Try This Technique!: Paint Decorative Elements the Same Color as Your Walls

updated May 4, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

You can render room features invisible or make them stand out with strategic painting choices. These projects — in varying degrees — all match either architectural features or decor to the wall color around them. Ask yourself as you look at them: what does your eye float across, and where does it stop and linger?

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1. Painting trim and other architectural details is a classic way to unify a room, and makes it less jarring to walk into. Imagine this room, by Amanda Nisbet, with the wainscoting painted white, and what a different feeling that would be.
2. If you aren’t ready to paint your trim, you can get the same effect with furniture. Erin from Design Crisis gave her vintage shelves a built-in look. I could swim around in that deep teal all day.
3. Not totally thrilled by a piece of furniture? The creative folks over at Ferm Living made inexpensive wall-mounted shelves — and selectively painted bottles — hide in plain sight. As a result, certain pieces stand out against the uniform pastel backdrop.
4. Abigail Ahern achieves maximum drama by choosing a black/grey and painting her fireplace surround the same color. The light-colored sconce is amazing against all that dark paint, and don’t get me started on how much I love that dog lamp.
5. Crystal Gentilello, of Rue Magazine, painted her entire bedroom (with coordinating art frame) a soft peach, making for a soothing place to sleep.


6. On a much brighter note, 101 Woonideeen painted absolutely everything on one accent wall a bright red, including an unsightly radiator and box storage.
7. This purple wall and shelving – in Doug Meyer’s Miami home – plays host to a gallery of artwork.
8. Justine Blakeney flips this idea on its head and makes the painted area the spotlight that stands out against an otherwise white wall.
9. …as did this living room in 101 Woonideeen, with its perfectly painted and placed ladder.
10. And then last but not least, make what you will out of this styled shot from Vanessa Coyler Tay for Vice Versa.

What do you think? Which of these would you try at home, if any?

(Images: as linked above)