I am currently working on a design project that demonstrates what a little bit of paint can do for a room.
Here is the before shot:
And here is the after shot:
This mantel practically disappeared when it was painted white. It blended in with the white tile and white trim, and the detailed carving was lost in all that white. Painting the mantel several shades darker than the wall color makes the mantel really pop and become the focal point it needs to be in the space. I had the walls painted a pale gray that makes the room lighter and is a much fresher look than the original paint color. When selecting paint for a space, ask yourself what you want to highlight in the room. Some architectural details need to be painted a different color from the trim so they stand out. It could be the ceiling, the doors, or in this case the mantel.