5 Tricks For Learning To Live With Ugly Wall Color

published Aug 6, 2010
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In all of our travels across the country and all of our rental apartments and homes I’ve only had the chance to paint in a few spaces. The problem is, by the time you’ve spent enough time in your space to get the feel for light and how it effects color — it’s time to move! We’ve lived with some of the uuuugliest walls ever for most of our lives and we’ve learned a few tricks to work around them.

Although many with white, cream or neutral walls are begging to add a little color, those with color sometimes have it worse. We used to think that a boring “rental white” was the worst thing in the world, until we moved into pea soup and blueberry hell. We swore we would change the color eventually, but a year passed, our lease ended and we never got around to it. Here’s a few ideas that might help in learning to live with past (poor) choices:

• Look to Your Artwork: Although art brings in an insane amount of color as it is, choosing frame and mat colors are just as important. Try making things a shade or two off your wall color or something that works with your print and the wall. It will help the wall recede and your art pop!

• Light It Up: Light plays such a huge part in wall color it’s simply unreal. Try changing your style of bulb to get a slightly warmer or cooler color. It won’t make pink walls blue by any means, but it can knock down the shock value and help them coordinate with things you own. Adding uplights, overhead lighting and additional lamps can all come in handy as well.

• Fabric: It can cover just about anything and can cover the most space for the lease price (aside from paint) and could be just what the doctor ordered. Use liquid starch to adhere it to the wall. When dry it will peel right off like it was never there. Awesome!

• The Crazier The Rug, The Better!: If you have a great rug, it’s almost always the first thing you see when you walk into a room. The crazier the better as it’s wide range of colors will distract and soothe the pains that your unpaintable walls give you. Pillows work the same way, but always best in accordance with the rug.

• Head To The Hardware Store: Try taking a sample of your paint to your local hardware store and figuring out which other colors go with it. By bringing in more coordinating colors you can paint up tables, frames, chairs and more to go with the decor.

What’s the longest you’ve ever lived with an ugly wall color? Did you ever find a way around it? Did you finally accept it, just in time to move on? Sound off below!