EVERYONE LOVES ROOMS with “character”—but reckoning with oddities like timeworn radiators and awkwardly placed pipes can challenge even pro decorators. One solution: Don’t downplay these aesthetic irregularities, say decor authorities. Instead play them up in bold, eye-drawing paint. Brilliant red. Provocative peacock blue. This fun, if counterintuitive, strategy celebrates function and can add an unexpected layer of complexity to an otherwise so-so room.
As the classic inspiration for this move, Casey Keasler, a designer in Portland, Ore., cites Paris’s Centre Pompidou, which was famously built “inside-out.” By highlighting the building’s exterior mechanicals with primary colors, architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers transformed the museum into something unique and playful, she said.
Skeptical you can pull off the look? We asked Keasler and other interior experts what makes the gutsy approach work and how to do it right.
How to Turn Eyesores Like Radiators Into ‘Sculptural Elements’? Steal This Inexpensive Pro Trick
Using bold paint to spotlight awkward elements like visible plumbing and hulking heaters can be a surprisingly successful design solution.