House compromise starts with colors. As simple as it sounds, paint is actually a very difficult tool, especially when it comes to walls.
Before you know it, you will be drowned in an ocean of colors and shades and you will eventually understand that using two-tone walls in your interior is perfect enough.
Decorating a room with two-tone walls will add a new dimension to your space and spoil your two favorite colors without having to compromise.
Color ideas for two-tone walls are inspired by horizontal molding, so you can even do them yourself instead of asking for professional help. How to decorate with two-tone walls? Let’s check:
A smart choice of colors
Image source: Luxury for the home
The most important thing is to choose complementary colors that go well together, otherwise the whole concept of two-tone walls will not make sense. You can always choose a neutral pair to stay on the same page and add playful curtains, bold pillows or other interesting accents to the look.
A bolder solution is to use one neutral and one bold color, while a more subtle effect can be achieved by applying two tight shades of the same color. You can set bold contrasts and even choose two completely opposite colors from the color wheel.
These bold cuts look very sophisticated and are a very common solution in children’s rooms full of bright accessories.
Keep the top layer lighter
Image source: Seattle Staged for Sale and Design LLC
When you’ve split your wall horizontally, paint the top layer lighter than the bottom. This tactic is great for small rooms with low ceilings, as it makes the room appear larger.
You can even make crisp transitions (say two-thirds to three-quarters) or get even more creative and install image rails as your own nifty touch.
One color, two colors
Image source: M design
These are probably the most appealing pairs of colors to apply to two-toned walls. We recommend dark blue bottoms in contrast to baby blue tops or chocolate brown in combination with warm taupe for a more cozy feeling.
Image source: Ana Donohue Interiors
Painting the cladding differently is a very simple, yet very effective way of using two colors without involving the entire wall. Instead of keeping the siding completely the same as the walls, you can achieve the two-tone look by painting the lower / upper siding differently.
The trim color could spread to doors and window trim and baseboards. You will be surprised at the difference this tactic can make as it is the cheapest and least time consuming you can find.
Image source: UBERDESIGNHOUSE
The idea with the ribbon strips was inspired by wrapped gift boxes and may in fact resemble one. While life in a wrapped gift sounds too brave to some of us, others seem to enjoy it.
All you have to do is coat the entire wall with your favorite paint, divide it into two equal parts (horizontally), and mark a tape in the middle, ideally 2 to 6 inches wide.
This part is supposed to be the tape, and you can paint it a color that will contrast the background of the wall. The stripe becomes even more appealing if you leave some white space on both sides.
To make the gift idea even more realistic, you can add the texture with a sponge or brush, preferably on the background (this process is also explained). Wouldn’t it look great?
Not everyone likes clean lines, and that’s perfectly fine. Instead, you can make a fuzzy transition between the two colors to make them look softer. This technique looks best when using two contrasting shades of the same color.
Try artificial patina
Image source: James Glover Residential and Interior Design
If you really want the room to look bold and noticeable, go for two bold colors and create an artificial patina. The idea is to replicate aged metal sheen and metallic texture. There are many popular options to choose from, but the most popular is definitely Cooper.
The reason for this is that copper turns greenish blue over time and you can achieve this effect by using teal or turquoise bases. Once the walls are completely dry, take a damp sponge and randomly apply the shiny metal glaze so as not to make them too smooth.
After the glaze dries, drop the sponge and apply the second layer of glaze with a brush or a simple cloth. The two textures look amazing when mixed together.
Image source: Judith Balis Interiors
Have you already decided on a contemporary mid-century look with molded plastic elements? There is nothing that goes better with this style than a lush wall chevron!
First, you need to carefully measure the angles of inclination or hire a carpenter to evenly divide the zigzag lines and make sure that all parallel lines are even. The colors of the zigzags should be alternating (pairing tone on tone, mostly dove gray and medium gray).
Strong chevrons juxtapose strong contrasts: black and white, mint and red or grape and pumpkin. The chevron should be attached to a single wall while one of its colors should be used to paint the other walls. The ceiling and siding should be kept white, or at least light and plain, to avoid busy and claustrophobic effects.
Image source: Parker House Inc.
Color wash again refers to two colors, this time used to create a soft and textured appearance. The first step is to determine the base color (preferably a light one) and apply the color in the usual way.
Once it is completely dry, take the second color you have chosen and mix it with glaze to create what is called the colored water. Cover the wall with the color detergent, take a cloth, a sponge … and your imagination! Start by wiping in a circular motion or use a paintbrush for a criss-cross texture.
Image source: Home staging
The stencil class is a technique used to give an urban wall a stylish look. It can be achieved very easily: First choose a basic color and paint the wall (ideally with a light color, but also with dark colors).
Second, take a stencil cutout design of the shape and size you want (there are all kinds of stencil designs such as floral, geometry, or leaf designs) and attach it to the wall using a specific pattern. You can even tilt or rotate it for a more scattered look.
Image source: Jules Duffy Designs
The next step is to carefully paint the inside (or just the edges if you prefer), either with a paintbrush or a spray gun. The artists among you can add additional shading for depth and dimension. Once the paint is dry, remove the stencil design. Voila!
Image source: Colorado Media Systems
A more traditional way of giving rooms a high quality look is to buff their walls with artificial finishes. This ancestor of two-tone painting looks amazing with appropriate decor and smart color choices.
Faux finishes are in fact the most commonly used basecoats, this time covered with a topcoat additive called glaze. There are many techniques that use artificial surfaces: feathers, marbling, leather and suede effects, ragging, etc.
The good thing is that you get more and more creative and can get a “wrinkled” result using brushes, sponges, plastic wrap, or any similar tool that comes to mind.
Unless you’re a seasoned painter who has tried something like this before, test your skills on a small board before heading to the entire wall. Finally, faux finishes are applicable to both monochrome plans and split walls.
Think about the rest of your space
Image source: Sophie Azouaou
Two-tone walls are a tough solution and you need to figure out how to match the rest of your decor with them. Assuming you are really inspired by your wall palette, you can use the same colors for furniture and accessories and choose a dominant one that appears more often than the others.
If you’ve decided to use different colors for your valences, upholstery or carpets, make sure these colors match the colors of your walls. We leave that to your imagination.
If you enjoyed reading this article about decorating a room with two-tone walls, you should read this too: