7 clever ways with paint

From chalkboard walls to bold baths, we show you how to get creative with the season’s beautiful new shades

1 Zone your space
The kitchen is the perfect place to express yourself with paint. A sunny, upbeat yellow frames the entrance creating a welcoming, positive mood; earthy terracotta makes the stove alcove the heart of the home; while a steely blue on the other walls feels relaxed and sociable by day or night.

2 Go for gradation
A cloakroom is an ideal backdrop for experimenting with gradated paint effects as it is usually a compact area and easy to repaint if necessary. Create a beautiful watery ombré-style splashback with three shades of blue.

3 Make your bath sing
Bathrooms have come a long way since the white-tiled, utilitarian look, and are now a place where design flair can be exhibited. Whereas in other rooms you may not feel brave enough to use bolder ideas and colours, bathrooms can be a showcase for more daring choices. If using wallpaper, its design could inspire paint shades for the woodwork and bath. Aim for strong hues to punctuate the scheme – a cast-iron bath in a bright colour is the final flash of inspiration.

4 Combine the unexpected
Create impact in a living room by pairing rich brown with cool green. Salon Drab conjures up a classic 19th
century feel, while remaining the perfect chocolate brown for modern homes.
Combine it with clean, fresh Yeabridge Green and the result is a room that oozes a confident and sophisticated feel that is very easy to live with.

5 Paint a blackboard
If you want a playful, draw-on-space for children or to create a noticeboard in a home office or the kitchen, try a matt blackboard paint. It can be applied to a variety of surfaces and, once dry, you can simply wipe with a damp cloth. The opaque finish works well in a modern country home combined with wood and natural textures.

6 Two-tone wall
Make a statement in a hallway by using practical, easy-on-the-eye colours. To add interest, try combining shades in a colour-blocking formation to create definition and the illusion of architectural features, such as a dado rail. Snowfall and Toasted Almond are beautiful neutral tones that are very comfortable to live with, while still being full of character.

7 Stairway to heaven
Create a unique focal point in your hallway by painting the spindles of a staircase in different shades from the same palette against a white backdrop. Starting with the lightest colour at the bottom of the stairs, gradually stagger the shade from spindle to spindle as you ascend until you reach the deepest – this draws the eye upwards.

All the latest from Ideal Home