Paint is the staple for any home decorating project, but it doesn’t always have to be about plain painted walls – there are plenty of ways to add interest with accent colors. With a little imagination paint ideas for walls can welcome depth to a decorating scheme and add architectural details – such as pointed arches or enhanced architrave.
Probably the easiest and most cost-effective way to make a big impact in any room is with paint. Any DIY and decorating project with paint offers endless options when it comes to giving your space a brand new look. From bold brights to barely-there neutrals, accent walls to stripes, we have all the inspiration you need before wielding a paintbrush.
Imaginative paint ideas for walls
” Painting a room in contrasting colours is a great way to create a dynamic space with plenty of personalities,” says Judy Smith, Crown Colour Consultant. ” Whether drawing a geometric shape on a bare wall or highlighting features such as radiators, skirting boards and window frames with colour. Using contrasting shades will add a playful and quirky feel.
Versatile and impactful, the effect can be achieved by mixing bold and neutral shades, creating a variety of moods that will suit different styles of interiors. “
” Contrasting colours can be introduced in a number of ways. Use natural breaks such as corners, alcoves, shelving, dado or picture rails to start and stop the different colour choices ” Judy advises. ” Alternatively, a simple and effective way to use different shades is to paint up to a certain level in one colour, mask with tape and then paint above in a different shade “.
Whether looking to add architectural detail for a thoughtful dining room paint idea or creating a striking contrast with a dark ceiling as part of a bedroom paint idea, there’s an imaginative solution for every room.
Our peel and stick Wallpaper is easy to apply and take off, leaving no adhesive residue. Featuring sharp, vibrant images, Wallpaper patterns are ideal for accent walls, flat surfaces, and temporary installations (like parties!). Available in three floor-to-ceiling sizes.<< More Wallpaper Artwork Style >>
1. Balance the room using two-tone walls
Splitting a room in half using colour will make it feel cosier without dominating and keeping the top half white will give the appearance of height. Painting the bottom half a soft shade will act as an alternative to an upholstered headboard and save on budget too. Take the two-tone effect all around the room including any architectural features such as architrave and even doors. Here the colour changes along the bottom line of a row of cabinets, it’s the perfect trick to make a storage blend.
We recommend FrogTape to help achieve the perfect clean line when painting with two different colours.
Our lightweight, warm Comforters induce sweet, sweet sleep – and take your bedding to the next level. Designs are printed onto the super-soft material for brilliant images and a dreamy, premium feel.<< More Comforter Styles >>
2. Add a subtle slice of colour to divide open-plan living
Open-plan living is hugely popular thanks to benefit of making smaller rooms feel bigger and creating a more inclusive space. While it makes sense to paint the original spaces in the same color, to provide a sense of continuity, it does present the problem of not having defined zones for different activities. A great way of subtly zoning distinct living areas within the same open-plan space is by adding accent colors on architectural points of interest – such as archways.
Given it’s only a limited slice of paint coverage you can afford to change the color seasonally, or when you switch up accent accessories within the room without a huge expense.
Add throw pillows to whatever room needs an extra dose of comfy. Filled with a fluffy faux down insert, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for style. Available in four sizes and all measurements are made without pillow insert.<< More Throw Pillow Styles >>
3. Zone areas with an accent colour
How’s this for an imaginative way to add colour and character to a room? In this living space, a dining area is highlighted by the use of an accent colour painted as a backdrop, on one section of the wall – which is then continued onto the ceiling above. This thoughtful use of colour creates a dedicated zone, in this instance, it’s for dining but could also work well behind a sofa or TV unit to signify a zone for relaxing or entertaining.
They’re made from a woven, polyester chenille for a soft and textured look. Plus, choosing from our wide array of designs, you’re sure to find just the rug to match your decor. Rugs are one of the best, attention-grabbing pieces to design a room around. Use the colors within the rug to help choose art prints, furniture fabric, and accent pillows.<< More Rug Styles >>
4. Get creative with shapes
To add an instant sense of fun to a painted wall try using alternative shapes. This fine example uses a semi-circle of soft pink to create the perfect backdrop for a bed in a bedroom. Using paint in this way in a bedroom provides a brilliant budget idea in place of a headboard.
