DESIGN 101: PAINT COLORS - WHERE TO PUT THEM!

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!

Painting Walls

Paint Accent Wall

Paint Accent Wall

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

Highlight Details

Highlight Details

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.

Soft Contrast

Soft Contrast

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.

Millwork same as wall

Millwork same as wall

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!

Match Trim

Match Trim

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!

Kitchen Cabinets Color

Kitchen Cabinets Color

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.

White Wainscot

White Wainscot

Wainscot offers a good opportunity for contrast within a room.  Traditionally, wainscot is painted white, which will bring your eye to the woodwork.

Paint Wainscot

Paint Wainscot

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.

Regan Billingsley Interiors

Regan Billingsley Interiors

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.

Painting Ceilings

White Ceiling

White Ceiling

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.

Ceiling Color

Ceiling Color

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!

Regan Billingsley Interiors

Regan Billingsley Interiors

Painting Ceilings the same color as the walls can often make a space feel larger.  It can also hide weird architectural details!

Painting Floors

Paint Floor

Paint Floor

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.

Paint Floor Modern

Paint Floor Modern

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

Frame View

Frame View

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.

Coordinating Colors

Coordinating Colors

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

Closet Pop

Closet Pop

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!

Happy Painting.

RB

Next Week: All about Finishes!

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Photos courtesy of Houzz