Interior Designer Allison Knizek on the Power of Paint

Bold strokes

For this bathroom I hired a mural artist (@the_art_of_tina_crandall) to paint a design on the wall behind the tub

No matter how much you like a room in your home, sometimes you simply tire of it. But most of us don’t want to start from scratch. “That’s where paint can come in,” says Sherman Oaks-based  interior designer Allison Knizek (@a.k.nackfordesign). “Using a fabulous shade of paint, whether you are doing accessories like terra-cotta pots or all the walls in a room, is one of the best tools for creating a new vibe.” Here Allison shares some recent projects where she used paint to make over a space.

3 of Allison’s favorite paint shades

Think Outside the Box


Paint is an easy and cost-effective way to transform just about anything home related. Think beyond the four walls and focus on less-expected paint “moments” such as doors, moldings, cabinets and furniture.

For a powder room, I found this bamboo nightstand at a garage sale for $20. I painted it with Benjamin Moore 1624 Westcott Navy in a semigloss. Then I added a stone slab top, vessel sink, brass faucet, and voila! A chic powder room vanity.

Follow Your Feelings


Paint can feel daunting, as many people struggle with the color-decision-making process. I suggest selecting a color that makes you feel good. Color is a mental pick-me-up. There is research that shows that color can affect mood, actions and even appetite. And don’t be shy with your choice; go for a bold hue if it inspires you. Remember, if you don’t end up thrilled with your choice, you can always repaint.

There is currently a design movement toward dark and moody paint colors. Single-accent walls done in matte black or charcoal are very on trend at the moment. I like to flip this around and use darker shades for doors, moldings, casings and crown, while keeping a light color on the walls.

If you find the messiness, odor and environmental concerns off-putting, do note there are many great low-VOC options out there.

The entrance to a home is an ideal place to refresh with color. A front door is easy to tackle by yourself without hiring a professional painter. One of my favorite things to do is to paint terra-cotta planters to match the door. Just make sure to prime them really well. For the pots shown here, I used Behr N440-4 October Sky, the perfect shade of aqua to evoke that easy, breezy, SoCal feel. 

When it Comes to Walls


Sometimes, it’s just the walls that need a re-do. Right now my wall “flavor of the day” is Dunn-Edwards Droplets DEW381. It is a tinted white, and depending on the time of day, will range from light gray to a soft, warm white.

ABOVE: Painting a single built-in or single cabinet is also a great way to pack a punch but not commit to a full cabinet refinish. This large cabinet on the right is an excellent choice for adding some color to the entryway. It really warms up the space and adds interest. 

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