This bold painting technique is the talking point of Dakota Fanning's living room, and experts say it's worth the risk

This trick demands attention in her Toluca Lake abode – but it translates to spaces far beyond Los Angeles

Dakota Fanning
(Image credit: Getty Images)

We're no stranger to commenting on celebrity paint techniques – often (naturally) starting with their color choices. However, Dakota Fanning has given us another reason to take note – and it goes beyond her chosen hues. 

In the actress's case, we're more concerned with her painting technique – specifically, how she masters the two-toned trick throughout her open-plan living space. Dakota's living room paint trick simultaneously plays with two contrasting hues – a powder duck-egg blue (on the paneling and fireplace) and a bright white (on the walls). 

Two-toned walls (otherwise known as split walls or half-painted walls) can be risky, but in the case of Dakota Fanning, this bold paint trick has paid off. Her juxtaposing color choices are statement-worthy and add instant drama and depth – demanding attention in her open-plan living room

'One of the benefits of half-painted walls is that they can help you create a focal point in your room. By painting one wall in a bold color, you can draw attention to that area and make it the center of attention,' comments designer Vera Lopez. 'This can be especially useful if you have a piece of furniture or artwork that you want to highlight.'

The secret to success, designers explain, starts with pairing the tones –something Dakota has got right. Vera recommends opting for a blue that pairs beautifully with a neutral (much like Dakota's blue and white combination). 

'Blue is known for its calming and serene qualities, while turquoise green adds a refreshing and invigorating touch. It creates a harmonious balance of tranquility and energy that can transform any room into a tranquil oasis.'

A black and white picture of Vera Lopez, a white woman wearing a white t-shirt
Vera Lopez

Vera Lopez is a professional interior designer at POVISON, an American homeware brand. With years of experience in the industry, she specializes in creating stunning spaces that blend style and functionality seamlessly.

However, alongside decorating with neutrals, blue also works for those who want to go bolder yet. For the ultimate two-toned statement, Vera recommends pairing a light blue, like Dakota's, with a similar but more vibrant hue, such as turquoise.

'When it comes to choosing colors for your half-painted walls, blue and turquoise green can be a great combination. These two hues are a match made in heaven, in my opinion.'

Dakota's home is famously a traditional Cape Cod style home, and her two-toned color pairing only taps into this coastal decor aesthetic further. However, Vera reassures us that we don't need a traditional living room to follow suit. 

'In terms of design style, half-painted walls work well in both modern and traditional spaces. For a contemporary look, I suggest using crisp, clean lines to divide the wall and opting for a bold and bright color. On the other hand, for a more traditional or eclectic vibe, you can add a subtle touch of glamor by incorporating metallic accents or textured wallpaper on one half of the wall.'

Shop the Dakota Fanning edit

Paint aside, we're tapping into Dakota's living space with these picks below.

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.