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9 simple wall paint ideas that will transform your interior on a budget

Written by Rosie Ellis | Apr 15, 2020 3:00:00 PM

First rule of home updates: never underestimate the versatility and effect of a fresh lick of paint. This goes for just freshening up the walls of a room, making a statement with a feature wall or letting your creative juices flow with some wall painting effects. 

There are so many ways you can use paint to transform your interior, from block painting and paint effects to a colour scheme overhaul and upcycling furniture - it's too much to fit into a single blog post. With this in light, we've collated some simple and some uber-creative (many of them are both!) paint ideas to really ramp up your home style and give you that creativity springboard to get you started.

If you're overwhelmed by the possibilities and could do with some hand-holding throughout the process, do not fear! We're just a phone call, email or online chat message away. To schedule a consultation about your project, just press that big orange button below and we can get you booked in. 


1. A colourful corner


If you have a dual-function room, or simply only want a pop of colour, then just painting a section or a corner is the perfect solution. This can zone work, dining or reading spots, adding dimension and functionality. 

Clean lines 

We love the clean lines of this rectangular paint section, it perfectly zones the seating area and cleverly conceals the door (which we assume isn't used much with the furniture quite close to it!) 

This wall paint feature also continues the transition from a neutral interior to a bright and colourful space, which is also reflected with the seating and planters.  


Abstract shapes

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

If you've been keeping up with your interior blogs and magazines, you'll know that abstract shapes are huge now.  Here, they aren't just adhering to the dark colour trend but also incorporating some of those arched abstract shapes too, all the while adding drama to the room. 


Need help getting those perfectly straight paint lines?! The paint pros at Lick gave us a demo:


A picture perfect study space

More and more people are choosing to work from home for all sorts of reasons: reducing their carbon footprint, working for an online business, not limiting their recruitment to one area, work/life balance, productivity, self-isolation... you name it. 

For whatever reason, the need for a functional, ergonomic and inspiring workspace has peaked. Spare bedrooms are being transformed into dual-function home office/guest rooms and alcoves and other transient spaces are being used to create extra desk space.

When the sole purpose of the room isn't to be a home office, it's so important to zone your working area and paint will help you do it. 


Looking to transform your home or need an expert second opinion? Book in a FREE, no obligation call with one of our advisors to find out how we could help with your project.

Diagonal lines 

We love the contrast between light and dark here. The diagonal line adds interest and creativity, the dark paint zones your working space whilst keeping the light tone ensures that the room doesn't become too dark to stimulate your mind! 


Frame your noticeboard 

Paint doesn't need to be used in large amounts, as you can see here. The pastel tone adds just the right amount of colour to this space and also acts as a frame to the noticeboard space. This is great not just for aesthetics but for organisation too! 


Zone your working space

You're never going to wonder where the working area is in this room. A simple strip of paint the same width as the desk and storage grounds the study space and adds a vibrant pop of yellow - a colour that can make you feel happy even when you're hard at work! 


Need help getting those perfectly straight paint lines?! The paint pros at Lick gave us a demo:


Geometry feature wall paint idea


Yes, rounded arches and circles are super fashionable right now, but we're not forgetting about our faithful geometrics. Geometric shapes and patterns that are still ultra-versatile and can also double up as a 'zoner' for your home office


Looking to transform your home or need an expert second opinion? Book in a FREE, no obligation call with one of our advisors to find out how we could help with your project.


Half height delights

There is flexibility with this idea as we're not limiting our 'half-height delights' to exactly halfway up your wall. Creating a horizontal line around your room by dissecting the wall with colour is a fantastic way to enhance your d├ęcor, whether this be dictated by a picture rail, dado rail or a statement piece of furniture or just a distance chosen by you, it's going to add that bit of extra pizzazz

Paint your headboard 


No statement headboard? No problem! Painting a low strip of colour across the bottom section of the wall behind your bed gives the illusion of an oversized or winged headboard, for a fraction of the price. Plus, if you're a bit nervous about steering away from the neutrals, it's a great way to add colour without going all out. Alternatively, you can stick to a neutral palette and just use paint to add dimension and the look of a headboard! Either way, it's going to look fab. 


Shelf height 

There are many ways to frame your paint section, whether this be following the height of wall hooks, a shelf, a ceiling line before it starts sloping, a picture ledge or a picture or dado rail. It gives a really complete and clean finish to your painting project. 

