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Creative Paint Decorating Ideas

Creative Paint Ideas By Interior Design Master's Richard O'Gorman

Creative Paint Decorating Ideas

@househomo takes us on a journey of creative paint effects. 


Mirror with decorative paint ideas

Richard (@househomo) uses colour and shapes to frame mirrors and light switches throughout his home.


When I started looking to buy a house, I had grand visions of a palatial, super minimal home with nothing but white walls, ludicrously expensive art and a grand piano in each room.

Or a neutral, Japandi townhouse with canvases splashed with black paint and LOADS of wood.

Either way, I never imagined a home filled with colour. It was always going to be quiet tones, maybe a green moment here and there. Ultimately the home of an impossibly chic, stylish (but unmistakably homosexual) man.

It wasn’t until I walked into this house for the first time, I felt instantly at home. I could hear the walls crying out for colour. I knew I had to save it from its magnolia existence, and that’s where the fun began.

Over the last year I’ve thrown almost every colour at the walls (and ceilings!), but overall the emotion and feeling you get from playing with colour on your walls cannot be replicated. Here are some of my creative paint ideas you can replicate!

Creative Paint Decorating Ideas


Trompe L’œil Arch using paint

A striking Trompe L’œil Arch on Richards dining room wall brings drama and impact.

The Trompe L’œil Arch

I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t my favourite thing to paint. It’s so easy to create an illusion of depth and create visual interest within any room. It also doubles up as a perfect party talking point (and photo op!). Painted arches have exploded back onto the interiors scene in the last year, but giving them faux depth is your Trompe card.

To create an arch, use a tape measure and a spirit level to draw two parallel vertical lines on the wall. Measuring is really key here; in an alcove keep the gaps on either side the same width. If you are painting multiple arches, ensure the distance between them is equal.

I use the old school (tried and tested!) method of a pencil and string to create the curve. Simply hold or pin the string in the middle of your two lines and hold the string taut as you draw a semi-circle up and over.


Living room paint effects

Paint highlights in the home of Richard (@househomo) drawing the eye to his favourite ornaments.


Here’s the fun part, the illusion; take your string at the same height as before but move it over approx 10cm away from the window or light source in the room. Draw another semi-circle and the lines will intersect to create your shadow. Follow the line down the wall with your pencil and ruler and then paint! For the most effective illusion, choose a ‘shadow’ colour that’s a touch darker than the main colour, but if you wanna go wild, go wild! Let the rainbow flow!

(Top tip: if you are an inexperienced painter, use the smallest paintbrush you can find to paint the outlines and then work up to bigger brushes to fill in - I first started out with a paint by numbers brush!)

Creative Paint Decorating Ideas


Trompe L’œil Arches used to frame the mirrors in this hair salon combined with hand-painted Terrazzo effect tables.

Paint as a Highlighter

I recently designed a hair salon for my best friends, Jordan & Ben. We decided to use paint to carve out destinations and spark conversations. One of those ways was to use paint to highlight areas, (the other was Trompe L’œil archway stations!)

Above the fireplace in my living room I have a bright yellow circle and aside from my Grandmother instantly telling me it would get on her nerves, it serves an incredible purpose; it draws the eye and highlights my favourite new treasure of the month, whilst imploring guests to look at the rest of my ornaments. From this circle, paint highlights have become so intrinsic to my design style; art is double framed in bright hues, light switches celebrated in colour and mirrors appear to hang from dotted lines.

It’s such an easy way to inject playfulness and humour into your home, and it’s fun! We simply aren’t having enough fun in our homes and this is a great way to do it, without the need for clumps of hair on a wall (looking at you, Changing Rooms!)


Paint highlights have a huge impact in Richards living room.


Start with a light switch; place a small plate over the switch and draw a circle around it. Paint it in your favourite colour, or an accent colour in the room. Just TRY and stop yourself from doing it in every room!


Creative Paint Decorating Ideas


Terrazzo paint effect on side table

Hand-painted Terrazzo design on the side tables used in Richard's friends' salon.


This is probably the easiest paint idea and the most fun! Terrazzo is a gorgeous material and it’s SO simple to replicate in paint, whilst adding a cool retro feel to any space.

In the hair salon, we bought white side tables but they just felt flat. I upcycled them by painting the tops black and the bases in terrazzo. It had the unexpected effect of adding a beautiful texture and punctation into the space.

It’s a technique that I’ve now started to apply to walls too and I’m obsessed with the retro throwback they give, plus the feeling of having expensive terrazzo stone walls!


For this, you’ll need three different paint colours and three small paintbrushes.


Terrazzo paint effect technique

Richard (@househomo) building up the Terrazzo paint effect on a wall.


First, google search images of terrazzo (it’s handy to have a visual aide whilst you paint, otherwise you can get stuck painting the same shapes)

Start with your first colour and picking a random spot, splodge some paint on your wall/table/canvas. Square off the edges of the splodge to make it look like a sharp pebble, no matter how strange the shape is; the weirder the better.

Work your way randomly across the whole canvas, some bigger, some smaller, and try to vary the shape and direction. Don’t forget to leave space for the other two colours!


You want to aim for a variety of sharp shapes, think triangles, arrowheads, flattened squares, rhombi. As you build up the colours and shapes, the canvas will transform into a glorious retro texture you’ll be terrasso in love with.


I hope you’ve taken away some ideas and inspirations for your next project! Above all, the joy of painting is that it’s just paint, and if you f*ck it up, it’s just a paint-roller away from disappearing. So have fun, get messy and enjoy yourself, go big or go homo! @househomo


Get The Look

Create some of Rich's style and look with our pick of Rockett St George items.

Get The Look for Creative Painting Ideas

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