Accent Paint- WHERE, WHEN & HOW?

14-Ombre stairs

As promised, I am offering you all my secrets to accent paint. Where to place it, when to use it and how it should be used in a space. When my clients select a color palette, the next question I am always asked is “do you think I should paint an accent wall?” My  simple answer is, only paint an accent color in locations you are hoping to draw attention to. If you want a more detailed answer, READ ON!

Paint is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to make a dramatic change in your environment. And if you’re commitment phobic, it is one of the smallest commitments. If you decide the color or location for the color isn’t quite all you hoped for, wash your brushes and rollers and have a do over! Let’s talk a bit about the various areas accent paint can be used.

Highlight a Feature

One of my favorite places to put accent paint is on an architectural feature in a home. I think it is the easiest to understand why one should draw attention with accent paint, but it is often overlooked. When you buy a home the beautiful details such as architectural supports, beams, niches, fireplaces and so on are more expensive. Why not highlight them more when considering where to put your accent colors?  Show off all your fancy stuff!

Better Homes and Gardens Kitchen
Better Homes and Gardens

Jacquelyn Clark

Accent Color On Beams

Make Something Bigger

Some of us don’t have those large oversized architectural features like big windows or fireplaces to highlight in our home. Let some paint come to the rescue! Let those accent colors trick the eye to make something seem more grand. Notice below as this fireplace is more dramatic with paint. The mural wall with it’s black grounding makes a bold statement in the room.

Larger With

Accent Photo Wall
The House of Smiths

Make Something Smaller

You can make things seem smaller with paint too. In the picture below you see how the use of paint has causes your eye to define the top of the wall ending right above the doors rather than continuing all the way to the ceiling line.

Gray Walls with Short Moulding
Sara Goff – Home Tour Apartment Therapy

Bring Attention To Built-In Cabinetry

Try using an accent color to draw attention to the built-ins. The built-in cabinetry and the kitchen island below are set apart with appropriate use of color.

Painted Built Ins
Decor Pad

Kitchen Island Color
BHG – Color Inspirations

Create Art

Well, we are talking about paint aren’t we? Get a little crazy and create a little art in your spaces with it. What we do is only limited by our imaginations…and maybe a little skill.  Here are some fun ideas inspire me.

Jacquelyn Clark Office
Jacquelyn Clark Office

Modern Nursury Syrinveien3
Syrinveien 3 Nursery

Geometric Girls Room
Inside Closet

Define a Space

Open floorplans is what everyone seems to want these days but sometimes we still have a desire to define an individual space. Accent paint is a wonderful tool to set apart an area and still keep it all wide open. Look for a defining line of some kind such a corner in the wall or a beam and let that be the guide to where you should start and stop your paint.

West Elm Kitchen
West Elm

Move Your Eyes Around A Room

Sometimes we need a color to move our eye around the room. This room has used color for this purpose beautifully! The bright yellow on the ceiling, the white walls and then the contrast of the black architectural features creates wonderful pockets for your eye to bounce around.

Yellow Ceiling Black Door
Inside Closet

Want To Expand Space

Accent color is like magic. It has the ability to make a room look larger if placed correctly. I often hear “If I do that, won’t that make my room look darker?” Most of the time the opposite is true. When dark colors are placed correctly, they can make a room feel larger. This is because dark colors have a tendency to recede backwards. So, in the case of the room below, the wall against the stairs has the feeling of falling away and thus creates more space in the room. The same goes for the right color on a ceiling. We all know how much I love a painted ceiling!!!

Receding Wall - Wall moving Back
Design Sponge

Painted Barn Ceiling

Share with me all the beautiful ways you have explored accent paint in your homes!


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