Often, adding color is one of the things homeowners are most afraid to tackle in their space. After all, it can be easy to love a paint chip or fabric sample in a store only to realize it’s overwhelming or yawn-inducing when applied in real life. But color can be fun and easy to add in just the right dose if you know where to look — and how to get a little creative. Here’s how.
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1. The Front Door
The entry door is a great place to add a splash of color to welcome you home every day. Paint the door a daring shade (you can leave the frame neutral, or paint it too) to energize your entryway without having to add any other accents.
2. Color-Splashed Walls
Want to add a bold color to your walls without creating an overwhelming look? There’s no rule that says you have to fill the entire room, or even the entire wall. Paint a wall with a door or window in it (which will break up the color a bit), or leave a panel of white in a funky geometric shape for a fun, contemporary effect.
This can be especially effective in an area such as a breakfast nook where the walls are broken up by a banquette seat and a window or two. The actual wall remaining is fairly minimal, so you can use a bright, playful color without the look being overpowering.
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In a bedroom, try painting a partial wall to create a headboard, or layer a wide stripe behind an actual headboard to add a greater sense of scale and drama.
Prefer the real thing? A velvet, felt or wool headboard adds a touch of color in a sumptuous texture that gives the hue a lot of extra depth.
Add a headboard (or even a footboard too) to an existing bed, and accent it with a few additional pillows or a cheerful art piece to give a bedroom a colorful feel in a big way.
4. Mismatched Chairs
Colorful chairs are an excellent way to liven up a dining area, and choosing one style of chair in various hues creates a fun palette while still looking tied together. Alternatively, you can paint old wood chairs in various hues to create a new effect (with the freedom to select any color you can imagine).
5. Shelving and Bookcases
If you have a bookcase or shelving unit with removable shelves, pull the shelves out, paint the back a fun hue and put the shelves back in after drying. This is especially easy with a unit from a big-box store that you assemble yourself, because you can paint the back piece before putting the unit together.
You can then use the items on the shelves to break up the color (by using a lot of white or neutral items) or add even more fun, contrasting hues through colorful books and trinkets.
6. Leggy Furniture
Want to reinvent the look of a piece of furniture? Try painting the legs a bright hue, either all the way down or just halfway.
I suggest this look for pieces with long legs because they generally have less surface to paint than more chunky furniture (such as a traditional cabinet island), which means you get a controlled dose of color.
You can apply this idea to an island, a side table, a nightstand, a set of chairs, a sofa — practically any furniture piece with a paintable leg. This method can be an opportunity to add a playful splash of color in a hue as subtle or bold as you like.
7. Kitchen Runners
Area rugs can add a dash of color anywhere, and that includes the kitchen. A runner rug between the island and counter adds visual interest to what is sometimes considered a strictly functional space. Use carpet tiles and you can easily replace a small area in the case of a major spill.
8. Kitchen Cabinets
Replacing all your cabinet doors with brightly colored ones might be a bit of a risky choice (and a big investment), but you don’t really have to go all in to have a little fun. Try swapping just a few doors, such as on a tall cabinet, or just the uppers or lowers.
This is especially easy if you have modern, plain cabinets in a standard size, for which you can easily swap just the door fronts. You can leave the toe kicks and side panels untouched and it’ll still look cohesive.
9. Indoor-Outdoor Furniture
Often, outdoor furniture is bright and colorful, ready for a garden party and compact in size to fit small decks and patios. This can make such furniture perfect for adding a color splash indoors because you get a saturated hue in a small dose, ready to stand in as a side table, nightstand or extra seat for squeezing in guests.
10. Throw Blankets
Toss in a colorful throw blanket and you can achieve as much or as little color as you prefer by folding the blanket up, spreading it out or moving it to another room entirely.
One last bright idea: Try updating a lamp by replacing the shade, or DIY-dying it a fun hue or a trendy dip dye or ombre effect.
Lights naturally draw the eye, so the new shade will feel like a big change for just a small investment. And if you save the old shade, you can always switch them back when you grow tired of the new hue.