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When we say paint, you think walls—right? Not so fast. The most underrated place to make a statement with color is underfoot. When pricey white oak boards and wall-to-wall carpeting aren’t in your budget, take a trip down the paint aisle (or better yet, look through your garage for any leftover cans to put to use). Renovators are taking their rollers and brushes to the floors, creating faux mosaic scenes, mimicking herringbone, and stenciling optical illusions. Even a solid color can wow in the right setting. Here are 10 reasons to look down more often.

Spruce Up White Tiles

To pull off the exact geometric floor tile design pictured above, cover half of your total number of squares in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Barcelona Orange and the other half in Antoinette using a large sponge roller. As those are drying, cut out a circular template by putting a plate over a piece of paper and tracing the edge. Once your tiles are dry, position two of the same color next to each other, centering the template on top of them. Use the sponge roller to apply the opposite color paint to the area around your template. Repeat with the alternative colored tiles. Finish with a glass Chalk Paint lacquer so all your hard work is set in stone.

Splatter Your Canvas

Channel your inner Jackson Pollock by flicking your second color across your base color. (The above example features Chalk Paint in Napoleonic Blue and a lighter tone called Louis Blue.) Flick your brush across the floor and the baseboard for a galactic look. 

Give It That Handmade Touch

Those squares aren’t authentic cement tiles—they’re a stencil design. Designer Jessica Davis filled in the geometric shapes with Chalk paint in Pure White and Graphite. “This was a two- to three-day process, but totally worth it, and it changed the look of the room drastically,” she says. 

Start With a Clean Slate

Note to self: If you can help painting your floors before you move in, do it. Maarten Boomker and Sharvin Ramjan had to shuffle their furniture in and out of each room to achieve this clean white palette, and it took three coats to make sure every knot in the wood boards was properly covered. But the sleek white backdrop helps their colorful furniture pop.  

Don’t Compromise on Charm

If your floors have a ton of character, you don’t have to cover everything up. Simple white squares, laid out in a checkerboard pattern, balance out old and new in this Kate Guinness–designed space

Go Dark in High-Traffic Areas

Knowing they would be tracking in sand from excursions out on the water, Zippora Seven and Terence Connors painted the bathroom floor in their Montauk, New York, home hunter green (a hue that both feels like walking into nature and naturally disguises scuffs).

Bring the Brush Outside

Not unlike the interior of his New Orleans home, Dabito’s playful backyard boasts plenty of plants, bold textiles, and tile that wows. Get the details on his straightforward stenciling DIY on Old Brand New. Morocco or Louisiana? You decide.

Stick With an Unbeatable Combo

Once spring rolls back around, add this simple patio refresh to your makeover to-do list. This black and white pattern by A Beautiful Mess looks so real that none of your guests will ever guess it’s just an illusion.

Make It 3-D

As a part of the One Room Challenge, Brittany Watson Jepsen gave her home office a transformative facelift by applying this punchy tumbling block print to the floors. While the end look takes an almost futuristic tone, the print actually dates back to ancient Greece. From laying the pattern to applying the primer, the blogger runs through the full DIY on The House That Lars Built.

Commit to Bright Colors All Around

We can’t decide which paint project we love more: that electric yellow fireplace or the architectural marvel on the floor. Now it’s time for you to hit the ground running. 

Our Winter Renovation issue is here! Subscribe now to step inside Leanne Ford’s latest project—her own historic Pennsylvania home. Plus discover our new rules of reno.