Dwell Well > Improving > It’s back! How to use bold colour in interior design

It’s back! How to use bold colour in interior design

The home as a bastion of beige has, hopefully, had its day. Not that long ago, interior design seemed to be dominated by the likes of Kelly Hoppen, aka the Queen of Cream, who was prolific in producing aspirational homes in never-ending shades of greige.

Now, we’re finally seeing the return of colour, and with it a revival of interest in making homes vibrant, personal and exciting once more. And isn’t it totally amazing to see how an injection of colour can transform the atmosphere of a room?

If you’re ready to introduce fresh energy into your home through bold patterns and colours on walls and floors, furniture, soft furnishings and accessories, here are three quick ideas to help you make your home more colourful.

  1. Choose the mood

Take some time over selecting the right colour scheme for a room in your home; this is not a decision that should be made on impulse. First, think about what you are trying to achieve with the planned room restyle. Are you redecorating your living room with a homely and relaxed, or cool and sophisticated, vibe in mind? Looking for a bedroom scheme that is soothing but not dull? Hoping to bring a sense of fun and quirkiness into your kitchen or bathroom design? A clever use of colour can accomplish all of the above and more.

Start by collecting ideas of how you would like the room in question to feel and look, including the colours you have in mind. Interior designers use a mood board as a tool to put all their ideas together, so why not take a leaf out of their book.

An old-fashioned scrapbook can be a good starting point for compiling picture cutouts from magazines or store catalogues, photos of existing pieces that you wish to incorporate, scraps of fabrics, wallpaper samples, pantone colours – in short, anything and everything that might serve as inspiration for the new room scheme. You can also use online tools such as Pinterest to create a digital mood board, using the internet as a rich source of inspiration for room schemes, preferred styles, designs and layouts.

Three colours

Photo source: Harvey Maria

  1. Get the paint brush out

Surely the easiest and quickest way to redecorate a room is by painting the walls in a different colour. You’ll be surprised at the difference a few coats of paint can make. Once you’ve decided on your room scheme and know which shades you’re going for, it’s time to go shopping for paint, brushes or rollers, clear some space in your diary and get to work.

Another trick of the trade that interior designers use is known as the Rule of Three. Design theory says that using a single colour or two colours to decorate a room can make the space feel flat. It’s the combination of three colours that lifts the energy and makes the room feel dynamic. Use the main colour for 60-70% of the space, a secondary colour for 20-30% of the space and an accent colour for the other 10%. Neutrals can be added at any point as ‘free’ colours.

If you’ve chosen particularly bright shades of, say, blue or green, it might be the case that painting the entire room is a bit too much for the eye to bear. In that case, you might want to restrict the use of bold colour(s) to just one wall, perhaps making a feature of a chimney breast, alcove or other architectural element. Take a look at the example below where strong colours on a feature wall have been used to great effect to achieve a fabulous focal point for this dining room.

Feature wall of colour

Photo source: Freshome

  1. Use colourful accessories

Even with a minimum budget and no time for painting an overly plain room, it is still possible to transform your home with the addition of bold colours and patterns. From statement lighting to fancy flooring and everything in between, this is where accessories have a huge part to play.

Forget about painting and decorating, or replacing expensive furniture items such as sofas or beds just because they’re a neutral shade. Instead, work around them and inject some colour and interest with cheaper items that you can update and change as and when you feel like it.

Place funky scatter cushions and throws on chairs, beds and sofas, either in solid colours or mix-and-match patterns and textures to liven things up. Use photographs, prints or original artwork on walls to introduce bursts of colour and create a gallery-like environment while breaking up large, plain expanses. Frame the windows with luxurious curtains in complementary colours and cover a neutral floor with a beautiful rug that ties into the room scheme, draws the eye downwards and adds interest underfoot.

Finish off with some ‘living’ accessories, courtesy of Mother Nature. A hand picked bouquet of cut flowers, fresh herbs on the window sill or a statement houseplant will add an organic element to your home that provides colour and fragrance.

Plants on a coffee table

Photo source: Pexels

This article is part of a series of lifestyle content pieces written for Moving and Improving by Annie Button. Find out what else Annie has been up to over on Twitter: @anniebutton1994 or visit more of Annie's amazing articles in our related blog section

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