This Incredibly Subtle Paint Project Adds Architectural Drama to Generic Rentals

published Dec 22, 2019
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Credit: Courtesy of Liz Kamarul

Abstract DIY wall murals in bright primary colors and dreamy desert tones have been a go-to for creating eye-catching accent walls that add interest on the cheap—some well-placed shapes and a can of paint are all you really need to turn your walls into a work of art. As these creative paint projects gain in popularity, they’re evolving a little bit, and we’ve fallen in love with the latest iteration: Simple painted arches. 

That’s right, for those of you who have been drooling over the chic bunk beds Sarah Sherman Samuel created for her son Archie’s room but don’t want to deal with contractors, painted arches are the perfect easy fix.

Credit: Courtesy of Liz Kamarul

Need convincing? Just look at Liz Kamarul’s gorgeous bohemian New Orleans home pictured here. The stylist and designer, who’s known to masterfully mix prints, patterns, and colors, painted arches over doorways and windows in her eclectic place, and the end result has been striking. “I’ve always been obsessed with arches,” explains Kamarul. “But there’s absolutely no way that we could have those in this home without doing some major construction and renovation, which we don’t have the money for.” So the fearless creative picked up a paint brush and got to work.

“I thought, ‘I have dark walls and if I paint an arch above [the door frame], it might create an optical illusion—and it worked,’” she says. Now her bedroom, painted in a cozy brown, has doorways featuring white arches that add instant charm and feel like they’re part of the original architecture. Plus, the clever trick draws the eye up and creates the illusion of higher ceilings.

Credit: Courtesy of Liz Kamarul

For those of you inspired to give this project a try, Kamarul says all you need is a nail, some strong string, a pencil, and paint. Simple, right? Start by fastening the nail in the wall in the center of the window trim she says. Then tie the string to the nail and tie the other end to your pencil. Pull the string taught and draw your arch, following a motion that’s similar to how you would use a compass.

Kamarul generally has matched her paint color to the window frame for a cohesive look. However, as an alternative, if you have a colored door and white walls, paint the arch the same color as the door. Or, you know, take the trend in a different direction and introduce a new shade altogether. We can’t wait to see how you—and Kamarul—push the painted arch trend into even newer territory in 2020.