Inspiration: Half Color Accent Pops


This was the first pic I saw this week that inspired me to write this post. The painted backsplash in red is awesome against the white wall and blue cabinets. And it's easy too.

>> House Tour: Stephanie & Bob's SilverRidge Sanctuary

Here's a color tip for today. When people think of using color in their homes, they usually think of painting whole walls. This just doesn't have to be. Thinking this way can limit you tremendously and keep you from...

a. using strong colors that would overwhelm a whole wall
b. getting the impact of two colors playing off of one another
c. using color edges to highlight the natural shapes in your room
d. creating visual interest where there isn't any

I am a big fan of using color as an accent and splitting the wall, so that you create a "chair rail" effect with the pop of your color being on the bottom or the top of your wall. It allows your eye to travel in a way that it usually might not and adds sophistication and new possibility to any room.

To inspire you, I've pulled a few really good examples. Take a look, note the ones you like best, and enjoy!

Color On The Bottom: Grounded Effect


This bedroom is far more interesting with a low color chair rail that doubles as a headboard.

>> East #62: Sarah's "California Dreaming"


Reaching back to Nouveau 80's influences, Kelly Wearstler uses the darker lower wall to ground the room and highlight the lighter sofa against it.

>> Trendspotting: Nouveau 80's


Sometimes it isn't paint on a wall that makes the division to a different color, but bookcases and trim. Think of how boring this room would be if the bookcases were the same color as the upper wall.

>> Southwest #22: Dave & Melanie's Craftsman Color

Color On The Top: Inverted Effect


Reverse your colors and you get a totally different feeling. With the color on the top, the walls come in a bit closer and there's more emphasis drawn to upper blue.

>> Midwest #26: Jeremy and Howard's Smooth Transitions


Again, your eye is drawn up to the color, allowing the clean kitchen counters to bounce light, while the room remains funky.

>> International #1: Mariola's Punches of Color

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>> The Slow Chair by The Bouroullec Brothers: My Favorite Armchair of 2008

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>> Best Wine Racks for the Home 2008

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.