials, like stone and brick, are a beautiful way to add texture to your fireplace accent wall. 

But they’re not the only options, as you’ll see in our next example!

Create Contrast By Mixing Materials

I just love mixing materials to create lots of contrast and texture in a space. It can be a little tricky to pull off, but if you’re able to come up with the perfect blend, you could end up with a stunning fireplace wall.

white tole fireplace surround with rustic posts

You’ll never get bored looking at this fireplace with its perfectly paired tile surround and knotty wood accents.

Add Unique Artwork

Because the fireplace is the focal point of your space, you’ll want to hang something stunning on the fireplace wall. When it comes to artwork, look for something big and bold, something really unique to hang above your fireplace mantel. 

Another option is to set a couple smaller paintings directly on the mantel, leaning them against the wall, and perhaps layering them a bit to make them even more eye-catching.

Create Diagonal Lines

Who says everything has to be vertical or horizontal? Instead, use your chosen material – whether it’s wood, tile, or something else – to create diagonal lines and draw the eye upward.

black accent wall around fireplace

While the wall and the fireplace are painted the same color in this very industrial-looking space, the eye is drawn upward with the diagonal lines, which brings our attention to the height in the room.

Bring In the Pattern

If you want a monochromatic color scheme, yet want to do something fun on the fireplace wall, consider creating a fun pattern with your tile. Instead of laying your rectangular-shaped tile in a  plain-Jane horizontal fashion, consider laying them in a herringbone pattern, for example.

Create Horizontal Lines

Not sold on the diagonal lines or herringbone pattern for your accent wall? Play it safe (while still making a big impact) by adding horizontal lines instead with wood panels or shiplap. 

fireplace accent wall with horizontal wood beams

The horizontal lines on this fireplace wall help to visually expand the room while contrasting with the texture on the stone fireplace surround. 

Lighten Up With Whitewash

A whitewashed stone or brick fireplace surround really helps to lighten up a room! If your space is feeling a little too dark and stuffy, or you’re getting sick of your red brick fireplace, consider whitewashing it, and your space will instantly feel brighter.

Extend the Hearth

Extend the fireplace hearth outward and horizontally across your accent wall. This is a great way to create a built-in bench (for extra seating) or shelf (for displaying your decor). 

contemporary fireplace with extended floating hearth

The floating hearth in this photo shows how you can display your decor when used as a shelf, although it looks like it would make a great bench when you need additional seating. 

Emphasize Height

Rather than horizontal or diagonal lines, consider bringing the eye upward with vertical lines. You can achieve this with wood planks, or even by adding an architectural feature, like the one you’ll see in our next example.

Combine Function + Beauty

When you have a wood burning fireplace, how can you store the logs in a beautiful way? By making them part of the fireplace accent wall design, of course!

Recessed niches on either side of the fireplace are perfect for stacking your firewood while making a design statement.

tall horizontal recessed niches on either side of fireplace with stacked logs

As you can see, function and beauty are perfectly combined on this fireplace wall with symmetrical niches where split logs rest. 

Painting the Accent Wall Around Your Fireplace

Wondering if you should paint your fireplace wall a different color than the others? Yes, if you choose to go the paint route rather than using any of the other materials listed above, then you can absolutely paint it a different hue. 

In fact, while painting accent walls isn’t necessarily my favorite way to add interest to a room, fireplace walls are a different story. If you need a quick, budget-friendly fix for your fireplace wall, then paint is the perfect solution. 

People often choose a darker, brighter, or overall bolder color for the accent wall, although that’s not the only option. For a seamless transition while maintaining visual interest, you could also choose a complementary color that has a similar color saturation. 

Although, for a truly seamless transition, you might even consider painting the wall and fireplace the same color. (Really!)

What Do You Do With Space on Either Side of a Fireplace?

What, exactly, should you put on the sides of the fireplace? Oh, my goodness, the options are nearly endless!

While there are a lot of different options, you can narrow down your options by considering your goals for the space and the way your family will best utilize it.

Board and Batten Around Fireplace

Wondering if you should install some board and batten around the fireplace? Sure! You can either go part way up the wall with the board and batten or up to the ceiling, which creates SO much visual interest. 

I’ve seen a lot of really neat designs using a board and batten look on fireplace walls on Pinterest.

Can You Wallpaper a Fireplace Accent Wall?

You can definitely wallpaper a fireplace accent wall! Wallpaper is trendy again, and it’s much nicer and easier to install (and remove!) than its past counterparts.

The pattern you choose should, obviously, complement the rest of your room’s decor. You could even choose a fun, colorful pattern and design the entire room around this accent wall. 

Final Thoughts

If you were wondering how to design a stunning accent wall around your fireplace when you arrived here, you should be wondering no more!

In this article, we covered a whole host of gorgeous fireplace accent wall ideas to help you get started, along with ideas for decorating either side of it. 

Happy decorating!

Read More:

How to Make a Room Look Bigger With Wallpaper

The Best Place to Hang a Wall Clock in Your Living Room

How to Choose Wallpaper for a Small Living Room

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