If you want to stick with white walls but yearn for a little excitement, bring in small doses of your favorite colors.
Paint swatches in various palettes
Credit: Gentl & Hyers

Paint the Ceiling

Whether you’re drawn to hot pink or a wispy shade of blue, you’ll appreciate ceiling color most in a bedroom. It adds ambience and has a lot of impact. In a kid’s room, white walls with a vivid top look neat but spirited. Remember to test ceiling shades just as you would wall colors (see Tips For Choosing the Right Palette), even though it’s a bit of an effort to do so.

Paint Inside Shelves

A built-in or stand-alone piece that holds a mix of books and decorative objects is the perfect place for “contained” color. Look for a shade that creates a pleasing backdrop for your collection; go a few notches brighter if you have deep shelves, so the tone doesn’t get lost in shadows.

Paint Just One Wall

A great option if you want to use a strong color but are concerned about overpowering the room. Create a colored wall as a backdrop for a major piece: your sofa, bed, or desk. In a playroom or a kid’s room, colored chalkboard paint on one wall (or as a large color block at drawing height) is cheery and fun.