10 ways to redecorate with paint

Jump-start your decorating ideas with budget-friendly options for accent walls and accessories

Red painted kitchen island

Thomas J. Story

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.

Dining nook

Thomas J. Story

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.

Pumpkin Mixed with Deep Brown

James Carrier

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.

Fresh paint

Thomas J. Story

"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.

A hutch with the back of the cabinets painted turquoise.

Thomas J. Story

Refresh old furniture

Update an antique hutch or built-in buffet with a fresh coat of paint and a pretty fabric skirt. 

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).

Suburban Modern from Sunset.

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.

blue painted stripe in boy's room.

E. Spencer Toy

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.

Tall cabinets painted with vertical stripes

Thomas J. Stroy

Add a touch of whimsy

Playful vertical stripes add personality and emphasize the height of these cabinets, which serve as a room divider.

Pink pegboard for hanging tools.

Thomas J. Story

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.

A black accent wall.

Thomas J. Story

Add drama

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.

Design With Color

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.

Watch for it here soon

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