It's natural to be reluctant to paint rooms in vivid hues because you may not think it fits your house style.
Every era of American architecture has embraced colorful rooms. From the blue-painted hearth of a Colonial to the red parlor colors of a Queen Anne to the teal accents of a Craftsman bungalow. Even in today's open-plan homes, where kitchens, living rooms, and dining rooms are one large space, color is used to help define areas and emphasize focal points in featureless rooms. But, picking which colors to use and where to put them is challenging for every homeowner.
One of the best ways to use color to transform a room is to contrast its features. Molding, mantels, built-in bookcases, arched doorways, wainscot, windows, and doors all present an opportunity to add another layer of interest to colored walls.
Try painting woodwork or doorways just a little lighter or darker than the surrounding wall. Painting a metallic glaze on top of an existing painted element, like a ceiling medallion, is a way to draw attention.
For a bolder approach, use two different colors in the same room. For example, paint a built-in bookcase a shade of green in a room with blue walls, which will highlight the items on the bookcase or inside the recessed area. Room details can provide continuity throughout a house if they are painted the same color in every room. Starting in colonial times and still today, white and off-white have been the safe choice for molding, windows, and doors.