Interior Style

10 easy ways to add colour to your home

It’s time to venture beyond beigePhotographer: David Wheeler

Neutral colour schemes and homes that are strictly ‘all-white-everything’ have dominated the interior design sphere for some time – but that’s changing. Vibrant colours, clashing patterns and whimsical wallpaper are making their way back to create a colourful home. Been a while since you ventured beyond beige? You may find that small doses of colour introduced slowly and purposefully are the antidote to tonal tunnel vision.

The key to decorating with colour is to embrace playfulness. Nothing needs to be taken too seriously. Walls can be repainted, cushion covers can be switched out and floral tablecloths can be folded up and stored away. Don’t let the fear of ‘getting sick of it’ hold you back from making your home a space that reflects your passions, personality and style.

10 ways to achieve a colourful home

1. Fresh flowers

Colour without the commitment

Want colour without the commitment? Fresh flowers are a great place to start. Tulips are currently on trend, but classic blooms like hydrangeas, roses and dahlias are also excellent choices. If you’re not into florals, experiment with oversized arrangements of foliage in interesting shades such as amber or deep purple.

2. Tablecloths

Channel your inner ‘urban aunt’

100% French Flax Linen Tablecloth in Ginger Gingham, $128.99 (with free shipping within NZ), from Shop Your Home and Garden

Hide a worn-out timber table and imbue your home with colour and pattern in the flick of a single tablecloth. It’s difficult to deny – there’s just something inviting, exciting and, quite simply, glorious about a colourful tablecloth. It can take a humdrum mid-week meal and turn it into an event. Enhance the effect by setting the table with gorgeous dinnerware and cutlery.

3. Accessories, accessories, accessories

The all-white antidote

Take away the accessories in this room: the throw cushion, the European pillowcase, the wall art, the throw blanket and the lampshade and what have you got? A white bedroom. Don’t let an existing all-white colour scheme prevent you from indulging in fun with colour and pattern.

4. Art

Colour scheme inspiration

Great wall art can bring colour into a space, but did you know it can also encourage you to go beyond your colour comfort zone?

Take this renovated, mid-century beach house, for example. The eye-catching pink, red and blue artwork sets the tone for the entire living room. The cushion and coffee table, – dressed in putty pink and deep blue – echo the tones found in the art. So, next time you stumble upon a piece of artwork you love, study it and use it as colour palette inspiration.

5. Upholstered bedhead

An instant focal point

Add instant interest to a boring bedroom with an upholstered bedhead. Sure, you can purchase one from Freedom, but you can also achieve this look on a budget.

If you already have a fabric bedhead that’s a little dated or worn out, give it a new lease of life. Follow our simple guide to elevate or build your headboard with just a sheet of plywood, jigsaw and other small utensils.

6. Mix and match bedding

Layers of fun

If the swoonworthy style of this farmhouse is anything to go by, you can consider matching bedding sets officially over.

Open up the linen cupboard, gather all those orphaned sheets, and look at them side-by-side. See if you can create a layered, eclectic bedding look you hadn’t thought of before. If not, revamping your entire bedroom can be as simple as topping a neutral set with a vibrant, handmade quilt and a new throw pillow.

7. Books

No colour-coding required

Bookshelf wealth‘ may be trending on TikTok but it’s no secret that a well-loved, curated collection of books adds soul to a home. Rather than turning book spines in or organising covers by colour, let mismatched, multi-coloured books adorn your shelves and imbue your home with effortless character.

This chic renovation, which is home to Alice, an author, is a lesson in incorporating colour into a home in a chic, contemporary way. All the interior walls are the same colour – Dulux White Duck – creating a gallery-like backdrop for the couple’s artworks, statement lights and European furniture. “We are still adding to our home, still imprinting our personalities,” says Alice. “This is a house where our own story can slowly unfold.”

8. Whimsical wallpaper

Bold and brilliant

Wallpaper has come a long way in recent years, and it doesn’t have to be the huge commitment it once was. Peel-and-stick varieties allow you to experiment with colour and pattern without fear of damaging the wall beneath. If you ever ‘get sick of it’ you can always take it down to find your original wall colour intact.

Or, be bold and paper a small space – like a powder room – in a bold print to see how it makes you feel. This child’s bedroom, in a modern, rural farmhouse, is brightened with colourful Aloha Palms wallpaper above the bed.

9. Upcycle furniture and homewares

Custom colour

Upcycling furniture with paint is another great, low-commitment way to experiment with colour in your home.

This Napier home’s gallery-white walls, high ceilings and wooden floors made the perfect backdrop for the homeowners array of possessions, which have been thrifted, gifted or carefully chosen and purchased over the years. Here in the living room, art print frames have been painted to stand out against each other.  “I love colour – it can brighten a space and make a room speak for itself,” they say.

10. Colour drenching

A saturated colour experience

This next one is not for the faint-hearted. Colour drenching is really just a new-fangled way of saying: ‘paint an entire room a fun colour’.

Rather than limiting yourself to a feature wall, colour drenching encourages the complete saturation of a room in colour. Paint everything – including the cornices, skirting boards and even the ceiling (if you’re feeling bold) – for a high-end look that gives a room a cosy, high-end atmosphere.

Read this next: 12 vibrant kitchens that bring a burst of colour to your home

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