See How Paint Dramatically Transforms This Living Room
Yes, it's the same room with the same furniture.
What do you do when you're bored of your living space and are ready for a change? For most of us completely overhauling our furniture isn't an option. But that doesn't mean you have to stick with an outdated aesthetic. One of the easiest-and most affordable!-ways to transform a room is with a fresh coat of paint. "Walls are a large surface area, anything you put on them is going to have a great impact on the mood and feel of the room," says Erika Woelfel, vice president of color and creative services at Behr.
However, before you select, say, a bold electric blue, think about the furniture pieces you own or are planning to invest in. "Consider the items you're bringing into a room before you start painting," advises Woelfel. "If you have a strong color area rug, or sofa I would suggest using a neutral on the wall." This allows your statement sofa or rug to pop and you don't have too many colors competing in the room. "Or, If you have neutral color sofa, consider using a brighter shade like a red to help it pop." Ultimately, you want a color that will complement your decor and work together seamlessly.
Another factor that will help narrow down your color choice is the flooring that's already in place. If you have dark floors consider going with a light color on the walls says Woelfel. "If you have light oak floors, you have more options with wall color."
Finally, think about the type of mood you're creating before spinning the color wheel. Is it relaxing or energetic?
Here, we painted a living room in three gorgeous and very distinct colors ( using the same core furniture items) to show just how simple it is to create different looks by swapping paint and accessories.
Look one: Unexpected Color
COLOR: BEHR IN THE MOMENT
If you're someone with a high demand job, constant deadlines and are basically "on" all the time, consider turning your home into a retreat cocooned in soothing shades like Behr's nature-inspired In the Moment. "Blue greens are calming and very versatile," says Woelfel.
"Because both shades come from nature-whether it's gemstones, plants or tropical waters- they pair really well with natural wood tones."
But this sanctuary isn't without style. To keep things modern, use metallic finishes like brass and brushed gold and frame art in sleek black frames. "Black helps blue and green feel sophisticated and crisp," says Woelfel.
Interior Define Sloan sectional sofa, $1800, interiordefine.com. Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Vienna bookcase, $1550, mgbwhome.com. West Elm Streamline coffee table, $319, westelm.com. CB2 Crane floor lamp, $149, cb2.com. Judy Ross Textiles Celine rug, $2500, judyrosstextiles.com. Garnet Hill Knit Cashmere pillow in aqua mist, $98, garnethill.com. Aero Geometeric pillow, $150, aerostudios.com. Garnet Hill Knit Cashmere throw in heathered gray, $298, garnethill.com. Aero Finely Etched boxes, small, $475; medium, $700, aerostudios.com. "Son" limited edition art by Lori Wemple, from $31, framed, minted.com. "Phosphenes 1" print by Stephanie Nowotarski, from $31, framed, minted.com.
Look two: The New Neutral
COLOR: BEHR DOESKIN GRAY
Grey walls have been trending for years now, and we're all a little fatigued by the ubiquitous shade but at the same time can't get enough. If you're in the market for a modern version of everyone's favorite wall color, try one with warmer undertones says Woelfel. A greige if you will.
"Having [a neutral] as a background color means you can easily update accents," she says. If you want to bring in color, it's easy. And you can work with various color schemes." Plus, adds the color expert, warmer neutrals enhance wood tones and make rooms feel more inviting, especially beneficial if your home features an open floor plan.
Despite their reputation, neutral walls are the opposite of blah and are actually perfect for color enthusiast. If you have a collection of bold items, neutrals allow these accessories to shine without feeling like you're in a circus. The optimistic yellow and pink accents in this room don't feel overwhelming thanks to our elegant, neutral wall color.
Interior Define Sloan sectional sofa, $1800, interiordefine.com. Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Vienna bookcase, $1550, mgbwhome.com. West Elm Streamline coffee table, $319, westelm.com. Rejuvenation Altadena glass shade floor lamp, $599, rejuvenation.com. Wade Logan Arboleda hand-tufted Gray area rug, $72.99, wayfair.com. Hawkins New York reversible velvet and linen pillow in mustard, $200 each, hawkinsnewyork.com. Hable Seaglass Jonquil pillow, $200, hableconstruction.com. Judy Ross Textiles Quartz pillow, $215, judyrosstextiles.com. "The Light" by Jennifer Morehead print, from $31, framed, minted.com. Desert Poppies print by Leah Duncan, $129, schoolhouse.com. Menu Jwda concrete lamp, $200, hawkinsnewyork.com. Tom Dixon Orbit trays, $140 for a set of 4, tomdixon.net. Louise Tray copper and enamel, $120, hawkinsnewyork.com.
Look three: Dark and Cozy
COLOR: BEHR HAVANA COFFEE
Choosing a dark color doesn't have to be intimidating. "The minute you walk into a dark room you feel enveloped into that color," says Woelfel. The expert adds that strong, moody hues can feel very modern and restful.
And contrary to popular belief using a darker wall color (especially in a small, dark room) can help a space feel bigger. "It pushes the boundaries of the walls out," she says.
If you're still on the fence, start small with an accent wall. Ready to commit to the full room? Woelfel says paint the wall and the trim the same dark color. Then, paint the ceiling a couple of shades lighter to create a seamless effect. "When you leave the ceiling light, that really sophisticated feel doesn't happen."
But the expert's best advice when going dark on your walls: keep your decor light. "Have light colors in your furniture and on your floors or they get lost," she says. "It helps visually balance the room and keeps it from feeling too heavy." To add to the cozy vibe we used a light and textured rug which adds another layer of dimension and included several sculptural houseplants which instantly bring in life to a room.
Interior Define Sloan sectional sofa, $1800, interiordefine.com. Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Vienna bookcase, $1550, mgbwhome.com. West Elm Streamline coffee table, $319, westelm.com. Rejuvenation Stand floor lamp, $449, rejuvenation.com. Dash & Albert Masinissa Hand Knotted Rug, price varies by size, annieselke.com. Cb2 Round Hide mirror, $254, cb2.com. Aero Whitewash oval tray, $150, aerostudios.com. West Elm Half-dipped stoneware vase, $49, westelm.com. Cb2 suede burgundy pillow, $69.95, cb2.com.
STYLED BY: EDWARD GALLAGHER