Paint is a powerful tool that can transform a room, revitalize the exterior of a home, or bring life back to an old piece of furniture.
And now there’s a new trend that takes it to a whole other level: color drenching. This technique is just as it sounds—you paint the walls, ceiling, trim, and fixtures of a room all one specific color. Though it’s certainly bold, it might just be exactly what your home needs.
Why color drenching works
If you think color drenching verges on being “too much,” you’re not necessarily wrong. It is a maximalist approach to design that can understandably feel overwhelming to some. However, this monochromatic or tonal technique can actually make spaces appear bigger, cozier, and overall more modern.
Traditionally, a room’s walls, ceiling, and trim are each painted in different colors, which forms a distinction between these areas and emphasizes the cutoff between the wall and ceiling in a way that catches your eye. On the other hand, when these are all painted the same shade, there is no harsh separation to draw attention, and corners, edges, and lines instead blur together, creating the illusion of a larger, more expansive space. And since color drenching involves painting objects like vents, radiators, and even outlets as well, these features virtually disappear by blending in with the rest of the walls.
The sky’s the limit with this technique, as it can work with both light and dark shades; it just depends on your design goals. If you’re ready to give this trend a try, here are a few important factors to consider before adding your first coat of paint.
Carefully select the color
Though paint isn’t permanent, it still costs money and takes a lot of time and effort to redo, so you want to make sure you get the color right the first time. Visualize different options in the room, and try a few out with a peel-and-stick paint sample, examining the color on different walls throughout the day to see how both natural and artificial light impact its appearance. You’ll also want to consider how well it works with your existing decor and furniture, especially if you don’t want to overhaul all your pieces. The goal is to be confident you love the color enough to cover a room in it and that it works well with the rest of your home and design aesthetic.
If you aren’t ready to fully dive into color drenching, consider first painting just your walls and ceiling. It’s a good way to dip your toes into the trend without completely committing to it. From there, you can better examine how the color looks in your space and decide if you want to go all the way by painting any trim, shelves, doors, and other fixtures (or even a fireplace!) in the room the color as well.
Try different sheens
Much like with the color, using the same paint finish can help blend the different segments of a room together and avoid any harsh lines. Already one of the most popular options for walls, eggshell is a great sheen choice for this since it’s more durable than flat but reflects less light than semigloss. However, if you do want to create a little distinction between elements, you could opt to paint your wood trim in a satin or semigloss finish to better highlight these areas against an eggshell ceiling and walls. It ultimately comes down to your personal preferences and goals for the overall look of the space, so follow your gut and do what you think will make you the happiest with the design.
Bring the color into your decor
Once you have your room painted, fill it with decorative pieces that match. If you chose your paint color based on your existing decor, you should already have a cohesive look in your room. Otherwise, go on the hunt for items like rugs, pillows, art, and furniture in the same color as your room. This will harmonize the paint with your decor, better linking the two and alleviating any disconnect there might have been otherwise. It’s important to note, though, that the color for your decor doesn’t have to be the exact same shade as the paint color. In fact, using different tones can create more dimension in the space and prevent it from feeling overwhelming.
Know when to stop
As with any interior design trend, the key is recognizing when enough is enough. Color drenching every room in your home in a different color can easily become excessive. Instead, pick and choose which room or rooms you want to use the technique in to maximize its impact, especially if you’re opting for a color other than white.
Color drenching is a great way to add personality and style to your home. With a little planning and effort, you can craft a space that is visually striking and makes a big impact.