Interior Decorating

6 ways to brighten your home with bold color

  • Houzz_BoldColor2

     (Inspired Interiors/Houzz)

  • Houzz_BoldColor1

     (Urrutia Design/Houzz)

  • Houzz_BoldColor3

     (Ronald F. DiMauro Architects, Inc./Houzz)

This time of year can be tough on those whose mood is affected by the weather. The seemingly endless parade of gray days and cold temperatures really starts to take its toll. Well, I say fake it till you make it. Perhaps by injecting some happy, fun hues into your home, you can nudge your way out of the winter doldrums. But rather than slapping an eye-searingly bold hue on all four walls, think about proceeding with a bit of restraint when working effervescent hues into your home.

1. Accent wall. It’s tricky to successfully pull off a supersaturated color on all four walls, but by sticking to just one or two walls, or a small accent area, you get the benefit of a fun injection of color without the color’s taking over the space.

In a bedroom I recommend painting the lively hue on the headboard wall — either the entire wall or just a part of it — to anchor the bed and create a focal point.

2. Painted cabinets. I’m happy to report from the front lines that homeowners appear to be moving on from all-white kitchens and are embracing striking and unusual colors for their cabinetry. Of course, a kitchen clad from top to bottom in a vibrant green or hot pink would be too visually jarring, but by limiting the color to one bank of cabinets, you introduce the perfect amount of the dynamic hue.

3. Textiles. If you prefer more flexibility when working in a dash of bold color, try adding it via textiles. Colorful pillows, throws and window treatments are easier to add and remove as your color whims change.

4. Artwork. Give your home an instant face-lift by adorning your walls with colorful artwork.

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One of the most common decorating mistakes I see people make — namely, placing all items in a room either on or low to the ground with nothing mounted higher up on the walls for balance. Keeping everything clustered so low makes a room feel cramped and crowded on the bottom half and sad and sparse up top. Items like sofas, chairs and tables obviously have to reside on the floor, but don’t neglect using the upper areas of your walls for items that can be located higher, such as artwork.

And by installing artwork closer to the ceiling than the ground, you draw the eye up, giving the feeling of an open and airy space.

5. Furniture. Limit impactful colors to items that are worthy of the attention. In a dining room, think about using the bold color for your seating. It really draws the eye in and makes you want to join the party. It also creates a pleasing visual rhythm, as the color is repeated around the room.

6. Rugs. A colorful area rug can provide the perfect chunk of vivid color. This works especially well if your fixed flooring is a neutral hue — it will ground the more striking color or colors of the rug.

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The dining room above has a deep, elegant color palette that gets a terrific boost of energy via the zesty orange rug. The bedroom at left has a cool and relaxing vibe, with just the right amount of perky blues thrown into the mix via the rug.