I appreciate the beauty in more subtle colour palettes, but every time I start to stray towards them, the vibrant colours pull me vigorously back to them.
Because of this love, I have never had trouble incorporating colour into my home. Years ago when friends were painting their homes in shades of tea and coffee, I was painting my bedroom deep blue, and my kitchen sunny yellow. I was really surprised when one of my Bibby + Brady clients recently told me that she was scared of colour, and didn't know how to use it in her home. So for anyone else who may be feeling this way, here are a few tips...
Start with little touches that can be easily added, and just as easily changed if you want a different look. These painted chairs and the cushions on the window seat add a touch of fun to this family dining corner.
The base of this room is very neutral - walls and carpet, a brown & white cowhide, a very cool wood & glass coffee table, and the sofa is a soft grey (even though it looks slightly purple in this photo). All the colour has been layered on top in the accessories, but you'll notice it has been kept to three main colours - pink, blue and yellow. This keeps it cohesive and colourful without being over the top.
Sometimes just a single accent colour is enough. The yellow touches here work beautifully with the warm wood tones.
Bringing colour in by the way of a single armchair is brilliant. They look great next to a neutral sofa, especially if the sofa has a few cushions that tie in with the chair colour. Artwork and rugs are another great way to add colour.
If you're brave enough, try painting your walls, or even a single wall in a favourite colour.
In this room the sofa and some of the accessories in the book shelf are shades of the wall colour, which creates a nice link in the open space.
I'm crazy about wallpaper and these days there are so many amazing designs to choose from. It can help define an area like an entranceway or study nook. In this case, the hall and upstairs are a sensible white, then you get a hit of gorgeous colour in this amazing striped wallpaper that leads you down to the basement.
This bedroom is quiet and restful - thank goodness for the yellow stool and artwork, which take it from zero to hero!
And a really easy way to bring just a touch of colour to your home is to embrace the popular dipped look. The base of these gold legs look stunning against the glossy black, and would look equally cool in hot pink, yellow, bright blue...
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To sum up... if you're not yet colour confident but would like to be, add it in small touches and in ways that can be changed easily. Small furniture items, cushions, ornaments and flowers are classic examples. Stick to three colours that you can repeat in various shades. Find out which colours you're drawn to - when you're flicking through a magazine, which colour makes you stop?.. in a clothes shop are you drawn to a certain colour palette?.. what flowers do you love? Good luck and have fun embracing colour x