You went for the duvet… you fancy, huh? Now it’s time to finish the job and dress it up with some premium design. Our ultra-soft duvet covers feature sharp, vivid prints on the front, with a crisp white on the back. Available in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, and King sizes. Duvet inserts not included.<< More Duvet Cover Styles >>
5. Paint the ceiling for ambience
This is a winning bedroom paint idea, particularly effective if you choose a dark color to emulate the night sky, encouraging a sense of being enveloped by the darkness to aid a good night’s sleep. In modern new build properties simply paint the ceiling as you would a flat wall, taping off the adjoining four walls to ensure a crisp line of separation. If you live in a period property with high ceilings you can afford to take the color down to the picture rail, if you so wish.
Give your pillows the makeover they deserve. Whether it’s for your fancy new memory foam or you’re old go-to from back in the day, our pillow shams are sure to do your pillows proud. Whether you choose the natural fiber cotton or soft, premium microfiber—our pillow shams are soft and cozy with colors that really pop. Available in Standard or King sizes.<< More Pillow Sham Styles >>
6. Stencil a rug onto the floor
If you can’t find the perfect rug to suit your space why not try painting one instead? If you have wooden floorboards the decorating world is your oyster. Use specialist floor paint to fashion a rug design, adding a unique decorative touch for any room with wooden floors. Here we see a geometric chevron design skilfully painted in an array of bright blues and corals with a pale grey border. Painting a rug is ideal in rooms with high traffic, such as kitchens and hallways because there’s no danger of slipping – unlike on the real thing.
To adopt this imaginative idea we suggest planning your design first, measuring the space, and marking it out with tape ready to paint. Paint as many coats as necessary, be mindful not to make it too heavy as this is more likely to get scratched. Ensure you allow the color to dry thoroughly before you place furniture back – lifting, not dragging to avoid scratching the surface.
Add throw pillows to whatever room needs an extra dose of comfy. Filled with a fluffy faux-down insert, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for style. Available in four sizes and all measurements are made without pillow insert.<< More Throw Pillow Styles >>
7. Paint on a chalkboard
Add an element of fun to a family room with a splash of chalkboard paint. Paint a noticeboard with the specialist paint to create a family planner, for calendar events and weekly reminders. This idea is ideal for a kitchen or a child’s playroom to allow a little creative freedom.
8. Add texture with paint effects
To make maximum impact with your paint choice try using creative paint effects, which can add depth to any colour scheme. By carefully mixing two colours, in this case, neutrals, from the same colour palette you can create a textured effect for your walls. This skilful painting method is ideal for making a statement without having to use patterned wallpapers.
This textured paint effect on the walls was created using ‘Stone III’ and ‘Stone V’ pure flat emulsion, both by Paint & Paper Library. The muted tones are offset against the strong contrast of the black metal accessories, while hints of orange and light grey on soft furnishings inject a warming, softer quality.
Our customers tell us ALL the time how soft and warm our Throw Blankets are (the secret: Sherpa fleece). Even better, they get softer the more you wash them. They’re a perfect addition to any living room couch. Featuring a crisp, vivid design on the front with a reverse white side.<< More Throw Blanket Styles >>
9. Fake architectural details
Don’t let architecture stand in the way of your design dreams – what is it they say, fake it until you make it! Create the illusion of an alcove or archway with a clever application of paint. Simply measure out your design and type with masking tape, then carefully apply your accent color to create interest.
‘Create a cocooning effect for intimate dinner parties, with a rich-colored feature wall, like this arch painted in Dulux Simply Refresh Ink Well’ says Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director at Dulux.
As experts in the field of sitting down, we thoughtfully crafted our Floor Pillows to be overstuffed, plush and firm. These cushions never lose their shape, and the high-quality print makes sure the design stays crisp and colorful.<< More Floor Cushion Styles >>
10. Pick out a picture rail
Create the illusion of ceiling height by painting above a picture rail. This simple, yet clever splash of color helps to draw the eye up, stretching the walls up. It works best with bare walls, rather than decorated with wallpapers and pictures. Choose a bright color to make even more of a statement.
