Designing a room can be a lot like cooking. It’s all about bringing together various ingredients to form a cohesive, interesting, and beautiful whole. Sofas, armchairs, beds, and tables take the place of main courses; throw pillows, artwork, rugs, and curtains act as complementary side dishes. If one were to continue with this tasty—although potentially hackneyed—analogy, wall paint might best be compared to the salt that ties the entire dish together. With the ability to make or break the ensemble, the right amount is crucial.
This is why, when it comes to decorating, our designers advise choosing your paint color last. Try to think of your wall color as an accent rather than the main event, something that can help bring together the disparate elements of an interior design scheme. “Too often I see people backing themselves into a corner when they pick paint colors first,” Alice says. “They struggle to find pieces that will match it, which ends up prolonging the furniture buying process. Paint or wall paper should support the furniture—not the other way around.”
Gray Walls Orange Chair Living Room
A grey wall recedes and allows bright orange focal points to take center stage. Image via House & Garden.
Pale Pink Wall Paint Color Living Room
Mint Green Paint Tufted Green Sofa
Plush, colorful furnishings are given a chic, subdued look when paired with a mint green wall color in this Emily Henderson-designed interior. Image via Emily Henderson.