Paint on a Two-Tone Treatment
Elevate your walls with a dramatic colorblocked look
Strategic use of white keeps the focus on the green-and-blue scheme.
A school hallway may seem like a strange place to find inspiration, but for those with an eye, every space has a lesson. Stylist Matthew Mead recalls liking the way one color went three-quarters of the way up the wall at his middle school, an idea he borrowed when he painted the open kitchen-and-dining area at his home, in Concord, New Hampshire. "The lower open shelf was a natural dividing line," he says, and the colorblocks "make the two areas feel complete and connected." Mead chose a favorite blue vase as a starting point for his palette, then played with oversize paint chips to get a combination he liked. After measuring and taping off the walls and—to really dramatize the scheme—part of a freestanding cabinet, he used interior latex in a satin finish and a paint sprayer with two bowls, which can be swapped out to save having to clean and refill one. "Using a sprayer calls for more preparation because you have to protect other surfaces," he says. "But the smooth, continuous motion can be almost Zen-like." The fine mist can cover evenly in one coat, he adds, but even if you do two, "it dries fast, and in one day, you're done."