Transition Paint Colors

Today's open-plan homes can present some painting challenges.

Neutral Colors

Transitioning paint colors in an open-plan house can be challenging.Transitioning paint colors in an open-plan house can be challenging.
Unless you're painting the entire house the same color, you need to find a way to transition paint colors without adjacent colors clashing. Whether you're transitioning colors on a single large wall, or from one room to another, using matching or complementary colors, as well as judicious use of neutral colors, will make your house flow from room to room.

Neutral paint colors are not simply beige, beige or beige. Any shade of gray, white or black is neutral, in that these colors tend to go with any other color. A neutral color is simply one that won't "fight" with stronger colors. Even in the "beige" color palette there are warmer and cooler beiges; beige with gold, green or brown undertones; and very deep or very pale beige. Neutral colors don't have to be boring, and can bridge the space between two rooms painted in vibrant colors. A hallway or foyer painted in a warm golden beige can be a perfect transition color between your red kitchen and rich gold dining room.

Unified Color Palette

Create harmony and flow by using different shades of the same color. Choose a warm tan for larger spaces, a rich brown from the same color family for more intimate rooms such as a small study or formal dining room, and a light, fresh tan for ceilings or woodwork, or for walls in a room with dark-colored furniture for contrast.

Transition With Trim and Ceiling Color

If you have several different paint colors throughout your house, unify them by using the same color trim and ceilings throughout. This helps keep the transition from room to room less disjointed. If your wall colors are light and airy, consider crisp pure white for the trim and ceilings. For a more dramatic, jewel-toned color palette, paint the trim and ceilings creamy white or very pale tan.

Transitioning Paint Colors on a Large Wall

Large or long walls that link together two distinct spaces, such as a kitchen and family room, can be especially challenging in a multicolor paint scheme. Simply painting a straight line between colors often looks awkward. Depending on your home's style, a faux column or beam built onto the wall and painted or finished the same color as the rest of your trim can look very natural. The Benjamin Moore paint company suggests being creative with a geometric pattern, curved lines or stripes where the two colors meet.

About the Author

Stevie Donald has been an online writer since 2004, producing articles for numerous websites and magazines. Her writing chops include three books on dog care and training, one of which won a prestigious national award in 2003. Donald has also been a painting contractor since 1979, painting interiors and exteriors.