- SUNNY SIDE UP
Enliven a predominantly neutral space by adding a brighter shade of paint above the picture rail. This produces a strong result without requiring too much time and effort, or paint.
2. MAKE SHAPES
Turn your walls into artworks with graphic painted shapes. Use pencil to outline your design and mark out with decorator’s tape to ensure neat lines when you add the paint.
3. HIGH HOPES
Don’t let walls have all the fun, give your ceiling some attention, too. Create a dramatic coving effect with paint in a contrasting hue to your walls to make the room seem smaller – ideal for creating an intimate dining or bedroom. If you’re tackling the whole room at once, start with the ceiling to avoid getting that paint on the walls after they’re finished.
4. ACROSS THE THRESHOLD
When it comes to decorating don’t ignore your doors. Instead of matching them to the rest of the room, add an unexpected jolt of colour and paint the surface and rim a contrasting hue to the frame and surrounding walls. It’s an enticing way to define the transition between spaces.
5. IN THE FRAME
Accentuate classical details in a modern way by painting frames and recesses a contrasting hue to your walls. Tackle the frame first, followed by the door. To prep, remove the door and cover the hinges with tape. Clean the frame using sugar soap, dry, then smooth down existing paint with sandpaper and wipe off any excess. Apply a matt paint undercoat, then when dry apply a gloss or eggshell paint, something with a sheen, so you can easily clean it in the future. The more ornate the frame, the more time you should take as you want to avoid heavy paint blobs. Use a small brush to get into those hard-to-reach crevices.
6. HEARTH OF THE HOME
Treat your home like a gallery and consider how the colour of your walls and architectural features, such as mantelpieces, might enhance the artworks you plan to hang or position in the space. Here, bold primary, contemporary art jumps out against a complementary all-blue backdrop.
7. GET IN THE ZONE
When space is compromised, paint is a great way to define areas. This awkward spot under the stairs has been transformed into a practical dining area with built-in seating that doubles up as storage. Woodwork (in hard-working modern eggshell) painted a contrasting shade to the surrounding walls adds depth, while leaving the ceiling white gives an illusion of space.
8. MAIN ATTRACTION
Anchor a light-filled hallway by painting floorboards a deeper tone. Use a durable oil-based floor paint, and start painting away from the main rooms so you don’t box yourself in while you wait for it to dry. Do test it out on a small section of floor and leave for 24 hours to see the result before taking the plunge.
9. AHEAD OF THE CURVE
For a relatively cost-effective bedroom transformation, create a headboard from MDF and add a pattern using chalk-based furniture paint. Extend the pattern on to the walls behind, creating shapes using curvy masking tape (try Tesa 4319 Masking Tape for Curves, on Amazon and at DIY stores). Stuck on what colours to use? Take your palette from a favourite artwork.
For a modern interpretation of a dado rail, apply two different tones of the same colour to walls, but follow the double-denim rule with dark below and pale above. The height of the lower section should measure roughly a third of the wall, then the lighter hue above creates an airy sense of space.
This article appeared in ELLE Decoration June 2020
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