Our blackout window curtains are a denser alternative to your standard window curtain, blocking out most light and proudly featuring your favorite designs. Whether you live in a busy apartment or a peaceful neighborhood, it’s always nice to have the option to shut out the sun and relax inside by the candlelight. Available in either single or double panel options.<< More Blackout Curtain Styles >>
11. Frame architraving with colour
Draw attention to decorative woodwork such as doorframes and connecting by picking it out in an unexpected colour (not white!) and carrying the colour further up the wall to give the illusion of depth. Pick a striking, contrasting shade to add pops of colour around the room by painting a chair or a lamp base in the same paint. This idea helps to break up a solid expanse of the painted wall while adding an uplifting accent colour to the room scheme.
A true statement maker. Our versatile mid-century modern inspired credenzas are great for use as TV stands, armoires, bar carts, office cabinets, or the perfect complement to your bedroom set. The vibrant art printed on the doors will make your piece pop in any setting. Available in a warm, natural birch or a premium walnut finish.<< More Credenza Styles >>
12. Position a half point with paint
If the dream is to own a home with period features, but you live in a modern space you have to think outside the box when it comes to decorating. For instance, if you don’t have picture rails, dado rails or cornicing adding interest to walls consider other ways to add these decorative details. We say fake it with simple paint tricks. As seen above we’ve created the illusion of a dado rail by simply using two contrasting paint colours – a striking green underneath a warm white. The effect creates a more characterful finish to an otherwise plain wall.
The Jack (or Jill) of all trades. Wall tapestries truly can do it all. They’re lightweight and easy to hang on the wall using thumbtacks, nails, or clothespins. The synthetic fabric is suitable for outdoor use too—making them a great option for laying out in a park or in the backyard. Tapestries are available in five sizes to fit any space.<< More Tapestry Styles >>
13. Make a statement with a painted panel
Create a zone of colour around a room’s main focus, around a desk area, a bed, or a sofa. Using squares or rectangles mask off the area for painting and choose your shade. Indulge yourself with a color you love but maybe feeling is too bold to use on all four walls, this is a great opportunity to give some braver, bolder shades a go.
With our Wall Murals, you can cover an entire wall with a rad design – just line up the panels and stick them on. They’re easy to peel off too, leaving no sticky residue behind. With crisp, vibrant colors and images, this stunning wall decor lets you create an amazing permanent or temporary space. Available in two floor-to-ceiling sizes.<< More Wall Mural Artworks >>
14. Paint a continuous line for definition
Use an accent wall colour to break up a decorating scheme. This idea is most effective in a room where you have a clear defined eye-line from top to bottom, such as in a kitchen where the cabinets determine a base level. Using the bold of two colours on the bottom half will help to create the illusion of one continuous line around the room, even when the wall is free of storage. Choose a matching wall colour to that of the kitchen or utility room cabinets to help balance the space.
This method is an ideal small kitchen idea to give the room a sense of greater height, resulting in the compact space feeling bigger than it is.
Good times! Rethink the traditional timepiece as functional wall decor. You’ll love how our Artists are converting some of their coolest designs specifically into Wall Clocks. Constructed with premium, shatter-resistant materials, with three frame color options.<< More Wall Clock Styles >>
What colors make a room look bigger?
When it comes to decorating, color choice is always a matter of personal taste. However, there are certain colors that hold hidden tricks. It’s no secret that decorating with white paint can help to create an airy, open feel – therefore an ideal choice for small living rooms. Shades of green are easily identified with the outdoors and nature, aiding to create a sense of serenity. Soothing shades of green are scientifically proven to help us feel calm, and therefore are ideal for a living space where you want to feel completely relaxed and at peace.
‘A quick paint job is the best way to give a well-used room a new lease of life’ says Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director at Dulux. ‘Whether you want a whole new outfit for the space, or just an accessory like a feature wall or an eye-catching shape painted in a bold colour.’