Everyone on the EHD team (and from the comments, a lot of you) have been itching to do something bold in our homes and there’s this courageous, awesome, “screw it, what’s the worst that could happen?” attitude happening. Sara even wrote about her thoughts and feeling on the topic in this post. This collective deep need is likely due to the perfect storm of long-time white-washed design content, the lack of visual stimulation from the outside world (thanks, COVID), and the daily staring contest we have with our walls (another big shoutout to COVID). So we thought that we all needed this post and for it to serve as a pep talk for us to take that chance and give our home a bold moment we are craving. And one that doesn’t require all of our money. Some of these ideas are VERY easy, while others may require you to bring out your Hilma af Klint and use all of that creative talent you’ve been storing inside. There is something for everyone, I promise. So let’s grab our brushes and get to it because your eyes are about to be filled up with a lot of design joy.
Let’s start with a trend because trends are fun:)
The Handpainted Scallops (Especially Pink Ones:))
This has been the real surprise star of 2020. I guess if there is ever a time to go for with scallops it’s now! While they may not be for everyone, in the right space they add a heck of a lot of magic and whimsey.
Above, you might recognize that incredible DIY kitchen when we featured it a couple of weeks ago. Katie (the creator of that incredible DIY kitchen) started out using a stencil but then got bored so decided to freehand. She (and we) love that it has a touch of an organic feel.
But if you are someone like me who tends to need things to be exact, then feast your eyes on the two awesome rooms above. Playing with scale is something that you definitely want to consider when “scalloping”. The larger scale that Aileen Grodzinsky chose for her parlor room, is the perfect medium size so that it worked with both wallpapers. Then for Bre Bertolini’s little girl’s room, the sweet small delicate size gives it more of a traditional feel that perfectly pairs with the modern traditional style of the room. Here is a stencil you can purchase to help:)
But are you in the mood to get even crazier? Then mixing up the scallop sizes is also a great option. Who wouldn’t want to have that room as a kid…or let’s be honest, an adult who wants to feel like a kid? What, just me?
Ok, now let’s get into the next 2020 DIY wall paint star…
The Handpainted “Wallpaper”
I believe it was Domino who recently posted a headline that said something about the freedom of painting a custom design on your walls. I couldn’t find the article again but I’m 99% it was them. Despite not bookmarking the article (ugh!) it really struck a chord with me. In a year when basically everything and everyone feels completely restricted, finding moments to breakthrough creatively is so important and liberating. So why not try to paint your own pattern on your wall? If you mess up then you can just paint over it! Sure it’s time consuming but a lot of us have more time than ever to let our inner artist free. Consider it a budget-friendly therapy session. So let’s talk about these awesome examples…
First off, if you aren’t already following Carmeon Hamilton WHAT ARE YOU DOING? This woman has awesome, bold design coming out of her pores. The dining room above and the hallway below both are testaments to this fact. If you want to see her whole process in action, here is an Instagram highlight outlining everything on how she came up with the design for the dining room. For the hallway, Carmeon really loved this Kelly Wearstler wallpaper but said it was too expensive to purchase. So instead, she did her own version with her paintbrush (always giving credit to her inspiration, of course). Y’all, you can do this too. I believe in you!
But if freehand custom patterns are too much for you to tackle then let painter’s tape be your friend.
Above, Sarah Sherman Samuel gave her little girl a temporary nursery while their home was being renovated. Yes, this was the temporary one! When using painter’s tape to create stripes, the one very hard thing to avoid is the inevitable rough edges. BEWARE. Especially if you don’t have a smooth wall to work with. If that’s going to drive you nuts then I have another option for you…
Deja vu?! You are correct…kinda. Tanieka Harris was so inspired by Sarah’s DIY that she did her own version. But guess what? She used white gaffer’s tape instead of paint! That’s right I’m changing the rules just for a second. So instead of worrying if her lines were going to be rough, she decided it would be much easier, and just as awesome, to paint the wall tan and then add the white tape on top. Genius.
Side note: Look how effortlessly these stripes work in two completely differently styled rooms?? They both look incredible!
And can we take a minute to ooh and aah over her camouflaged striped dresser idea?! For this one, since the dresser was already white, she did use painter’s tape and a similar tan paint to create those stripes. But since the dresser had such a smooth surface, rough edges were of no concern. To see the whole room process check out her Instagram highlight🙂 Also, I have been waiting patiently to find the right post to feature this room in. When I first saw it, I immediately saved it (because, duh) and am so pumped to finally get to talk about it! Hope you all love it as much as me.
Ok, mooooving on.
The Bold (And Colorful) Accent
I think that while a neutral room will always be beautiful, we are craving COLOR. But what if you have a mostly neutral home and don’t want to go too crazy. Well, this is the perfect section for you.
