This isn't exactly a home repair question, but I am new to the site and
hope someone can point me in the right direction. I have moved from the
deep south (lots of sun) to the pacific northwest (sun-challenged) and
from a traditional ranch home with 8 foot ceilings to a house with an
open floor plan. I am intimidated by the walls in my new house. I need
all the light I can get but the 12' to 16' off-white walls are so
boring. In addition, the new house has 8 to 16 foot walls with a
'layered' appearance. When you look from the living room (8, 12 and 16
ft walls) toward the front door you see the living room wall (8 foot),
the wall on the stairs (1 to 5 ft) the open walkway (12 foot) to the
upstairs rooms and two walls of the entry way (16 ft). Then there are 8
foot walls under the open walkway between the entry and the living
room. It is architecturally interesting but a challenge for me. First,
how do you paint 16 foot walls/ ceilings? Second, how do I get some
color in the rooms without losing light? Third, do I use one color or
do I mix shades/colors to emphasize the layered appearance. I would
appreciate any suggestions.
Rent some staging to reach the high spots.
Use a light color to keep it bright, but add some color accents. They can
be multiple shades of the same color for trim, etc. Depending on your
likes, a rich yellow, then orange, then red in limited amounts can make a
I agree with Ed. Your situation really calls for visualising a color
scheme for the whole house, with the open areas all from complementary
color family, and perhaps some surprising/ contrasting colors in any
rooms that are enclosed/ visually separated from the main area. It's
going to be a big job. Have fun.
You don't paint them, you hang tapestries, Hopi blankets, and/or
light sculptures on them to produce color. Find a local artist
who doesn't suck out loud, and buy his stuff.
Invest in more light fixtures, and put full-spectrum bulbs/tubes
You need some decorating books and color brochures :o) The general
principle is that rooms visible from other rooms should relate in some
way, which doesn't mean they must match. I have been in homes with
black walls (living room with white carpet), red dining room, dark
purple. If you are looking forward to major redecorating, it might be a
good idea to spend a year in different seasons and lighting needs to get
a better idea. Changing the lighting might be a better investment.
Boring white can be less boring than some strong colors that have more
impact and keep "reminding" you that you are tired of them.
One theory is that favorite colors in clothing are good colors for
decorating. It's really a matter of taste and budget. Folks who get
the blues in winter might do better in home dec. with a warm pallett and
You can add color and interest with large paintings or posters, groups
of photos, etc. Hang a rug or group of baskets on tall walls. Lots of
ways to add interest.
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