I have a philosophy that I have developed over the years when it comes to decorating – stick with the neutrals. When it comes to things like paint and furniture, going with neutral colors is, in my opinion, the way to go.
I like white – it is fresh, clean and soothing for me. So I stick to a mostly white palette when it comes to things like paint. I love the way white paint looks on the walls. It makes rooms feel so much bigger. And I love white countertops, so when we redid our kitchen counters, we went with a white quartz composite that looks like marble. The cabinets and subway tile will also be white. Charlie sometimes makes fun of me and when we are looking at things is like, “Let me guess … white?”
I like sticking with more neutrals for the furniture – white, black, brown, gray, navy (yes, I consider navy a neutral). It just makes things so much easier.
Adding color really is what makes the room stand out, but I like it in smaller doses. I’ve seen some really amazing rooms that are all color explosion, and although they looks fantastic, I don’t think I could take it in the long run. Too much color is really overwhelming to me.
If you start with a base of mostly neutrals, you can mix it up with accessories in whatever pops of color you want. Plus, if you love lime green now, but next year decide that purple is more your thing, you can easily switch without regretting any sort of huge commitment.
For example, when Charlie and I first did our living room in our apartment years ago, we had our navy couch, our blue and white stripe chairs and our brown bookcases that we still have today. I wanted to do some pink accents but he was totally against it, so I did some yellow instead. I slowly switched the yellow for pink, and now we have navy, white and pink just the way I wanted it! It wasn’t hard to make the switch because I didn’t make a big investment. If I decided I wanted to switch the pink for mint green, I can … (although our rug was an investment). You can see more about our living room here.
So here are a few great ways to add a little bit of color to a room.
Artwork is a super easy way to add color to a room. And there are a lot of ways you can go about it – maybe you want to try a gallery wall, or maybe you want to have one or two pieces hanging. Another option is to have an oversized piece hanging that really makes a statement. Something else to think about is the framing – maybe you want a large black and white piece for your black and white room, but a colored mat or frame could add a little bit of color without taking away from the art.
You can find artwork for just about any budget. You can even create your own by using fun wrapping or wall paper. Or do it the old fashioned way and bust out the paints and a canvas. Any way you choose, artwork is always a good idea.
A well placed throw blanket can add a nice punch of color to a room. Try folding a blanket and draping it across the back of a chair or along the bottom of a bed. And the same goes for pillows. You can easily add color with some pillows either on a couch, a bed, a chair, a bench. I love the look of layered pillows, so maybe try two or three in different colors and patterns.
I love using decorative accents – think small picture frames, candles and vases – to add some color. They can be swapped out so easily and don’t cost a ton! One of my favorites to use is ginger jars of all sizes. I have them in my bookcases and around the house.
Adding a lamp or two in a fun color is a somewhat unexpected way to add a little color. If a lamp is a super neutral color, it probably isn’t going to make much of an impact. But a lamp with a red or pink base is sure to make a statement. I would lean towards a colorful base with a neutral shade. And if you are really wanting something fun, try a colorful base with a pattern.
Whether they are real or fake, large or small, plants are another fantastic way to add some color to a room. You could do a fiddle leaf fig, some succulents, some small topiaries, a boxwood wreath, and of course fresh flowers are always nice.
A few other ways to add some color –
Choose a colorful shower curtain and / or rug in a bathroom.
Add some fun accessories in your kitchen (see my budget best kitchen accessories post for ideas).
Choose colorful storage bins so that your stuff is organized but looks cute out in the open (I love these storage cubes)
If you really want some color on your walls, try doing an accent wall – one wall of color (or wallpaper). That way it stands out, but you haven’t make the commitment of an entire red or green room.
If you have a bar cart, it is a great place to add some color – try some colorful glasses in different sizes, add some fun straws and napkins and maybe some lemons if you are having guests over.
And if you are really dying for a pink couch (which I would do if Charlie would let me), my suggestion is to do a slip cover. That way if you change your mind in a year or two, you can switch it out without having made a major investment.
So what are you favorite ways to add a little color to a room?