paint design ideas from the pros

paint design ideas david collins

David Collins

Paint design ideas from the pros are a collection of quotes I’ve saved over time that focus on painting an interior.   For the past six or seven months, I’ve posted different secrets of the interior design trade which can help anybody with pesky questions like what sort of lighting do I need by a bathroom vanity, or what length should a bench that sits at the foot of my bed be? Many of these quotes were collected over the years from sources like House Beautiful and Elle Decor serve as guidelines for the DIY crowd out there.


paint design ideas barry dixon interior

Barry Dixon

Paint Design Ideas for your home


“To give rooms architectural detail when they don’t have any, paint a 1.1/2” to 2” stripe up the corners of the walls and around the edges of the ceiling” (Marshall Watson)

“A good formula for ceilings is the trim color plus 50% white” (Allison Caccoma)

“Slather a reflective glossy glaze on any lower ceiling to create the illusion of height. Conversely, if the ceiling seems too high, use matte-finish paint, preferably in a cola or a darker tone, or cover the ceiling with raffia or a paper” (Barry Dixon)

“Interesting, clear and strong colors are easier to live with in the long run than pale colors. People always think it’s the opposite, but actuality, soft colors get boring much quicker” (Richard Keith Langham)


paint design ideas richard keith langham interior

Richard Keith Langham

“The perfect wall color is seldom the prettiest shade on the fan deck. Give that slightly drab stepsister shade a go – it will be far more interesting” (Robin Bell)

“You can’t use a roller to apply high gloss paint. You’ll end-up with “orange peel” walls, a texture you don’t really want” (Todd Klein)

“Paint a small space a dark color. It’s counterintuitive but it makes the space feel larger” (Susan Ferrier)

“You never want to match your walls to a color in one of your fabrics. It will be too strong. Find a greyed-out version of the color. “ (Sallie Giordano)

“Generally speaking if the ceiling is new and unblemished, I prefer using a paint with an eggshell finish to allow for light reflection that gives the room some sparkle. If the ceiling has ANY imperfections, the best way of hiding them is using a Flat/Matte paint finish” (Richard Rabel)


paint design ideas todd klein interior

Todd Klein

Check out my other trade secret posts that cover, living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, kitchen and bathrooms.


Richard Rabel is a New York Interior Designer and Principal at Richard Rabel: Interiors+ Art, a design studio offering residential design, decorating and art advising services.

image credits from top to bottom: David Collins; Barry Dixon; Richard Keith Langham; Todd Klein