Guide to Color Drenching

November 2, 2023

Can you not get enough color in your home? If this sounds like something you aim for, you might be interested in color drenching, a painting method gaining popularity. It’s a bold but polished look that can work with many home styles. Here’s your guide to color drenching:

What is Color Drenching?

Color drenching is a trend where one color is chosen and every aspect of a room uses that specific color. This includes walls, ceilings, trim, and doors. It might sound overwhelming, but when used correctly, it can make a room feel bigger.

Some homeowners say this trend makes a room feel comforting and serene. Depending on the color, this can be the case. Choosing a nice blue shade can envelop your room in a calming pool of blue. A vibrant green can invoke the lushness of a forest for a touch of biophilic design.

How to Use Color Drenching in Your Custom Home Design

If you’re curious about this trend and what to try, here’s how to try color drenching in your custom home:

1. Pick the Right Room

It might be best to try the trend in a smaller room and then expand to other rooms if you like the effect. Starting with a laundry room, mudroom, or playroom can allow you to experiment without fully committing to a frequently used room like a kitchen.

2. Try a Calming Color

The psychology of color can be fascinating when considering how it can affect our moods. The lighter the shade, the more calming the room will be. A pastel color will be light enough that it won’t overwhelm you or your room. Accent with the same hue to fully embrace the color drenching. Using one color for the entire room feels very modern but with a twist on the typical neutral.

3. Pick a Few Shades

Color drenching can stick to one shade, or utilize a few different shades of the same color. If you’re not quite ready to commit to one shade, try a few different shades. However, pick similar shades for a subtle layered look. Picking similar shades or tones is one of the useful tips for decorating with bold colors.

If you choose a few different shades, try to stick to the 60-30-10 rule. This rule means using 60 percent of a dominant color, 30 percent of another shade, and then 10 percent of a contrasting accent color. Doing this adds balance to your room and can feel less overwhelming to people.

4. Test Out a Few Colors and Shades

If you decide to use one color for the entire room, make sure you test plenty of shades. Try oversized samples like large posters of a few different colors (as well as corresponding shades) and think about them for a few days or a week. If you’re going to commit to one color, you need to be sure you like it!

Move these samples to different spots in your room throughout the day as the sun changes position. You need to see how these colors look at different times of the day. A color or shade might look great during low light but may be way too harsh in bright sunlight. Taking natural light and other lighting is something to consider when choosing interior paint colors.

5 Color Drenching Tips

If color drenching feels a little overwhelming, but you’d still like to try it, here are a few color drenching tips:

1. Start Small

If you’re unsure of color drenching, start in a small space. Pick a small room like a pantry or half bath and paint everything. Include trim and built-ins. Sometimes trim or even heating elements can cause distractions but color drenching can eliminate that. This can create a calming effect and give the room a cohesive touch.

If you have a windowless bathroom that you need some inspiration for, why not try color drenching? You can keep things light and airy with a neutral or light shade, adding in lots of lighting. Or, lean into the moodiness by picking a darker shade. Paired with plenty of lighting, a moody bathroom can be a dramatic windowless bathroom idea to try in your custom home.

2. Get Big Samples

To pick the right color, you will need swatches of paint. However, those tiny samples are not going to cut it. These small samples don’t allow you to get the full picture and often are overwhelmed by the surrounding shades.

Instead, obtain paint samples and some very big pieces of paper, like poster board size. Paint these pieces with the colors and shades you’re considering. Hang them on your wall and observe the samples at various times of the day.

Having such big pieces allows you to actually get a feel for the color. You’ll be able to see how the light hits it, and how it looks in shades, and you can also move these pieces to different parts of the room.

3. Avoid Too Many Patterns

The point of color drenching is for the color to be the star. Don’t make your space too busy with extra patterns. The color is the bold focus of the room and patterns will break things up too much. If you want some patterns anyway, try patterns in monochromatic design. That way, you get a little texture without fully overwhelming the space.

4. Explore Different Paint Finishes

If you have decided to pick one color versus a few similar shades, try playing around with different finishes. Different finishes add texture and dimension to your room, something needed in color drenching.

Try painting cabinets, trim, doors, and their accents in semi-gloss paint and the walls in a flat finish. Light will reflect off of the glossier paint, giving your room a lot of dimension.

5. Don’t Forget to Consider the Lighting

Lighting is very important and it’s no exception when it comes to color drenching. Light influences how color looks and you need to test your color before committing. Layered lighting is a popular and important home lighting trend so take note of how the paint looks with different lighting.

Take that big paint swatch and test it out with various lighting and angles of light. Observe it in natural light too. If you don’t like how it looks with some types of lighting, you might need to go lighter or darker. Or, it might be time to reevaluate your lighting options, whether it’s overhauling fixtures or adjusting the color and warmth of the lighting you choose.

This is just a beginner’s guide to color drenching. If this trend seems like something you’d like to try in your custom home, contact Custom Home Group at 717-284-4090. We can help bring your dream home to life!