7 paint effects you’ve never thought to try (but definitely should!)

Proof that a splash of paint in all the right places can transform a room…

1. Grand illusions
Make a room feel bright and airy by creating a ‘false horizon’ with contrasting colours. A darker shade on the bottom anchors the room, providing a backdrop for furniture and accessories, while a lighter colour on top, such as Highland White Sedge (£36 for 2L,
Paint by Conran) draws the eye upwards to create the illusion of extra height.

2. Role reversal
Painted ceilings are a great way to add drama and interest to a room without sacrificing on light.
It’s an opportunity to experiment with darker colours that might otherwise be overbearing if used on all four walls – particularly in smaller spaces. Here, Mon Amie is offset beautifully by panelling painted in Highland November Gorse (both £36 for 2L, Paint by Conran).

3. Too cool for school
Thought chalkboards were confined to classrooms? Think again! Whether it’s in a study, kitchen or children’s bedroom, this fun feature wall idea introduces bags of personality into any scheme, not to mention it’s practical, too – you won’t forget your to-do list in a hurry! Matt black chalkboard paint, £11.73 for 1L, B&Q.

4. Go with the flow
It’s important to consider the flow of the home when painting rooms, including the overall effect when the doors are open. A bold colour such as Yeabridge Green No. 287 (£39.50 for 2.5 L, Farrow & Ball) stands out against neutral walls to make a focal point of the door, drawing the eye right through to the neighbouring room for a unified scheme that’s both stylish and welcoming.

5. Happy graduation
Turn a bland banister into a decorative detail with this chic ombre effect. It’s so easy to do: pick three or four different tones of your favourite colour story plus a pot of white paint to mix with. Starting with the palest shade, paint each spindle a darker hue as you work your way up the staircase.

6. On the block
Colour blocking is an easy way to highlight features in the room and distinguish different areas – particularly useful in country kitchens. There’s no limit when it comes to colours and shapes. Here, the curved archway contrasts with linear lines, while primary shades of red (Teracotta Pot), yellow (Dandelion Puff) and blue
(Copse) pull the scheme together for a coherent look, all £36 for 2L, Paint by Conran.

7. Cover up
Painting everything, from the radiator and door to the trim and skirting board, in the same colour can be just as striking as picking out individual details. Choosing a soft summery shade of sky blue (Crown Matt Emulsion in Stepping Stone, £17.99 for 2.5L, Homebase) not only makes the room feel bigger, it allows statement furniture and carefully chosen accessories to stand out, too.

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