Categories: Decorating-Published On: August 23, 2023-
Paint a Room Tone on Tone
Paint a Room Tone on Tone
The last two homes we had built, we had tone on tone interior paint. I love the look of contrasting walls and trim work, but this style isn’t as versatile. Contrasting paint tends to look craftsman, country, or traditional. While I love these styles, I prefer the ability to change decor styles without having to repaint every room. A monochromatic or tone on tone paint combination allows you to use any paint color and will go with many decorating styles. Our current home is tone on tone using Alabaster by Sherwin Williams, but I wanted the dining room to be set apart, just a little.
The dining room is getting set up for a DIY luncheon, you’ll get those party details next month.
A few months ago, I asked my blog newsletter subscribers to vote on the paint color for the dining room. The photo above has the paint color options as well as the reason I ultimately didn’t select it for the entire space. They’re all great colors, but with our light warm wood floors, I wanted a cooler tone on the walls to balance and contrast.
It took me a while to conclude that I had to keep this space tone on tone. I was mainly wavering because I was nervous about painting all the trim work. If I painted the dining room a new color and left the crown molding and trim work Alabaster, the room would have looked great, but the style would have changed from the aesthetic that I’m going for. I want to keep a classic modern feel throughout with a bit of European cottage vintage decor. Decor can change at any time for me or in the future with a new homeowner, but I want the architecture to be versatile and as timeless as possible. That’s one of the many reasons I opt for tone on tone with interiors.
Another reason that I love the tone-on-tone look is that it can open up a space and make it feel larger. We have ten-foot ceilings, but we came from a home with twelve-foot ceilings so sometimes it feels small in this home (even though the square footage is roughly the same on the first floors). I love decorative trim work like crown molding and tall baseboards, but sometimes molding can shorten the wall so by painting them the same color as the wall heightens the space visually. If you have ten-foot ceilings, I highly recommend painting your space tone-on-tone (monochromatic) to enlarge the space.
A monochromatic paint job can also mask an outdated home. If you buy a fixer-upper that has old paneling and you’re not ready to demo it and deal with damaged walls, painting the paneling, ceiling, other walls, and trim work all the same color can easily mask and update the space. If you have white trim work (any shade), you can easily update your space by matching the wall color to the trim color. I gave my color choice quite a bit of thought and debated if I really wanted to paint over my Alabaster baseboards and crown molding, but I don’t regret my decision one bit and I love how cohesive the new color is because it’s all one solid color like the rest of the home.
One of the reasons I knew painting the woodwork in the dining room would be great is because the dining room is totally separated from the main spaces of the home and has a starting and stopping point for the new color. If a room is closed off by a door or doorway, you can consider adding a new paint color to the space. For a timeless, relaxing, and cohesive feel, I recommend selecting one paint color for all the main areas of the home. If you want to add accent walls or have a different look in the other rooms, it works well because they’re separate.
What if your home has no tone-on-tone and is all two-toned (the trim work is a different color than the walls)? You can absolutely enjoy a tone-on-tone look, but it should be separate from the two-toned space. The beauty of a monochromatic look is that it can look fantastic with any style and with most paint colors. If you have stained wood baseboards, you can leave them stained because they can be a continuation of the wood flooring, and then paint the walls and ceiling the same tone (even the crown molding or picture frame molding to join it with the wall). A monochromatic look can also highlight wall features or architecture in a space, or it can minimize it.
For our dining room, I painted the baseboards, walls, crown molding, and window casings in the new color, Silverpointe by Sherwin Williams. I had to purchase a urethane base paint for the woodwork and then latex paint for the walls. Both paint types are in a satin finish, but I could have gone with a glossy finish for a very modern look. Silverpointe is a soft cool gray with a blue undertone – depending on the lighting and time of day. I have several green accents in the home, so I went with a tone that leaned bluer. It’s soft and subtle and flows so well with the rest of the home and coordinates with the mural wallpaper opposite the dining room.
The new dining room color isn’t a drastic change, and it flows so well that unless you’re looking for it, you may not even notice the color is different because it’s in a different room and is already set apart from the main living area. I also like Silverpointe because it’s neutral and relaxing which is a good feeling for the space that we eat and entertain in. The cool tone will balance well with the natural wood tones and brass accents in the space. I can add pops of any color with wall art, window treatments, an area rug, and even tablescape decor. I love the way the space turned out and highly recommend the timeless monochromatic paint technique. I have some plans for the focal wall in this space, so be sure to subscribe to my email newsletter. Thank you so much for checking out this post and feel free to pin any of the photos for future inspiration.