How to Transform a Room with Paint

paint cans and paintbrush
Photo: Getty
Want to make your pad look cozier, cooler, or larger? Find out how.

When it comes to painting your digs, it can be a real head-scratcher: What vibe do you go for? Something cozy that you can curl up in, an airy, open feel, or a mod palette that's perfect for entertaining? Read on and see which color m.o. is right for you.

Make Your Room Look Bigger
Use pale colors that reflect light, or cool colors (like blue, green, or purple) to add depth and openness. Try stripes: Horizontal bands of color will make a room feel longer, while vertical stripes will make it seem taller. Paint the crown molding darker than the ceiling or wall to draw the eye up, making the ceiling seem higher. Have a chair rail? Paint everything below it a deeper hue, and everything above it a light color to give the room more dimension.

Make Your Room Look Cozier
Painting a room in stark white can make it feel cold. Use texture to warm up a room and hide imperfections in your walls. Try a two-colored sponge effect. In a white room, think about using two colors of the same family but in different shades (like a poppy red and a dusty rose) on adjacent walls. The other walls should be white. You can also achieve a cozier effect by painting in warm yellow, rich brown, or deep red.

Make Your Room Look Cooler
Looking to mix things up? Creating a neutral palette within the same color family that incorporates your walls, trim, floor covering, and furnishings is a minimalist yet modern way to pull a room together. Try painting bands of color in different widths around a room for eye-catching, interesting walls. A dusty blue wall with stripes of chocolate brown and cream is a great combo.

Nestpert Danielle Hirsch from HGTV's Design Remix and Decorative Painting Techniques on