Bookshelves, wooden banisters, special nooks, etc. can all be your one bold moment. We are really loving these saturated tones but even if you go for something a bit lighter, it’s still going to give you that moment of “o that’s cool” you are looking for.
I am not really a purple-y, red person but that wooden banister is SO GOOD. I can’t stop looking at it. It’s completely unexpected (as I guess all of these examples are) in the best way. I want to know the people that chose that color for that moment, don’t you?
This home, that we featured a few months ago, is FULL of bold colors and patterns but this nook and trim are two awesome examples that are so doable.
But if lots of color is what you are after then just dive into the whole rainbow! Normally I am a bit “rainbow in my house” averse but these shelves just make me happy. Maybe that’s telling me something… More on that soon:)
The Partially Colorful Wall
This idea is not new but boy does it bear repeating. The partial wall gives you visual interest, depth, and color without the requirement of being an artist. Plus if you want to take a chance but are a bit nervous this is a great place to start because it’s a “partial commitment”.
Above on the left, Julie chose to go bold on one wall (and her trim) and it added this incredible, exciting focal point in her bedroom. So that is one option. Or you can go full throttle and paint all of your walls like Vios Architects did on the right. You just have to decide if you want to also paint your doors or stop at the frame. It’s up to you, there is no wrong answer.
But if you are wanting to move your partial wall out of the bedroom, let’s look at some other great examples and ideas…
Vintage Revivals can do no wrong. This dark green partial wall looks super fun but sophisticated and made even more intentional by the peg rail shelf. It may also be a playroom but I would HAPPILY work in there any day.
P.S. It’s a little hard to see in this photo but there is an awesome large painted circle above the desk. So ya, it’s even better!
Now, this is a grown-up room that is INCREDIBLY chic but very happy. Those two unfortunately don’t always end up in the same space. Sure it’s full of beautifully curated pieces, but the playfulness of the large mustard border makes the space feel really welcoming. I also love that it’s a bit unexpected to have the color on the top part of the wall:)
Lastly, I wanted to show that truly any room can have a partially colorful wall(s). This dining room is from the same home of the wonderful green and yellow kitchen by Simon and Sophia Cook we linked up a coupled of weeks ago. Color and joy seem to be paramount in their home but so is style. Basically, if you want a partially green dining room do it because it will look awesome and bring a lot of smiles.
The Color Blocked Moment
Color blocking has been taking the design world by storm for the past couple of years. But until recently we hadn’t put one of these fun beauties in one of our own projects. Then Julie, the paint wizard that she is, designed the color blocked nook above. This room already had some pretty great, bold things happening but the nook was brought to life by Julie’s design. And since everything was pretty geometric, it’s not the type of design you need a lot of experience to execute. I promise.
This beautiful bedroom and mural were designed by the one and only Orlando Soria for his new show, Build Me Up (with the painting help of the other one and only, Emily Bowser:)). What could have easily been a boring white box, is now a really cool and creative space. I think you would be guaranteed to wake up inspired almost every day in this room.
But remember that color blocking doesn’t have to always include a bunch of colors and be full of different shapes. You can do something a bit simpler like this office dining nook above. It’s both subtle and bold and I like it:)
The Handpainted Mural
Alright, I am going to level with you that this last section isn’t a DIY for the majority of us. But I have been seeing a bunch of stunning handpainted murals pop up in my feed and on Pinterest and they just inspire me so much that I had to include them. So if you are an artist that can take to their walls with ease and confidence to create an illustration then I am in awe. However, if you are like me and all those years taking art classes in elementary school have not stayed with you, looking can still be fun.
I do want to say that if you love the idea of having a handpainted mural or detailing in your home then please consider hiring an artist to create something beautiful for you! Yes, this will be an investment but if you have the funds it is SUCH a cool way to bring something entirely unique to your space. Plus we need to support the arts when we can!
This space painted by Nathalie Lete looks like a total fairytale and I had to include it. I also really want to paint my door now.
This incredible mural by illustrator and children’s book author Esmé Shapiro was quarantine induced. Its purpose was to create guardian angels above her when she sleeps. So not only is her space unique and special but put a really wonderful intention behind it.
Last but most certainly not least is a magical room by Beata Heuman. She is a big EHD design crush and this room does not disappoint. But the true star is the mustard toned mural by The Finished Effect. It’s just so beautifully done and captures the whimsy that all of Beata’s designs have.
If you can believe we are at the end. Did any of these inspire you to pick up a paintbrush (or tape) and get to mixing it up in your home? I would love to know. Or have you already done something cool and bold? I would love to know that too! Let’s chat about it:)
Love you, mean it.
Opening Image Credit: Design by Carmeon Hamilton