Jump-start your decorating ideas with budget-friendly options for accent walls and accessories
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Showcase a feature
A brick-red island is the star of this kitchen. For a sophisticated look, pair one colorful object with neutral tones. Here, dark-wood surfaces and stainless steel appliances do the trick.
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Personalize a nook with a bright color
Hot pink walls and a stenciled motto punch up this tiny eating area. Painting the woodwork a bright white keeps the look crisp, not cloying.
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Define a display space
Paint shelves and the wall behind them an eye-catching color to showcase books and accessories.
Here, a warm pumpkin shade (Kelly-Moore's Deep Spice wall paint, KM3608-5) complements an eclectic collection of books and objects.
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“Resize” a space
Painting this patio overhang a sunny yellow not only draws attention to the architectural feature, it also makes the space feel more intimate.
Use other warm hues (reds, pinks, and oranges) for a similar effect, and cool colors (blues, greens, and purples) to visually enlarge a room.
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Refresh old furniture
To create a backdrop for light-colored china and collectibles, paint the back of the cabinet a darker color than the frame. We love Benjamin Moore’s Tropicana Cabana (2048-50).
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Highlight the unexpected
A dose of lime green freshens the breakfast bar, shows off the shapely bar stools, and links to green walls and cabinets elsewhere in the kitchen.
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Add architectural interest
Rev up style in a white-box room with a stripe of painted color. Here, a wide pewter gray line mimics the look of molding.
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Add a touch of whimsy
Playful vertical stripes add personality and emphasize the height of these cabinets, which serve as a room divider.
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Play against type
Inexpensive pegboard and paint become instant artwork when paired with a collection of tools.
We love the yin and yang of this girly bubblegum shade and rustic hardware.
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Don’t be afraid of the dark―dark paint, that is. An accent wall in black (as shown here in G&R Paint Co.’s Black Bear PPC-DT9), navy, or chocolate brown serves as a stunning backdrop for light-colored furnishings and picture frames.
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More color ideas
For more expert help in restyling your home with paint, check out our book Design with Color (Oxmoor House; $25). Its color-by-color and style guides are both practical and inspiring.