Last week I posted some helpful tips on How to Choose Paint Colors. Now that you’re set on your colors, the next decision to make is where to put them! A fresh coat of paint is a terrific and cost effective way to transform a room, so it’s worth thinking about how you’d like to use color to treat each surface. Below is some guidance to get you started!
Traditionally walls are treated with the same color. Perhaps your space would allow for an accent wall? An accent wall will draw your eye to a particular part of the room. Typically an accent wall is a bright-colored wall added to a room where the other walls are painted white or a bright neutral. Make sure your accent color appears in the decor of the room!
Painting Trim, Doors, and Millwork
A great way to use color to transform a room is to highlight it’s architectural features. To make details pop, woodwork can be painted in a white or off-white to add a layer of visual interest to the room.
Woodwork doesn’t have to be painted white to make it pop! If your walls are lighter, a color that in the same family, but a few shades darker, can add a bit of drama to the space.
If you don’t want to highlight your woodwork, try painting it the same color as the wall. This is a great trick to hide multiple closet doors!
Painting woodwork to match the walls also creates a neutral palette for you to build your decor on. Think of the walls as your blank canvass and the furniture as your painting!
Why not paint kitchen cabinets the same color as the wall? By treating an entire wall with one color, you can create an architectural look that can go either traditional or modern.
Wainscot offers a good opportunity for contrast within a room. Traditionally, wainscot is painted white, which will bring your eye to the woodwork.
Wainscot doesn’t have to be painted white! A darker wainscot below a light wall still highlights the woodwork, but also draws your eye to the upper walls.
Painting woodwork with a pop of color can frame a view out a window or, in the case of this project, act as a headboard where there is none.
Consider your ceiling the fifth wall of the room. A white or off-white ceiling makes a room feel airy and bright. If you want the opposite effect, create a cozy and intimate room by using a darker ceiling or a ceiling just a few shades lighter than the walls.
The ceiling can also be a great way to add a punch of color to the room. We love this for kids rooms and bathrooms!
Painting Ceilings the same color as the walls can often make a space feel larger. It can also hide weird architectural details!
If you’ve ripped up your carpet only to find wood flooring beyond repair, why not try adding a little paint? Stairs are a good location to add a little whimsy to your home.
Painting floors to match your walls creates a streamlined, modern look that sets a mood for a room and offers a clean palette to build on.
Painting to Create a Flow
One way to ensure there is a flow from one room to another is to frame out the view of a room. In the room above, the doorway trim is painted to match the wall color of the room beyond.
You can also maintain the flow throughout the house by repeating colors from the same color family. Try experimenting with colors that are shades lighter or darker than the colors in adjacent rooms.
Painting Pops of Color
One of our favorite ways to add a bit of whimsy to a room is to paint the interior of closets with an unexpected pop!
Need a Little More Help?
Below are some additional things to consider!
- What about painting the walls of one room the same color as the ceiling of another room to create flow?
- If you decide to paint each room a different color, you could tie them together by painting all of the hallways in the same neutral color.
- If you’d like to stick to one color family, consider using lighter shades in the more public spaces such as the living room, kitchen, and family room and darker shades for more private rooms such as the bedrooms.
- Maintaining trim color throughout the house will help maintain a consistent look. If you’d like to highlight woodwork in a certain room, however, try experimenting with breaking the rules!
Next Week: All about Finishes!
Photos courtesy of Houzz