Fun Ways to Add a POP OF COLOUR to Your World!
Feeling a bit BEIGE lately? Are you trapped in a Beige-ification rut? Tired of your space? Need a little pick-me-up? …. The easy, fun & fresh solution to this is to bring some unexpected, vivid or conceptual colour to your space. Colour is the easiest and most powerful way to bring life to any room, an unexpected pop of colour adds passion, excitement, freshness AND intrigue to your home. There are COUNTLESS easy and enjoyable ways that you can do this:
Let your Accessories do the talking. This works especially well in a mostly neutral space, like this dining room (below) that includes a neutral wall colour, white cabinet, a black dining table with white-and-neutral coloured dining chairs. Adding the lime green dishes to the cabinet space makes the cabinet an instant hit. It’s easy to add more colour to your space with the addition of fun, vibrant or sexy accessories (also a great way of adding current trends WITHOUT changing your core pieces or getting “trendy”). Incorporating the yellow orchids (in the photo below) is a gorgeous and natural solution to creating a wonderful colour tension in the space and give it vibrancy and energy, while at the same time complimenting the already existing tones. In the photograph below, the Dining room image is a semi-precious stone chandelier by the brilliant Marjorie Skouras (a brilliant Designer I write about often) that adds a ton of character in the entryway. It gives the right amount of colour and pizzazz without taking away from the natural glamour of the space and without adding a “hard” finish to the room… the natural Design palette and sensibility is in fact greatly enhanced by the stunning fixture.
Create an unexpected focal point to a room by using a bright, eye-popping colour (I LOVE to do this in a dull neutral space especially! Try Razzle Dazzle by Benjamin Moore, or Francesca Black by Martha Stewart Paint (sadly just her colour palette is now available). In the room below, a vividly painted pink chair gives an otherwise all-white room an instant face-lift. The flowers are also a sweet touch (albeit the china dolls freak me out completely!). An added bonus: if you get tired of the colour, it’s easy to change it! Just swap the chair out for a new one! While you’re at it, you can even change the chair colour depending on the season. I would as well LOVE to see the chair painted out in Yellow Finch by Benjamin Moore for a stunning rich and cerebral chartreuse yellow.
Nothing is quite as depressing as a dull, beige bathroom so why not make your bland bathroom a knockout by painting the exterior of your antique cast iron tub (if you have one of course…don’t just go randomly painting strangers bathtubs). Keep in mind that you cannot paint all tubs, but cast iron/porcelain tubs can be painted over nicely. The lavender colour shown below is bright and cheerful and complements the yellow colour in the shower… It’s like a ray of sunshine in the bathroom.
Think outside the box. Usually you paint the walls and leave the staircase alone. How about doing the reverse? Paint your staircase and leave your walls white or off-white. It’s an unexpected surprise that is sure to generate some smiles. In this photo, a stripe of blue paint is like a ribbon tumbling up the stairs. To create your own painted stairs look, I recommend using a good oil-based primer, several coasts of oil-based high gloss paint and a non-yellowing polyurethane to finish it off (with a non slip additive mixed into it). Now this image has a ribbon of colour, which I think is rather cheeky, but you can also paint the entire staircase or even create your own design. Be creative and have fun with it!
Another example of adding Colour & Whimsy to your stairs
Remember when your mother or grandmother used to wallpaper the inside of the cabinets? It would get annoying … both visually AND because you would have to help. The wallpaper would peel and you’d have to keep reapplying it year after year. Sometimes it would get stained and dirty. How about instead we paint the interior of your kitchen cupboards? This works especially well if you have glass cabinets (where you can see the contents inside)… of course a solution to this is to ADD glass front doors to your existing cabinets. By adding a pop of colour when you open the cabinet or cupboard doors it gives your space a wonderful vibrancy and life and lessens the “builder special” look so many kitchens exude. This also applies to all cabinets, not just the ones found in the kitchen. A pop of avocado green lightens up this white kitchen shown below. You could also paint the kitchen cabinets black, which would look great if you have any colour dishes. Black, after all, goes with anything – but it would look pretty impressive next to white tableware.
Another way of adding colour is by re-imaging outdated furniture or vintage finds with brilliant colour fabrics! If this forest green velvet chair still had its original wooden legs, it would look very dated.. SAD and dated. But by painting the legs a bright yellow and adding in a funky yellow pillow as an accessory, this chair looks young, fresh and funky.
Stuck on colour choices?
Here are some tips for picking the right colours for your space:
Surf the internet for inspiration. Sometimes we ALL get stuck. We might have inspiration in our heads but it’s difficult to get them out on paper. My answer? “SURF IT OUT”! The Internet is such a powerful design tool to find colour schemes, new products, inspiration, global trends and simply brilliant and talented people who share what they are passionate about. It may sound trite… but Pinterest is also a BRILLIANT place to get inspired.
Focus on a feeling. Understand the mood that you want your space to have and the energy that you want surrounding the space. Then, select colours accordingly. For example, if you find that you want something that is “serene” and “calming”, you may not want to pick hues of shocking neon yellow or blood red… just saying.
Open your mind. Break away from stereotypes and preconceived notions that you may have in your head. Look for inspiration everywhere: In nature, books, magazines, movies, or fashion. Study fashion or street art, attend art exhibits and browse flea markets and really get a feel for what you want in your space. Live it, breathe it, love it!
Restrain your colour palette. I know, that can be difficult… trust me… I suggest choosing two or three colours and sticking to that range. Add accent colours only if they enhance your main hues.
Know when to let go.If something isn’t working for you, let it go. It’s simple as that. Often times you will find that things don’t work the way you had originally planned, especially in the Design world. Trust that a new option will work out that you will love even better than the first. Remember that the best results always come when you’re having fun and not taking it too seriously. If you’re too stressed, slow down and take a breather. Design shouldn’t be stressful (unless it’s your job!).
Remember that style isn’t about simply acquiring expensive items or buying a complete set or look. Instead, it’s about mixing and matching so it feels more about you as a person… layering loved items over time to create something that truly is an expression of YOU. The same goes with colour. You don’t necessarily have to mix-and-match colour. That’s not what design is about, in fact contemporary design is more about moving away from the matching and towards miss-matching. It is through the unexpected pairings and layering’s that we create new found tension and interest. Items elevate each other and bring out the best attributes in each other WHILE setting the stage for how we want to live.
Make colour your best friend and learn HOW to add it to your specific style, decor and personality. Have fun with it, enjoy yourself, and the results will shine through.