Painting Your Walls: Turn Your "House" into a Home

By Amanda Cohen on April 8, 2019

This article is brought to you by CORT Furniture Rental. We take the hassle out of furnishing your new place so you can do more important things like read this article. Learn more about why furniture rental is the best way to get a great looking apartment.

Decorating your new living arrangements, whatever and wherever it may be, is a major part of turning your “house” into a home. Usually, most apartment or house walls are painted white or some sort of cream color, and it just doesn’t do the cut. Yes, you can cover some of the blank surfaces with artwork, but too much artwork begins to look messy and can clash.

So, what do you do? You go on an app, like Handy, or you get on an outfit you don’t care about and you paint your walls! There are so many different routes you can go when it comes to painting—the color you choose, whether you want to have a solid wall or a patterned wall, and the number of walls you paint. This is where I come in! I’m going to help you with this wall painting decision because, let’s be real, you have enough on your plate when you first move into your new apartment, house, condo, or wherever! So, let me help and read on!

If you have white walls and don’t want to spend the time painting every single wall of your room or common space, why not try to alternate each white wall with a wall color of your choice? You may think that your walls, decorations, and furniture have to match pretty dang close to perfect. However, I learned from decorating my own apartment recently that some of the best décor and painting options are when things aren’t so matchy-matchy. Here are some great scenarios for you!

Image via. https://pixabay.com/photos/winter-snow-nature-cold-outdoors-3292563/

Scenario #1: most of your furniture, sheets, and pillows are white, grey, dark blue, and/or black. If your room/apartment is like this, use your walls as a way for you to add a pop of color to your life! So, you have eight white walls, what’s your next move for four of the eight? There are one of two routes you can take. First, you could go for a silver or gold metallic paint.

If you prefer things to look clean cut, with the less outlandish colors, this is a great way to add some excitement to your apartment while staying true to that classic, neutral look. If you watch metallic, but don’t know what color metallic you want, PPG paints has your back! However, if you are looking to be adventurous, why not go for lavender paint? Lavender both complements and contrasts with the blues and greys in your apartment. It’s the perfect amount of loud and it won’t look tacky or out of place.

Scenario #2: most of your furniture and décor has lots of pastels. You want to add some color to your walls, but after buying so many different colored items, how can you swing it? You have a few different options. First, instead of painting every other wall in their entirety, why not pattern them using gold paint? I am a sucker for “crown-like” designs and elegant floral-inspired patterns.

If you are going this route, I suggest using a metallic paint so that the pattern really stands out and contrasts with the matte-look of the pastels around your apartment. Another option is to use the color of whatever color most predominantly appears in your apartment and then differentiate the shade a bit. For example, if you have pastel blue present in your apartment, go for a darker-toned blue. On House Beautiful, they have a wonderful list of blue shades to choose from; my personal favorite is “pitch blue.”

Image via. https://pixabay.com/photos/texture-seawall-ink-wall-painting-1876097/

If you really want to go for it and paint all of your walls, you are walking a very fine line. You want a paint color that both perfectly complements and somewhat contrasts with the color scheme of your home; the contrasting elements of the paint color will actually bring your living space together more than if everything matched perfectly. There are thousands of different paint colors out there and it would take 100+ pages to go through every painting/decorating scenario; so, I’m going to go through some popular scenarios based off the decorated apartments that I’ve seen.

Scenario #1: if your apartment has a color scheme of cream and dark-wood colors, you have an amazing opportunity to do something funky with your walls. Most everything works with cream-based colors, but the tricky aspect of this color scheme is the dark wood. Since dark wood colors are very prominent and already make a statement, you don’t want to do anything too bright with your walls.

What I would recommend is doing a light blue or a combination of pink and purple. Lavender is a bit too understated for the dark wood since dark wood often has some hints of dark purple in it, so the light blue or the combination of a light purple and pink color would work beautifully. Another way to add some spice to your walls is by patterning them with the cream color most prominent in your apartment or a dark wood-like color. Fresh Home has a wonderful list of geometric wall prints. If geometric isn’t your style, the Family Handyman walks through a variety of different wall patterns that will definitely add something awesome to your new home.

Scenario #2: If your apartment already has lots of colors and patterns, but white walls make you die inside (dramatic, I know, but you know what I mean), then you need a wall color that is simple and understated so that it doesn’t take away from your already-awesome decorations. If you want to keep it very neutral and nuanced, Miller Paint shows you how neutral can scream color confidence. If you really need a color that is not neutral, but still understated, go for light color tones: light pink, pale blue, lavender, seafoam green, a pale yellow, or even a light grey. If you have multiple rooms in your apartment, you can use multiple colors and really just go for it. If you need visual inspiration, go on websites like Pinterest and Instagram because they show you beautiful visuals of how this scenario can really work in your new home.

I hope this has helped you on your journey to turn your new house, apartment, condo, etc. into a home. It is so important to make your new digs your sanctuary. Painting your walls not only allows you to achieve this goal, but it helps to showcase your personality and personalize your new arrangements. If you live alone, then just start going for it. However, if you are a roommate, make sure you read this article together and decide together so that you’re both happy and feel at home. So, get your paintbrushes, a can of paint (or paints) and some overalls and a ratty t-shirt and get going! Good luck!

Looking for an easy way to furnish your off-campus apartment? Renting furniture from CORT saves you time and money. See how easy it is to get great looking furniture without breaking the bank.

I am currently a junior at the University of Michigan.

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