Adding character with paint effects

Pairing your paint sectioning with a fun wallpaper is a great way to add some personality and fun to your interior. We love how, in this hallway, the paint is framed by wall hooks, which cleverly create a break between the paint and the wallpaper. 


Looking to transform your home or need an expert second opinion? Book in a FREE, no obligation call with one of our advisors to find out how we could help with your project.


4. From floor to ceiling 

Yep, just take that paint and put it everywhere. Ok, it doesn't need to go everywhere, but it certainly can. The 5th wall, otherwise known as the ceiling, often gets forgotten about, which is strange as this is the largest expanse of wall that you will see without it being interrupted by furniture - it makes sense to give it some paint loving! 

Have a read of our blog post on how to pull off the dark painted ceiling trend.


Complete coverage

We're talking from the bottom of your skirting, right over the coving and cornices and across the ceiling. Painting everything possible on the wall (yep, we recommend including any alcove shelves or cabinets too) elongates the walls and can make the room seem much larger and grander. Plus, the finish is complete continuity

Continue your statement wall 

Painting the walls and ceiling doesn't mean everything has to be the same colour. Remember feature walls? Yep, they're still a thing. If you've chosen a feature wall paint colour, you could double that statement by continuing the colour onto the ceiling - it really gives the room that extra oomph

5. Accent alcoves

Alcoves don't get enough credit for their versatility and capacity for stylistic opportunities. Paint can only emphasise their greatness, whether it's adding just a pop of colour, zoning a space or incorporating patterns into the room. 

The perfect shelfie

One of the most popular ways to utilise accents is to include some bespoke shelving. This gives the opportunity to further accentuate how we style these shelves using paint. Whether it's just painting the wall behind the shelves a different shade or colour or painting the whole lot for a complete finish. 

The image above is an example of something a bit different than your standard alcove; we love how they have built backwards into the wall to create an alcove that didn't before exist - the arched top is the perfect finish! 


Making your space work for you

As we mentioned, more people are working from home and therefore needing to use transient spaces to create working spaces. A lot of alcoves are just about the perfect size to slot in a desk, bespoke or off the shelf, into and add shelves above. Use paint to zone these spaces and make them a different area to the rest of the room, so that when you sit down, you know it's time to get your mind into working mode! 


6. 2D headboards

Disclaimer: you don't need to get rid of your current headboard even if you are painting one on the wall - they can work in perfect harmony together! Using paint in an interesting way only adds to your bedroom and can make it a more dynamic design, harnessing the focal points of the room.


The perfect circle paint effect

Painting a perfect circle behind the centre of the bed is taking the interior Instagram world by storm - why are we seeing it so much? Because it's such a striking yet understated way to add colour and a feature to your bedroom

Layering colour blocking feature wall

Paint blocking is so hot right now and we can see why. It allows you to really have fun with your colour schemes and create a look that's a little different to your standard room. Colour blocking behind your bed can further frame it, creating an even more prominent focal point in the room. 


Accentuate your headboard

We love a bespoke headboard and painting the wall the same colour as your headboard can really exaggerate this hotel-worthy look. Building out your headboard allows for extra storage and a shelf just waiting to be styled. Continuing the colour across the wall ensures a cohesive and striking finish. 

Abstract art feature wall

Another beautiful example of layering your paint colour blocking! Rounded edges gives a softer, elegant finish that is a nod to the abstract shapes trend. Top tip: pair neutral, earthy tones with pastels and one brighter/deeper colour for a beautiful colour scheme


Looking to transform your home or need an expert second opinion? Book in a FREE, no obligation call with one of our advisors to find out how we could help with your project.

Take the headboard higher

We love this! Such a simple yet effective paint design. Take the width of the bed, or slightly wider, and paint a strip on the wall behind - when you get to the ceiling, keep going. Just make sure you keep the strip on the ceiling the same width as the strip on to wall and it's directly adjacent - we don't want these lines going off on a tangent! 

A cosy shelter

'How do I make my bedroom even cosier?' we hear you ask. Well, create the illusion of a larger alcove or shelter by painting on the walls parallel to the bed and directly above, on the ceiling - just make sure all the painted strips are the same width! 

7. Hallways & Staircase paint effect ideas

As hallways are often the longest, thinnest room in your house, a full wall of colour can sometimes be a bit overkill, but don't worry colour lovers and paint fanatics! All is not lost. There are plenty of other ways to inject some pretty pigment into your hallways and staircases. 

