When executed correctly, a neutral palette is, without a doubt, chic and timeless. Ultimately though, when it comes down to it, we tend to subscribe to more of a Kelly Wearstler attitude when it comes to decorating. KW recently taught a design-focused master class (it’s great btw, if you haven’t watched it) in which she said, “living without colour is like living without love” and we couldn’t agree more. In our experience, we find that most clients who prefer to dwell in neutral territory, often do so for the same set of reasons. Sometimes, they’re afraid of committing to colourful pieces because they fear they might tire of them. Other times, they simply don’t know how to introduce colour so they stay in their comfort zone. Whatever the case may be, the solution often starts by taking a few baby steps. There is no need to commit to a pink velvet sofa or a blue leather armchair if you don’t feel ready. Instead, if you find yourself surrounded by a bunch of beige, consider some of these simple (and low-commitment) ways of bringing colour into your space. You’d be surprised how a vibrant hue can liven up a tired room, make old pieces look new or even, brighten your mood!
Add in an Area Rug
In a previous post about The Virtues of Finding the Right Rug, we discussed how a beautifully decorated room can start with an area rug. If your space consists of all neutral pieces, an area rug that is vibrant or has colourful pattern or detail is a great way to add a level of polish. Rugs tend to be our go-to for adding life to a space as there are so many to choose from, the price range is huge and, if you grow tired of them, they’re very easy to roll up and store. When selecting your rug, pay attention to all the individual colours that are woven throughout as you may want to draw upon them later on with accessories in other areas of the room.
If you’ve gone ahead with selecting a colourful area rug, don’t stop there! To really tie things together, draw upon your favourite colours from the rug’s patterns or details and think about how you might want to use these colours to accessorize. It can be something as simple as a similarly hued throw or set of pillows. If you want to take things a little further, window treatments are a great way to tie in elements from your rug. Or, take a look at your light fixtures! A new lamp shade is a great low-commitment option. If you didn’t spring for the rug and you’re wondering where to draw inspiration for selecting the right colourful accessories, don’t worry! Inspiration is truly all around… you just need to know where to look! Take a look at your wardrobe and think about what colours you like to wear. Or, take a walk outside and take note of what colours speak to you. Sometimes, a good old mood board consisting of inspirational photos of rooms you love is the best way to narrow it down.
If you truly have no desire to change any of the furniture pieces or accessories in your space, we suggest thinking about your walls. Although an accent wall with a vibrant paint or fabulous wallpaper are a great way to go, we realize this doesn’t appeal to everyone. If that’s the case, then art is a must! Similar to rugs, art pieces come in a wide range of forms, styles and prices making it easy to find something that is uniquely ‘you.’ Whether you go for bright modern pieces, framed vibrant photographs, a single colourful sculpture or what have you, art is a tried and true way to not only add colour but also inject personality into any space.
Bring the Outdoors In
If this all sounds far too overwhelming or if budget is a concern, the best thing you can do for any room at any time, is bring in a little of the outdoors! If you’re unsure of which colours would look best, try bringing in a bouquet of flowers made up of a single colour. By the time the flowers have surpassed their best-before date, you’ll know whether or not you like the colour you selected in that space. It’s a low-commitment and relatively budget-friendly way of figuring out your colour conundrum! Whether the experiment was a success or not, a bouquet of flowers or a bunch of flowering or leafy branches are never a mistake as they are hands-down the most effective way we know how to add drama to a room. Once you’ve found the colour that works best, you can take note of it for future purchases for your home.