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10 Amazing Two-Tone Walls: When One Color Just Won’t Do

by Grace Bonney

No matter how much time I spend working in the field of home design, there’s always one or two looks/trends/styles I’m nervous to try. While I’ve gotten better at taking risks as a human, I still have a hard time making them as a homeowner. And one trend that I love and want to try, but haven’t gotten around to yet, is two-tone walls.

I can be pretty lazy when it comes to rearranging and doing the prep work that comes with painting, so the only thing standing in between me and the half grey/white walls of my dreams (and maybe pink and grey, too) is the gumption to get up and do it. So today, I wanted to share my favorite two-two walls and rooms from homes that have inspired my desire to go halfsies on paint colors. I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I do. xo, grace

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This green-and-pink bedroom in Sweden is easily my favorite two-tone room we've ever run. I would never think to put these two colors together, but they just work perfectly here. I love that the pink feels like an extended headboard above the bed.
2/11
This upstate NY house was transformed by the Jersey Ice Cream Co. and their use of two grey-blue tones on this wall always makes me want to push all my furniture back, tape the wall into two sections and start painting.
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I love, love, love the forest green color in this green-and-white dining room in Seattle. This is a color that isn't used in a lot of modern homes, but I love the way it works here with plants and paintings that pick up on the same hue.
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This Seattle home's amazing green-and-white kitchen is a great example of using a rich color to help define a space.
5/11
The blue-and-white wall in this Australian farmhouse is one of my favorites. It divides the room like wainscoting, but without having to paint all those tricky little ridges.
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This Iowa entryway uses a bright Aegean blue to welcome guests and add some visual interest in a mostly white space.
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I love the way they continued the blue over a piece of artwork in the entryway for added artistic effect.
8/11
The Jersey Ice Cream Co. is back at it again with this awesome grey-and-black kitchen. I love having the depth of the black wall, but a little spot of brightness at the top so it doesn't feel too gloomy inside.
9/11
This renovated townhouse in Brooklyn does the black-and-white half-wall look, too, and amplifies the style with black gooseneck lamps above.
10/11
This Nashville hotel is a pink-on-pink dream with its two-tone hallways.
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Last but not least, a little bit of black-and-white once again to add interest to the street-side wall of an amazing Brooklyn home.

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Comments

  • I’m grateful I was raised by a woman with a vivid sense of color. Nothing fancy or crazy, but our walls were a deep steel blue with a little green, and ivory moldings, creamy white above the picture rail and up to the ceiling.

    It is a commitment and a pain to paint, but Mom was old school. We painted every 10 years or so. So if your tastes or furnishings change, so can the paint.

    I love the rooms where there is an implied wainscot – it really grounds the walls to the floor, and makes seating groups (like a dining nook) root to the room. Meanwhile, the walls above the darker wainscot seem to float, drawing your eyes up to windows, lighting, the ceiling, etc. Very restful.

  • This is nothing new but I like that it’s sort of becoming more popular. That or I’m just noticing it more. It’s so interesting.

    The first one I saw and fell in love with was the bathroom from elsie marley. I fell in love with the story and their after results. I totally expected to find it here since you featured it years ago as a before and after but either you forgot or had too much to chose from?

    I still use her bathroom 6 years later as a reference for the colours! :)

  • Yes! I love the idea of using darker color on the bottom part of the wall, which is usually full of dirty finger prints and scuff marks.