Interior Design

'Color drenching' is the scariest trend of 2021, but it transforms small rooms, say experts

This bold technique is far from conventional, but your small space will thank you for embracing the craze

Color drenched room: Little Greene painted dining room with green paint and vase
(Image credit: Little Greene)

When it comes to rejuvenating your interiors, the power of paint remains unrivaled. With its bold hues and color combinations, a freshly licked wall will leave your room unrecognizable, but its capability doesn't stop there. 

Enter Little Greene's Director, David Mottershead, whose 'drenching' technique is becoming a favorite amongst designers and homeowners alike. However, be warned: this is among the most daring color trends of the season. 

So, what does color drenching involve? And can David convince you to experiment with this statement craze? Here, he reveals what you need to know – and how your small room will benefit. 

Yellow painted kitchen by Little Greene

(Image credit: Little Greene)

Color drenching is the process of choosing one color and painting it across multiple surfaces in one space. The result is brilliantly bold and thoroughly modern, though its appeal extends beyond its fearless aesthetic. 

Yes, this boldest of paint trends also boasts size-enhancing qualities that accentuate small spaces and turn tiny rooms into a creatively modern space. 

'The beauty of color drenching is that it can be applied to such a variety of different spaces. Whilst, you can't make a small room larger, you can embrace the size of the space to create something that feels really engaging, inviting, and contemporary,' David explains. 

Blue painted kitchen by Little Greene

(Image credit: Little Greene)

David is not alone in his adoration for this craze – designer Abigail Ahern is similarly a color-drenching enthusiast, recently describing the style as her 'most unconventional design tip'. 

Abigail recommends painting ceilings and window frames the same color as your walls in order to make the room recede. 'Whatever you put in the room becomes the star of the show. When the whole backdrop recedes, any object, from chandeliers to cushions and bed linen, just takes more of a central role.

'It's such a simple trick, but I think the ceiling thing scares the most people,' Abigail adds. 

Turquoise painted study

(Image credit: Little Greene)

However, perhaps unsurprisingly, this audacious trend can be hard to style, but David suggests starting by considering the placement of sunlight throughout the day. 'When you use a monochromatic treatment to a room, the lighting becomes an important issue. It will be the light and shade created by reflection which will display the architectural detail rather than being picked out by the use of contrasting color,' he shares. 

If you are reluctant to indulge in the trend in all its daring glory, David recommends selecting one key color but softening its power by using different shades across multiple surfaces.

'If painting all elements in one shade feels a little overwhelming, select a group of tonally coordinating colors and utilize them across the room,' he says. In his discussion of paint ideas for every room, he refers to Little Greene's Garden and Pea Green that 'pair well for a subtle contrast with a color drenching effect.' 

Dark green painted room by Little Greene

(Image credit: Little Greene)

Have David and Abigail just changed our living room paint ideas? This is the adventurous paint trend we have been waiting for – and we have all the approval we could ever need.  

Megan Slack
News Editor

Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. 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.