The Minimalist's Approach to Maximum Color: 10 Unexpected Spots to Add a Touch of Paint

The Minimalist's Approach to Maximum Color: 10 Unexpected Spots to Add a Touch of Paint

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Katie Holdefehr
Jul 15, 2016

There are two ways to work dramatic color into your home: Go for the whole wall, or use little splashes of color for a big effect. The latter takes much less time to achieve and is considerably cheaper (many of the ideas ahead call for just a sample pot of paint), yet it can still create an eye-catching display. The best part of painting a smaller area? It's much easier to paint over if you change your mind or when it's time to move out.

Above: A blue window frame lends some serenity to a main kitchen window, from Domino.

(Image credit: Levis)

Vibrant yellow and red trim gives the room a jolt of energy in the Levis Ambience House in Brussels, featured on 70percentpure.

(Image credit: Residence Style)

Soothing blueish-gray molding and baseboards run through the entire home of French photographer Aurelie Lecuyer, seen on Residence Style. Keeping colorful trim consistent throughout the house lends a feeling of fluidity from room to room.

In an unconventional office space designed by Anna Butele, spotted on Design Milk, a neon orange stripe draws the eye down to the baseboard. An acid-yellow lining along the side of a mirror provides another surprising kick of color.

(Image credit: Meyer Lavigne)

Give a piece of furniture a makeover in half the time (and at a quarter of the cost) by painting just the legs of a dresser or table, as shown above from Meyer Lavigne. Pick up a tiny sample pot of paint and you'll have a new piece in less than 30 minutes.

(Image credit: Tina Hellburg )

Cheery yellow window mullions guarantee a sunny outlook—even on the cloudiest of days. Image styled by Tina Hellberg for Elle Interior.

(Image credit: Design Sponge)

In a rented apartment shared on Design Sponge, creative tenants decided to bend the no-painting rule by sweeping bright orange along the archway between the office and the living room.

(Image credit: Magnus Anesand)

Play with color in a spot you would never consider, like the inner edge of a door. In this scene captured by Magnus Anesand for Swedish Elle Interior, you only notice the stripe of orange when the door is opened almost all the way.

(Image credit: The Jungalow)

Green trim emphasizes this kitchen's whimsical, bohemian attitude, from The Jungalow. If you attempt a similar look, tape around the molding carefully before painting so you don't wind up with bright splotches on the rest of the wall.

(Image credit: Design Sponge)

The underside of a long shelf set up near the ceiling is an unexpected place to find forest green paint. One of the homeowners of this Oakland, California house featured on Design Sponge is an artist who loves experimenting with color in uncommon spots.

(Image credit: The Design Files)

Hits of hot pink are much more palatable when hidden in a place you won't notice all the time. Introduce small doses of DayGlo paint to the legs of a table or bench, as shown above from The Design Files.

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