Color drenching ideas – 6 ways to embrace this monochromatic paint trend

Here's how experts recommend color drenching for a bold and on-trend way of decorating with paint

dark red library room. light blue bedroom, yellow kitchen
(Image credit: Marie Flanigan Interiors/Julie Soefer, Benjamin Moore, Little Greene)

Defining rooms that use just one paint color to create a monochromatic look, color drenching is bold and contemporary, and it's proving to be one of the most popular interior trends of late. 

‘Color drenching creates moody vibes, and acts as a beautiful canvas for drawing the eye to specific objects in the foreground – like the texture in a rug or sofa, or a pattern in a marble sink,' explains Maryana Grinshpun, principal at New York-based design-build company Mammoth.

'It's been making the rounds because of its practicality, versatility, and budget-friendly qualities: there's little in interior design and architecture that can compete with paint on price,’ continues Grinshpun. 

Here, we explore this popular paint idea, enlisting the expertise of color specialists and designers who share their top color-drenching ideas. With plenty of versatility, this paint trend is a go-to for designers for many room color ideas

What is color drenching? 

‘Colour drenching is simply taking a single color, or closely related colors from skirting to ceiling and everything in between, enveloping all elements from skirting and woodwork to walls, doors, and the ceiling in one color to create a truly engaging scheme that will soften architectural detailing to create a cohesive and cocooning space,' explains Ruth Mottershead, Creative Director at Little Greene

'The beauty of color drenching is that it can be applied to a variety of different spaces,' continues Ruth. 'Whilst color drenching can’t make a small room larger, it can embrace the size of the space and create something that lifts the mood and feels really engaging, inviting, and contemporary. Suitable for any style of home, from modern spaces with little architectural detailing or in period properties with traditional paneling, cornicing, and picture rails, color drenching delivers a contemporary feeling in any interior.'

brown color drenched cozy living room

(Image credit: Marie Flanigan Interiors, photography Julie Soefer)

Color drenching can incorporate any of your favorite paint colors, in any room of your home. However, before diving straight in with this statement paint idea, it's worth considering the desired mood you wish to create. Color drenching can be quite intense, so you should align your colors based on how dramatic you want the end result to be.

Interior designer Susan Yeley, Creative Director at Susan Yeley Homes shares below some recommended colors that are well-suited to various rooms in the home.

'We love to color-drench a room whose purpose is coziness that compels you to stay. When you're enveloped in a rich terracotta or a hug of cerulean blue, you feel so cozy and safe that you don't want to leave; so, we will color drench a family or TV room, a bedroom, or even a dining room, to encourage people to linger long after the meal is over.'

Color drenching ideas: 6 expert ways to embrace this paint trend

Below, we've shared six of our favorite color-drenching ideas, as recommended by interior designers and color experts. From calming bedrooms to colorful kitchens, these rooms prove how stylish and cozy color drenching can be. 

1. Opt for high gloss paints

dark red library room with round table and large window

(Image credit: Marie Flanigan Interiors, photography Julie Soefer)

Using contrasting sheens can effectively elevate your color-drenched room, ensuring it doesn't feel flat or too dark. In this library room, interior designer Marie Flanigan used gloss paint across the ceiling, enhancing the room's natural light. 

'To drench a room in a singular color or wallcovering, vary the sheen strategically, allowing for captivating reflections that amplify the space's allure while slightly manipulating any natural light,' says Marie. 'Opt for high gloss finishes to introduce a dramatic flair, heightening the room's visual impact.'

Additionally, the designer comments on the importance of choosing the right color for your color-drenched scheme: 'Be sure to match the color palette to the desired mood of the space, embracing moodier hues for lounge areas and opting for serene neutrals or nature-inspired tones to foster a relaxing ambiance conducive to unwinding.'

2. Color drench with dark green for a moody look

color drenched black kitchen with glass door

(Image credit: STUDIO KEETA, photography Ye Rin Mok)

In this media room designed by STUDIO KEETA, an on-trend shade of dark green is used to drench the room. A less harsh alternative to black, deep shades of green create a dramatic look while retaining a cozy look.

'We intentionally color-drenched the media room of our Beachwood Canyon Treehouse with Portola Paints’ Troubador,' explains the studio's founder and principal Kristina Khersonsky.

'We opted for this deep green tone for a moody feeling in the room. The intent was to feel as though the room was one big hug. We paired the deep green with an abalone shell reflective wallpaper on the ceiling for an added vibe as the light from the television dances only on the ceiling and not the matted finished walls.'

3. Create a restful bedroom

A four poster bed with paisley bedding in front of a light blue wall

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

'For the ultimate statement create an ultra-luxe, all-encompassing, floor-to-ceiling finish in one color,' suggests Helen Shaw, Direcot of Color Marketing at Benjamin Moore. This is demonstrated in this relaxing bedroom which channels a light blue-green paint across the walls and ceiling. 

'Using a single shade to cover the skirting, walls, ceiling, and window frames adds a feeling of grandeur and creates a boutique hotel look that provides the perfect backdrop for your favorite furnishings and accessories,' continues Helen. 

'Move away from the ease of opting for white everywhere, and consider a cozy mid-tone to maintain this airy feel that doesn’t feel cramped.'

As well as its stylish qualities, there are additional reasons linked to wellbeing that make this paint idea an especially good choice for a bedroom. According to experts, color drenching can improve sleep.

4. Use varying tones of the same color

green farmhouse kitchen

(Image credit: Little Greene)

'In its purest form, color drenching takes a single mid-tone color throughout the space, but if painting all elements in one shade feels a little overwhelming, select a group of tonally coordinating colors and utilize them across the room,' suggests Ruth Mottershead. 

In this green kitchen, you can see how sticking to one color family but using slightly different tones prevents the space from feeling too heavy. 'Little Greene's Garden and Pea Green pair well for a subtle contrast with a color-drenching effect,' adds Ruth. 

5. Use wallpaper to create a similar effect

farrow and ball green floral wallpapered tiny bathroom with wallpapered ceiling

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Color drenching can also be achieved by decorating with wallpaper, rather than paint. Otherwise known as pattern drenching, this look certainly leans more maximalist and can be a great way to make a statement in small rooms such as powder rooms, as shown here. 

To do so, Ruth Mottershead recommends 'tonal designs paired with coordinating paint colors to create cohesive and immersive interiors.' For example, use the wallpaper across the walls and ceiling and the matching paint color on the door and woodwork. 

6. Use a bold paint color in small rooms

yellow color drenched kitchen

(Image credit: Little Greene)

Although color drenching can be used in many spaces, it's a particularly effective decorating choice for small rooms

Maryana Grinshpun of Mammoth explains: ‘We use color drenching as a strategy to create warmth and intimacy. While color drenching can be used in almost any space, it often proves to be a great strategy for spaces with lower ceiling heights, and also generally works well in smaller spaces.'

‘When working with challenging spaces, we try to always lean into their predispositions, and work on enhancing their moods instead of trying to fight them.’

Color drenching is one of the easiest ways to create a statement look, in any room of your home. So long as you keep your color choices aligned with your style, you really can't go wrong with this well-loved paint trend. 

Paint & Color Editor

Emily is H&G's Paint & Color Editor, covering all things color across interior design and home decor. She joined the team in the summer of 2023, having studied Fashion Communication at university before working in various creative roles ahead of making the leap into interiors. She lives in Glasgow where she loves admiring the city's architecture, frequenting her favorite coffee spots, and sourcing vintage furniture for her tenement apartment. Emily's interior style is inspired by the simplicity of midcentury design, mixed with more playful modern pieces that inject small (but bold) doses of color.