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  • Writer's pictureSusan Wilson

Get (a little) Bold with Colour

Now is a great time to add some happy colour to your home.

yellow velvet tufted sofa neutral interior

If you're like me, the grey days of February (longest shortest month of the year!) leave you craving the cheerier colours of warmer seasons. But there's an even better, and longer term, reason to think about adding some colour to your home.

Folks, colour is back.

February won't last forever, although sometimes it feels like it will, but trends in home design and decor stick around for years and years. I am not one to recommend following trends slavishly (because, not authentic; because, expensive), but it is always good to add small (or medium) touches that keep your home feeling fresh and current (like you!), not dated and tired.

The good news is that, after about a decade of more neutral colour schemes, we have been seeing colour creeping over the horizon, adding a little jolt of energy to our interiors. It started a few years ago when beautiful, jewel-toned sofas started popping up all over Pinterest, sometimes peacocking proudly in the middle of an otherwise very neutral shell, like the photo above and at left below, or gleaming warmly from the depths of a dark and moody room, like the photo on the right below:

Green sofa: Anthropologie Orange sofa: Habitat, via House Beautiful

Then we saw colour creeping into the kitchen, jazzing up those beautiful and timeless all-white kitchens. Blue was the front-runner of this movement:

Navy kitchen: via Benjamin Moore Light blue kitchen by jillian harris

Then green hit the scene, especially in shades of sage, like this kitchen by Leanne Ford:

sage green and white and black kitchen
I lovelovelove this kitchen. Black and white and green with hits of warm wood and gold. All the feels!

Now, gutting your kitchen is a pretty drastic way to get your colour fix, so I wouldn't recommend it unless you are already planning to renovate, in which case, aren't you lucky! It's a wonderful chance to add some colour to your home, if colour is what makes you happy.

As for the rest of the home, if you are a colour lover, and like the feel of a lot of energy around you, then maybe you're ready to take the plunge in a whole hog kind of way. And the great thing is, it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. For the fearless, a coat or two of bold paint on the walls (and ceiling) can have a really big impact:

bold colour interior decor, painted ceiling

The room above is really high energy because of the high contrast in the colours and the sheer amount of different colours. If you would love to go bold, but like your space to feel a bit more serene, the secret is to keep things more monochromatic, like the three beautiful rooms below, via domino:

See how keeping the palette limited to one colour, or to colours adjacent on the colour wheel, calms everything down, so the feel is moody or serene, rather than high energy? The magic of colour, my friends, the magic of colour.

I can really appreciate the appeal of these high colour interiors that are currently being hailed ecstatically by colour-loving interior design lovers who have been starved for colour during the neutral grey years, and it is great fun to plan spaces full of colour and life. However, in my own living spaces I personally need a more serene and neutral palette. If you're like me, don't worry, because you can easily work in a monochromatic colour scheme within a neutral base. I love the feel of this room below with its bright neutral envelope and its varying shades of rust accents. So serene:

light neutral interior with rust
via domino

I feel like now is a good time to say that if you are looking at all these pics so far and are thinking, What, is she crazy? There is no way I want to make that kind of out-there statement. I live in the real world, with regular folk..., DO NOT PANIC! I am here for you, and I'm promise I will show you plenty of easy, low-commitment ways to get the colour hit you crave, make you look cutting edge hip, and still let you carry on living in the real world with regular folk. So stay with me.

But first:

bold colour interior decor white walls gallery wall

Above is a very good example of a happy and colourful interior that is not totally beyond the pale (snort! I kill me!). However, it should be noted that while adding a bold and daring colour statement through major furnishings like sofas or armchairs is the EXACT OPPOSITE of low-commitment. A sofa is an investment, and unless you absolutely love the colour and are sure you are in it for the long haul, then paint or accessories is the way to go, colour-wise.

Colour lovers out there, I hope this inspires you to take the colours you love and go boldly where no regular folk living in the in the real world have gone before.

For those of you who are a bit (or a lot) commitment-phobic in the colour department, here, as promised, are several ways you can still hop aboard the colour train and inject colour into your home while still keeping one foot in your comfort zone.

The easiest way is to take that safe neutral couch and toss on a few, well, toss cushions in the hue of your choice, (or--forgive me--throw a throw):

Light blue sofa red cushion: justina blakeney Grey sofa pink cushions photo:live bohemian

Grey sofa green cushions: indulgy Sofas orange/blue cushions: Summer Thornton

Another quick hit of colour can come through a single piece of art in a neutral space:

neutral interior, colourful art
via Vogue

white nursery, pink accents

Sometimes it's the unexpected placement of the colour that makes it so worthwhile, like the bright yellow drapery in this white kitchen:

yellow drapery white kitchen
via style at home

Or go a little bolder with a surprising colour on a chair in the bedroom, or the host chairs in a dining room, as seen here:

neutral dining room with bright green chairs
credit: jen langston

There are a ton of beautiful bright area rugs at every price point out here in the big wide internet. Try one on!

white bedroom bright woven carpet

This classic entry hall painted in white, with the vintage hot pink oushak rug and the bright vase of flowers, is so beautiful I just want to weep:

white entryway, black stair rails, vintage oushak, interior design

Did you find something here that sparked an idea for you on how you could add a teensy bit or a great big dose of colour into your home? I hope so, cuz life is better in colour ;)

I'm going to leave you with one last colourful image, a room of beautifully layered and varied hues of blue. A colourful room that feels cozy, rich and relaxing all at the same time:

bleu walls blue sofa cosy kilim rug interior decor
Blue on blue library by hilary thomas, via architectural digest

Enjoy the rest of February, friends!

Until next time,



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