Chip and Joanna Gaines on How to Use Bold Paint Colors in Your Home
The “Fixer Upper” stars spill their paint secrets.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 7:55 AM
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When you think of the homes Chip and Joanna Gaines flip on Fixer Upper, your first thought might not be COLOR. Farmhouse decor, creative design elements, and special accents, sure. But in the final season of Fixer Upper, we couldn’t help but notice the couple bringing more bold pops of color to the forefront of their designs. So when I caught up with the HGTV stars at a Magnolia Home paint media event hosted by KILZ, I knew I needed to get for their tips on adding more color into your home.
If you’re nervous, start small.
Is this your first rodeo using a bold paint color in your home? Look to smaller rooms in your home to see how you feel about a bolder accent. Joanna recommends adding color to a small bathroom or laundry room. This way, if you decide an in-your-face color isn’t your design cup of tea, you can repaint it with little strain on your budget. And if you don’t love the color as much as you hoped, the color isn’t covering the walls of the largest room of your home (that you probably spend the most of your time in).
No, like really small.
Painting a few walls still have you freaked out? Go even smaller. A bathroom vanity, mantel, laundry room cabinets, kitchen island, living room trim, or pieces of furniture, like a side table, are all great places to start. That way, it’s more of an accent and less of a large statement.
Can’t decide on a color? Compromise.
You want a light neutral, your partner wants a dark, bold hue on the walls. What do you do? Compromise on an accent wall. This way you get some color, but it’s not overwhelming to the eye (or the person who wishes all four of the walls were white).
This is Joanna’s current favorite way to use paint. It’s also the perfect way for people who are nervous about adding bright or deep colors to their homes to make a statement without committing to paint on the walls. Look to your trim and built-in architectural accents. If you have beautiful wainscoting, keep that white and paint the other half of the wall a new hue. Another option is painting your trim or windowpanes a fun, pigmented color.
Go with your gut.
Joanna points out that your eyes naturally gravitate towards certain colors—so go with it. If you immediately take to a bright blue shade, it’s probably for a reason. If you have a favorite color in your wardrobe that you already routinely wear, bringing it into your home will feel more natural, and less like a risk.
Sometimes, mistakes set you up for future successes.
It’s impossible to get it right every single time. Joanna shared with us the story of when she accidentally painted the exterior of a house school-bus yellow instead of a soft buttercream. But with each mistake comes a lesson, in your preference of color, how much of it you like, and where you might want to use it instead in your next home. Nobody likes to schedule a repaint, but luckily, paint is affordable enough to not break your budget if you need to make a change, ASAP.
Bottom line: If you don’t like bright, bold colors, don’t bring them into your home! There’s nothing wrong with soft hues and light neutrals if they suit your home’s personality.