- Take It to the Table: Painting your favorite antiques or flea-market finds a bright color can make your project a ton of fun. And don't forget about the not-so-antique pieces. I've turned many boring late-1980s and 1990s reproduction pieces into showstoppers with just a few coats of my favorite hue. You can also bring pattern or accent striping and borders to drawer fronts and tabletops. This trick can turn a not-so-exciting piece in to best-of-show!
- Accessorize with Style...and Color: Remember all those small urns, vases, balls, boxes, Asian-inspired statues and African animal figurines you’ve picked up over the years to use as bookcase filler? Don't be afraid to paint them all a glossy white or a pale aqua to create a "collection" that will have your friends wanting to rush home and do the same with their accessory misfits!
10 Clever Ways to Add Color with Paint
From ceilings to floors and all the details in between, there's almost nothing in a room that can't easily be made more exciting with a glorious hue.
If you know my brand at all, you know I love color! And one of my favorite ways to achieve a colorful design is with paint. My husband says I will paint anything and everything—he's even afraid to stand still for long, lest he turn out a great shade of orange or a perfect pink. Here are my favorite ways to use paint when I want to cleverly add excitement in design project:
- Remember to Look Up: The ceiling is the most forgotten part of a room. Why not paint it a fun accent color? If you are really daring, try a stenciled-on pattern, such as stripes or geometric shapes. Want to go a bit more sophisticated? Lacquer your ceiling in a shiny white or a bold navy!
- Go Fancy Underfoot: The floor is another overlooked surface. Don't forget it! I love to paint fun patterns like diamonds or Greek key borders on floors to spice things up. Your home doesn't have to be country or shabby chic to pull this off, either. If you find that paint is too bold a contrast, add the pattern with a darker stain...I promise you'll love it!
- Frame It Up: Highlight a photo frame or the molding on your artwork with a striking color. You can unify an entire gallery wall with a fabulous and trendy set of colored frames that give your room just the pop it needs.
- Light It Up: Nothing brings a dated fixture into the modern day like a few coats of your favorite shade. Don't have an old light to spruce up? Consider buying an inexpensive one with a lovely shape and then jazzing it up with a fun color, crystals, and all the works. You may just love it more than a pricey alternative.
- A Shade Above: Lampshades can be super boring. Do you want white, or white? Why not create your own yellow high-gloss topper for your favorite lamp? You could even add stripes in a trendy color combo to take your shade to a new level. A paper shade and a few coats of paint are a budget-friendly way to give your room personality.
- Knock Knock: Many people pick fun colors for their front doors but overlook the ones inside. You can liven up your house by painting your interior doors a color, too—and I'm not just talking black. I think Kelly green or Hermes orange could make for a fabulous door color that unifies and enlivens your interiors.
- It's All in the Details: Painting small details, such as the interiors of cabinets and furniture pieces, is an unexpected (and inexpensive!) way to take your space from ho-hum to gorgeous. Take a critical look at your interiors and find all those little places that could be enhanced with paint. The subtlest differences are often the most memorable.
- Hardware Made Easy: You know how hard it can be to find unique and interesting hardware for furniture and drapery? The next time you are stumped for ideas, just take your usual sources and give them a new look with paint. It's another way using paint can save you time and money while making your project shine.
[All photos courtesy of Tobi Fairley]
Tobi Fairley is a nationally-acclaimed interior designer based in Little Rock, Arkansas. Named by Traditional Home Magazine as one of the Top 20 Young designers in America in 2009, Tobi's work has graced the cover of House Beautiful and been published in Traditional Home, Southern Living, and At Home in Arkansas numerous times. Tobi recently launched her own fabric line and will release several other products lines in 2012. Her DIY design service InBox Interiors and her Design Camps have been wildly successful. Tobi recently launched Tobi Fairley and Associates, a consulting group dedicated to helping firms with the business of design. She also blogs at Tobi's Blog.