Technicolour dream coat: How to pull off a home makeover with a pot of paint

For the easiest home makeover ever, all you need is a pot of paint. Interiors editor Nicole Gray shows you how clever use of colour can be transformational.

The statement staircase

painted staircase
Photographer: Lisa Cohen. Stylist: Bree Leech

For immediate impact, use a lighter tone on the walls to bounce light around, and paint the banisters and surrounding wall in colours that sit near each other on the spectrum to create a unified scheme. If you feel a colour is too bright, you can tone it down by mixing it with the darker shade it sits opposite on the colour wheel – for example, adding a hint of blue to bold orange softens and warms the orange. For a similar shade of green try Buckingham by

The sunny kitchen

painted kitchen

Experimenting with colour needn’t be confined to walls: painting cabinets or counter tops in a bold shade will change the look and feel of a space in an instant. Think about painting the inside of cabinets, too – unexpected bursts of colour will give you a joyous lift every time you open them. The same applies for behind open-wall shelving and inside kitchen drawers. Here, the neutral backdrop allows the bright paint tones to sing. For a similar yellow try Funkytown by

The smart home office

Blue office

Here a band of dark blue paint along the bottom of the walls anchors the space and draws attention to the furniture, as well as leading the eye upwards. This helps to delineate a working or reading area within a room and is also a great way to use up leftover paint. Bottom half, Braze Blue; top half, Pompadour, both

The bathroom revamp

painted bath tub

Bathtubs are great projects for a change of scene as they are made to withstand moisture. Here a wall section, cupboard doors and bathtub – a reclaimed design bought from – are picked out in Stiffkey Blue estate emulsion by The contrasting white walls and central location of the tub and walk-in shower give a sense of spaciousness. When painting a bathtub always use a suitable primer undercoat, followed by enamel-based paint for porcelain tubs, eggshell for plastic ones. Wait three days after painting before filling the tub with water.

For a speedy refresh

Get creative with these weekend paint projects

2LG Studio/Megan Taylor

Think outside the lines and reinvent a doorframe with fun squiggles

Use leftover paint or tester pots to transform plain bedroom walls and skirting into focal points

Enliven a neutral space with a simple accent of bold colour to achieve a striking result without much effort, or paint

Anchor a hallway with floorboards painted in a deeper tone than the walls

Will Horner/ Bauer Media Pty Limited /

Mark the transition between spaces with incorporating jolts of unexpected colour

Paint & Paper Library

Play with textures. Here a gloss finish picks out the wall detail and contrasts with matt emulsion on the woodwork

Photographer: Lisa Cohen. Stylist: Bree Leech

Create an account all by using two different shades of paint / Verona Collection

Modernise classical details by painting doorframes a contrasting hue

One-pop wonders

Colourful accents that will give a room instant impact

Wardrobe, £795,

Coat stand, £562,

Side table, £149,

Coffee table, £895, Pome! by

Cushion, £35,

Tray, £46.50,

The new name to know: Alix Lawson

Far from clinical, the right shade of white will provide the perfect backdrop for a statement scheme. Interior designer Alix Lawson shows us how to work the palette with her new paint brand, 5 Shades of White.

Alix LawsonWhy white?

Tired of sifting through endless white paint options, I was keen to simplify the process and working with specialist British paint manufacturers I have distilled years of decisions into just five pots for you to pick from.

What’s the secret to creating a warm and inviting white room?

Opt for a creamy warm tone. Lighting is everything when it comes to white paint so ensure that the lighting is warm and create pools of warm light through lamps, pendants and wall lights. Layering tone on tone textures also helps to create an inviting space.

Can you mix the different shades of white together?

Totally. As the shades are all quite different you could have a darker shade of white on the wall with a lighter shade of white on the ceiling. It will give depth to the room and also make it appear larger.

Which shade of white is best for creating a focal point?

A lighter shade is perfect for this as it allows you to punctuate the space with monochrome or colourful accessories. A wall mirror also works really well against white as it reflects the light back.

5 Shades of White launches at the end of June. For further information visit