Decorating + Accessories
How To Decorate With Color
Expand your repertoire beyond neutrals: You can create a room that boosts your mood, feels inviting and reflects more of your personal style, just by using color. It’s all about considering your color comfort level, from a little to a lot—and then maybe pushing yourself just a liiitttle bit further.
Here, 3 easy ways to add color to your rooms—from dipping your toe in to fully taking the plunge:
1. Use accessories for pops of color. Want to start with a little color? Interior designer Orlando Soria recommends bringing in pillows, throws, artwork, and vases for low-commitment color boosters. They’re easy to change, inexpensive, and you can switch them out with the season or whenever the mood strikes.
- Tip: Don’t make every accent all the same color. A good way to find hues that will play well together is to choose a multicolor pattern on a rug or pillow you like, then pull out 2-3 colors from that pattern.
2. Kick it up a notch with colorful furniture. Try splashing color on a piece of furniture, whether it’s your sofa or an upholstered headboard, or a poppy ottoman or side table.
- Our suggestion for larger or longer-term pieces: Choose a hue that bridges neutral + color. For example, our Wasabi green is a color that mixes well with many hues and functions as a neutral. Navy, Rust and Horseradish yellow are similarly versatile shades.
3. Go all out with color on your walls. Feeling color confident? Wallpaper or a coat of paint can set an appealing stage for neutral furniture. Add in accent colors on your rug, curtains and/or accessories.
- Designer Orlando Soria’s tip for choosing color that’s easy to live with: If it’s a strong hue, reduce the saturation—choose a color that’s a couple shades lighter on the paint sample strip, so when it’s on all four walls it doesn’t overpower the room. Or use a bolder hue on just an accent wall.
More tips for using color confidently:
- Always get samples. Take the time to paint sample colors in a large swath on walls and see how they look at different times of day + night. Order fabric samples—don’t rely on phone pix to capture color accurately.
- Not sure where to start? Look in your closet. The colors you love to wear are often a good clue to ones you’d like to live with also.
- Colors don’t need to match perfectly. Don’t be afraid to mix different shades of blue or green, say—they shouldn’t clash but some variation adds sophistication to a room; you don’t want everything too matchy-matchy.
- Balance with neutrals. Be sure to give your eye places to rest that are calming, whether white, wood, stone or natural textures such as rattan + sisal. Use strong colors sparingly—on one main piece and a few accessories—unless you’re a color fanatic.
- Carry color through in accents. If you use color on a focal point like your sofa—say, Cayenne red or Lagoon blue—weave that hue in smaller touches elsewhere, such as the rug, pillows, or chairs in an adjacent room.