Home Decorating Why This Works: How To Wake Up a Space with Color

Why This Works: How To Wake Up a Space with Color

Conquer your fear of color with these easy decorating tips.

Ever look at a beautiful room and wonder how did they do that—and, more importantly, how can I do something similar at home? In this edition, we break it down, using this colorful nook as your inspiration:
01. Build a rainbow palette to create a happy vibe.
Rainbow brights aren’t just for the school-aged set: They have the power to make people of all ages smile. If you’re going for an intentionally rainbow look, you don’t need to use a strict red-orange-yellow-green-blue-purple color scheme, but you do need to create a palette that gives the feeling of the whole range of a rainbow, say by swapping in pink for red.
02. Start with a neutral base.
It sounds counterintuitive, but the easiest way to dive into a more colorful interior is with a neutral base, like this nook’s wood paneling, cream-colored upholstery, and floors. A quiet foundation layer will make it less complicated to experiment with truly bold color combinations.
03. Use solids to ground your patterns.
Build some restraint into your exuberance. Here, the riot of colorful pillows looks playful but not over-the-top because of the solid-hued cushions mixed in with the patterned ones. The blocks of one color give the eye a place to rest between the pops of pattern on the shaggy and embroidered pillows.
04. Tie it all together with a multi-color rug.
A rainbow color scheme feels more grown-up and polished when it is executed in a variety of ways. Here the rainbow appears in the throw pillows, the colorful rug underfoot, and more subtly in the abstract artwork. A multi-hued rug is always a great way to pull all the colors of a room into one definitive design element.
05. Sprinkle in some shine for visual interest.
Every room—even one as colorful as this—needs a lift in the form of a touch of shine. Here the soft shimmer of velvet, the metal edge of the frame, and even the gloss of the vases’ glaze gives the eye a little bit of sparkle to enjoy.
06. Keep your art display casual.
Leaning art against a wall instantly makes a room feel less formal than hanging it from a nail on the wall. If you don’t have a built-in ledge, you can install a wall-mounted one designed expressly for this purpose, or if your art is large, you can even rest it right on the floor. Opt for a stretched canvas artwork, which  is less delicate than a piece hung behind glass.

Shop the look:

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For more inspiration, see:

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