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Colour lookbook: Painting woodwork for dramatic impact

Feeling inspired by the stunning living room makeover that Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen surprised Charlotte and Stuart with in this week’s Changing Rooms episode on Channel 4? We are! The way he layered bold paint colours to give woodwork extra interest and create a sense of mood was absolutely brilliant; and it’s so easy to do. We asked our Creative Director, Marianne Shillingford, how she would use the same technique for a blue and green hallway. Watch our video below and read on for tips and more Dulux hallway colours to be inspired to give it a whirl yourself.

Unlike colour blocking on a grand scale, painting woodwork is all about creating visual interest by enhancing wooden architectural features and highlighting details in a room. In this week’s episode of Changing Rooms, Laurence took the technique to new levels, adding depth and drama by painting floor-to-ceiling shelving, window frames and the details on a fire surround. He used a mix of striking paint colours – Cobalt Embrace, Glacial Spring, Village Maze, Moroccan Flame – all off set beautifully next to calming White Cotton (below).  

Try it yourself

Feeling the urge to try colourful woodwork? Colour guru Marianne recommends using paint to enhance all the features in our own homes, such as in the hallway, choosing shades that contrast without clashing, like Lush Grass and Cobalt Embrace, a gorgeous blue and green combo that works together tonally, but pops next to each other with gusto. It’s the perfect pairing if you’re looking for hallway colour scheme ideas.

If you’re not sure what colour to paint woodwork, the best place to start is by thinking about the particular woodwork in your home that you want to highlight – from doors and architraves to skirting boards and dado rail. Use a deep hue and it will add drama and depth, making the room feel more three-dimensional. And as we’ve demonstrated in the video, bringing the same shade through your home adds to the layered, abstract feel.

Think about paint finish, too. A glossier paint contains sheen that will bounce light around the room and make the space feel brighter, more open and fresher; this is really helpful in smaller rooms that can sometimes feel gloomy.

Looking for hallway furniture ideas too? Play around with using an accent colour on a piece of furniture. Marianne used Lush Grass to paint a console table, which adds life and a hint of interest in a corner that would otherwise feel underwhelming. Plus, it complements the colour of the woodwork and anchors the scheme beautifully.

Marianne’s insider tip: Don’t forget that your base colour needs to be neutral for wooden features and details to pop.

Don’t miss the next episode of Changing Rooms on Wednesday at 8pm on Channel 4 – and stream this week's show here.

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