Painting is a great way to scratch that design itch. Within hours of that eureka moment you can have a completely different look somewhere in your home. A few easy steps will get you a fresh new feel. Painter’s Tape is the key to a clean professional look—a complete pain in the ass, but worth all of the work.

Over spring break I could not bear the abysmal condition of our front porch. It had been painted a drab prison grey by the former owner and large swaths of paint were missing and the front door was a gritty white. I’m into instant gratification and that was not going to happen with calling painters, making appointments, etc.  I knew there was only one solution, so off I went to the hardware store. Standing in front of the wall of samples the possibilities are endless. I decided on a dark grey for the porch and “Stop Light Green” in a high gloss front door paint for, well, you know. I began the process of scraping and sanding and priming and taping. Eventually the moment came where the first coats of paint went up and it was like the heavens had parted: “Ahhhhhhhhh”. The difference was amazing!

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I tend towards the brighter shades of life. I am also very partial to high and semi-gloss paints for a number of reasons—I like how they make the walls glow, and they are amazing for getting art projects off the wall. Our dining room in the NYC rental was drab drab drab. Our apartment has not been renovated since the flood (note to self: do not rent apartment sight unseen) so paint has been my favorite tool. I went with a warm coral in the dining room which makes everyone look divine.

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There is an interior hallway in our NYC apartment, which among its many faults has low ceilings.  I went with a pale blue, which picked up on colors in the living room, creating a cohesive look. I painted everything with the exception of the ceiling. By painting the doors and the trim the same color as the walls the hallway lost its feeling of claustrophobia. A great rule of thumb is go bold in small spaces—they can take it and will shine as a result.

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Have fun with color. Pick what you like and go with it. The worst thing that can happen is you don’t like it, and a couple of coats later your world is another color. One of the guest bedrooms was a bit dark so I used that as an opportunity to brighten it with color. Up went the yellow and in came the light.

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So grab those brushes and have some fun. The options are limitless.