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Bold yellow room.

How To Add Bold Colors To Your Home’s Interior Design

Erica Gellerman4-Minute Read
February 21, 2020

If you’re tired of white walls and a neutral palette in every room of your home, you might be tempted to go all-in with bold colors. But how do you start? Are there any best practices to make sure your move into bold colors isn’t one you soon regret?

Here are some of the best tips and examples to help you start livening up your home with some fun, bold colors in your interior design.

What’s The Best Color To Brighten Up A Room?

Bright spaces are often at the top of a home owner’s wish list. Who doesn’t want to brighten up a drab, dark room? You may think that sticking with white or neutral will help brighten things up, but you might be better off incorporating some bold colors into your design.

Kayla Goldstein, an architect and interior designer, suggests using bold colors that will bounce light, rather than soak it up. “You can use bold colors like hot pink or yellow or even certain shades of green,” she suggests. “But stay away from black and navy.

If you’re not into using pink or yellow, Shauna Glenn of Shauna Glenn Design recommends that a more conservative choice for a bold color would be a nice shade of blue – think cobalt, peacock or aqua. And don’t forget the trim! She says painting the trim white is a game-changer when it comes to brightening up a room.

Can You Use Bold Interior Colors In The Hallway?

If you’re thinking of using a bold color in your hallway, think strategically about the space. Having bold rooms and bold-colored hallways could be an interior design mistake. You may want to keep the hallway simple to guide you into a bold room. Plus, a bold hallway that can be seen from another boldly decorated room might be visually overwhelming.

But John Linden, interior and furniture designer advises that there might be a time when you want to use a bold color in a hallway. If your hallway is dark and doesn’t get much natural light, a nice bold yellow can help you brighten up an otherwise dark space.

Is It better To Paint A Room With Bold Colors Or Decorate With Accessories?

After asking the experts whether it’s a better idea to bring in bold colors with paint or accessories, it’s clear there is no one right answer. Painting takes a bit more effort to change if you get the color wrong, but can really make an impact.

Feeling uneasy about painting a wall? Jim Kabel, president of Next Stage Design + Build suggests you start with patterned accessories. Consider patterned rugs, throw pillows, or blankets if you want simple accessories that feature your color choice. If you want to make a bigger statement, try patterned furniture like an accent chair or sofa to serve as a focal point in your space. 

Jaime Huffman, interior design blogger of The Charleston Blonde, didn’t just do bold accessories in her Charleston home. She went with bold pieces of furniture. She has a hot pink credenza and aqua couches. By leaving her walls white, she was able to use a lot of fun colors without it being too overwhelming.

If you want to use both paint and accessories, Goldstein suggests achieving balance by using the same bold color on your wall and in other places around the room. “To achieve balance, you need to bring the bold color in through accessories and one big statement,” she says.

Tips For Choosing Your Bold Interior Colors

If you’re ready to try out bold colors for your home, use these five tips to get started.

1.  Decide On Your Color Scheme

Do you just throw some turquoise paint on the wall and call it a day? That’s probably not the best plan for starting with bold colors. Instead, use a color wheel. Linden says a color wheel can help you learn how to mix a bold color with a complementary tone.

Download a color wheel app. Linden says the app will give you some ideas on what other colors to use. If you approach your color selection this way, he says you’ll be shocked at home much bolder and richer your room will look when you’re done.

2.  Use It To Camouflage Something You Don’t Want To Highlight

Is there something in a room that you’d rather not draw attention to? Consider using a bold color choice to help camouflage it.

Tyler Moore of TheTidyDad.com used a jasper green wall to help camouflage the black TV in their living room. Not only that, the color choice was able to help highlight the tall ceilings in the room, giving the whole space a fresh look. 

3.  Go Bold With Photography And Wall Art

If you’re not quite ready to buy accessories or paint a wall, but you still want to see what a room would look like with bolder colors, Laura Wigodner of LTD Commodities suggests hanging photography or wall art with bold colors. You can use one large photo or piece of art or a collage of smaller pieces.

Once you see the bold colors in the room, you may be excited to add more.

4.  Try A Layered Approach

If you’re worried that your bold color will make the space feel cramped rather than bright, Leslie Frausto, an interior designer at Living Spaces, suggests using a layering approach.

“Layer in varying shades of the same color, with the darker shades serving as a grounding base and the lighter shades topping off the aesthetic,” she says. “This will help to draw the eye away from the floor and open the room.”

5.  Tone It Down If You Don’t Love It

Lauren Holmes, an interior designer and home stager wants to reassure you that trying out bold colors isn’t something to be afraid of. If you hate it, you can always find a way to tone it down. “A spur-of-the-moment purchase of a lime green sofa can be easily muted with a soft beige throw or even gray pillows,” she says. “Add a neutral-colored rug and your bright green couch suddenly looks a little more muted. It’s color, have fun with it! There’s no point in being afraid because you can always tweak it.”

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    Erica Gellerman

    Erica Gellerman is a CPA, MBA, personal finance writer, and founder of The Worth Project. Her work has been featured on Forbes, Money, Business Insider, The Everygirl, The Everymom and more.