Turn those also-ran paint strips into conversation-starting art and accessories for your home

Loving Color: 5 Ways to Decorate With Paint Chips.

A fresh coat of paint is one of the quickest and easiest ways to transform a room. But deciding on which color to use is another story. Even if you have the shade and hue narrowed down, there are still dozens upon dozens of choices — all of which seem to look exactly the same after a few days. The samples can start to pile up as you debate over which color is just right.

After all is said and done, odds are you have more than a few remaining paint chips lying around. Don’t just recycle these colorful pieces of paper! The shape and gradation make these leftovers perfect fodder for several colorful DIYs around the house. These 5 bloggers came up with their own clever ways to use up the paint chips in their homes.

Lego bricks, chalkboard paint, Barbie dolls. The decor in this creative home is as playful as it is personal

Eccentricities Fill a London Flat.

As with all good homes, a tour of this one-bedroom flat in East London is like walking inside the mind of its owner. Lego, typographic prints, Barbie dolls, taxidermy, train station signs and a giant teacup all sit under the same roof. It’s an eclectic mix, but owner Tom Chalet makes it work.

What’s even more impressive is that he did most of it by himself. “People don’t often think of me as the DIY type,” he says, “but it was pretty easy to do all of this alone. For one thing I had no budget, so I just decorated as I went along, using bits and pieces I’ve gathered over the past four years.”

A profusion of paint colors plus inviting porches and gathered pieces create a welcoming feel in a retired couple’s 100-year-old home

An Oregon Cottage With 21 Flavors of Color.

Eric and Mimi Kauffman’s 1912 cottage in Oregon is a bold reflection of their zest for life, cuisine and comfort. Bright colors and a verdant garden invite those strolling by to linger and enjoy the wonderful aroma from the kitchen window.

The couple spent the first few decades of their marriage traveling far and wide, guided by their bohemian spirits. When it came time to put down roots, they chose Halfway, Oregon, nestled in Pine Valley near the spectacular Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. Halfway is also the gateway to Hell’s Canyon and the Snake River. This town, with a population of 350, is known for ranching, outdoor recreation and, above all, hospitality.

Houzz at a Glance
Who lives here: Eric and Mimi Kauffman and their cat, Dottie
Location: Halfway, Oregon
Size: 1,200 square feet; 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

See real-life before and afters of home fronts transformed with paint, in wide-ranging colors and styles

13 Dramatic Exterior Paint Makeovers by Houzzers.

Oh, Houzzers, you are the greatest. I asked you to share your dramatic paint makeovers, and the last time I checked you had left more than 150 comments plus before and after shots. From Victorian gingerbread houses to midcentury modern gems, new paint colors make a house seem new. See what fellow Houzzers have accomplished with paint on the exteriors of their homes.

While making repairs to their run-down house in Venice, California,

First Comes Love, Then Comes a Wildly Colorful Mosaic Home.

While making repairs to their run-down house in Venice, California, artists Cheri Pann and Gonzalo Duran experimented with adding mosaic tile to their bathroom. They became so fascinated with the medium that they’ve spent the last 21 years covering almost every square inch of their home — inside and out — with tens of thousands of shards of colorful clay tile.

See real-life before and afters of home fronts transformed with paint, in wide-ranging colors and styles

13 Dramatic Exterior Paint Makeovers by Houzzers.

Oh, Houzzers, you are the greatest. I asked you to share your dramatic paint makeovers, and the last time I checked you had left more than 150 comments plus before and after shots. From Victorian gingerbread houses to midcentury modern gems, new paint colors make a house seem new. See what fellow Houzzers have accomplished with paint on the exteriors of their homes.

Don’t forget about these little areas in your home. The right paint color can inexpensively transform a space

8 Small Spaces Where Paint Can Make a Big Impact.

During my years of painting people’s homes, I’ve learned that small spaces don’t have to be boring or go unnoticed. All it takes is a little paint. By adding paint in strategic places around the home, you can easily and inexpensively transform a space. Plus, there is a good chance you could accomplish at least one of these eight painting projects during the course of one weekend.

Here are eight spaces to consider painting and my tips and tricks on making even the smallest places have a big impact.

Hand-painted murals and personal touches fill an accessible home with warmth and charm

Accessibility With Personality in an 1870 Home.

Laurie and Bruce Rabe were charmed by the double doors, plaster molding and gorgeous gardens of this 1870 New England home. As with most old structures, however, this onetime boarding house needed a lot of work. And it also needed to be made accessible for one of the couple’s daughters, who has multiple handicaps.

After 14 years of thoughtful updates and personalized touches, the couple melded old and new by adding an elevator, restoring the original stove and opening up the kitchen. Laurie’s colorful murals — inspired by historic wallpapers, textiles and art — elevate the atmosphere throughout, giving this Second Empire dowager home a new lease on life.

Houzz at a Glance
Who lives here: Laurie and Bruce Rabe, daughters Olivia and Elloise, and dogs Tizsa and Luna
Location: Norfolk County, Massachusetts
Size: About 5,000 square feet; 5 bedrooms; 4 bathrooms

Colorful plantings and soft exterior paint colors give a Southern California ranch cottage a fresh new look

Beach Cottage Loses the Lawn for a Stylish Low-Water Garden.

Julie McMahon and Greg Fontana had wanted to update the exterior of their 1950s ranch cottage in Manhattan Beach, California, for years. After finishing their interior remodel a few years ago, it was time to give the exterior a face-lift. With a shared passion for design — McMahon is an interior designer and Fontana is an architect — they saw the potential to turn a ho-hum exterior into a stylish entryway, a colorful front garden and a backyard made for outdoor living.

Reducing water use outdoors was a goal from the start. The couple reached out to local landscape architect June Scott for low-water plant expertise and to help make their vision a reality. Scott laid out a plan to remove an existing crabgrass lawn in the front yard and reduce the size of turf in the backyard, replacing both with swaths of brightly colored succulents and drought-tolerant perennials.