Long lines 

If you're still here reading and have got this far, then you'll know where we stand on painting the ceiling. If you've been mainly skim reading (it's fine, we're here mainly for the imagery too), then we'll just reiterate: painting the ceiling is a great idea.

The image above is a perfect example of continuing the line from the wall and door right across the hallway using the ceiling - this is lifting the entire room and creating continuity, adding colour and making a bold finish. Painting the door ensures that this look isn't broken at any point. It's fabulous. 


Wonderful woodwork

There's a lot going on in this image, all of it good. If you have a character property then you can really embrace the features with paint. Paint the woodwork and wall up to the dado rail or add some panelling if there isn't any already! This will guide the eye through the property towards the main event (the rest of the house), whilst still being a beautiful feast for the eyes.

The bannister is painted a soft blush here which is a beautiful contrast to the other dark woodwork and walls. 

Painted panelling up the staircase ensures design continuity and makes for a completely cohesive house interior. 


Stylish stairs

Some prefer carpeted stairs, some like to leave them as exposed wood, others may add a runner, but have you thought about stripping them back and painting them? This is a great way to add pop of colour, a bit of fun, personality, contrast or all of the above! 

We love the soft pastel look but a dark and dramatic shade would also be just as effective! 

Add some pattern

Staircases are largely ignored when it comes to injecting unique style - but really, they're used and seen a lot, so why shouldn't we focus our efforts there too? 

We love the diagonal paint effect, adding pattern and dimension to an otherwise quite neutral scheme. Want more fun ideas like this? Click the image credit link under the photo. 


8. Paint it in 

Painting your furniture or shelving the same colour of the wall is the single most simple way of creating a unified finish. 

A shelf gallery wall

Gallery walls are still very much a style icon in the world of interiors, and there is so much diversity when it comes to creating them. If you struggle from interior commitment issues, then using picture shelves might be the answer for you, as you can change, edit and update your gallery wall to your hearts content.

For a united look, paint the shelves the same colour as the wall - this ensures that there are no distractions from your beautiful artwork.

Radiators reworked

There are some exceptions but I think we can all agree that, on the whole, radiators aren't the prettiest things - sorry radiators, we love your warm personality though! Radiator covers are great, but can often look misplaced or stand out even more.

The best way to make radiator covers blend into your interior is to paint them the same colour as the wall. We don't suggest you think outside the box here and paint them a stand-out shade, unless you just really love your radiator covers. 

Concealed cabinets 

Sometimes you want your cabinets or sideboards to be a feature in your room, but sometimes you just wish they would fade into the background. If you're going for the latter, paint them the same colour as the background and your wish might well become a reality. 


Looking to transform your home or need an expert second opinion? Book in a FREE, no obligation call with one of our advisors to find out how we could help with your project.

Ombre walls 

This look takes slightly more handy work but if executed well, is worth the hassle! Painting your shelves a slightly different shade will give an ombre look in itself, however, if you really want to balayage this beauty, you can paint the wall behind too.

The shelves act as marks for where you stop painting one colour, and start the next - even though the actual paint on the wall isn't slowly changing colour, the overall look with seem this way! 

9. Look up 

Have you ever thought about painting your ceilings? Ha! We know we sound like a broken record, but it really can take your interior from an 8.5 to a 10. If you've only just tuned in, we've been chatting quite a bit about the benefits of painting your 6th (and often forgotten) wall - don't worry if you've missed our relentless chatter so far, we're going to go over it again below. 


Statement ceilings

If you like a neutral look but do want to add a surprise pop of colour, then it might be worth considering painting your ceiling. Often, we have coloured walls and a white ceiling, but there is no reason why we can't or shouldn't reverse this.

Painting your ceiling elevates the entire room and makes it a unique talking point too! 

Please note, you can also have coloured walls AND  coloured ceiling. If you're nervous about this, you can have us by your side to help decide on the perfect palette. If you'd like to learn more about our services, don't hesitate to give us a buzz. 


Meeting halfway

So, we've spoken about painting half the wall and we've spoken about painting the ceiling. Well, what happens when you put the two together? Magic!

This is an especially good idea if you want that two tone look but have quite low ceilings, as the continued colour confuses our senses and we can't always work out where the wall stops and ceiling begins, creating the illusion of more space

This is also a great idea for bathrooms (as you can see) because often you only have tiles to a halfway point, and then the rest of the wall is yours to play with. 


Struggling to pick out the perfect colour for your room? Tash from Lick shares her tips for choosing the perfect hue:


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