How to Add Color to a Neutral Room

Are your rooms stuck in neutral gear? See how bright, bold blocks of wall color warm up a formerly all-beige living room.


Enlarge Image After: A few stripes of the original neutral wall color tones down the bright color.

Orange-hue color blocks convert this formerly neutral living room into a hot spot of color.

Color choices were based on the room's accessories and furniture -- specifically, the sunny hue of the chair and lamp.

Leaving strips of the original wall color tones down the bright color addition, frames the various shades of paint color, and adds a crisp, casual note to the room.

Enlarge Image Before: A neutral palette opened the door to lively color additions.

For a similar look, use your room's dimensions to determine the size of color blocks. Measure the width to each wall and divide it into equal parts, allowing for space between blocks and in the corners.

To avoid choppiness, keep each window and doorway within one color block. For added interest -- and less math work -- vary block widths.

Project Overview

Follow these steps to create the color-block walls.

Enlarge Image White accessories -- the table, curtains, vase, and flowers -- contrast with the bold walls.
  1. Diagram each wall on graph paper.
  2. Next, diagram the color-block designs onto the walls already laid out on graph paper to see how they will fit into the space.
  3. Use a level to mark the blocks on the wall.
  4. Tape off the blocks with painter's tape.
  5. Paint in desired colors.
More Ideas...
  • For a designer finish, use leftover paint to cover several squares of artist's canvas (available at craft stores), and hang the completed artwork within the color blocks.
  • For a final pop of reflected color, prop a large mirror against a wall.

Produced by Becky Jerdee


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