For most people, myself included, the idea of blanketing your living space in bright colors is down right terrifying. Which is also why most of us go the safe beige route. But this incredibly colorful (and incredibly awesome) home designed by Emily Lister Interiors just might change your mind. She's offering up ten tips to infusing your abode with the liveliest of hues. And for the full tour of these happy digs captured by Alyssa Rosenheck, head to the VAULT.
Start by creating a classic neutral base.
To balance the bold colors we wanted to incorporate, I chose a linen tone for the walls and a classic white for the cabinets and trim. This allowed us to use color as accents without overwhelming the space.
Place your color pops intentionally.
The “she” in this client couple loves all things bold and colorful. My challenge was to thrill her with colors without letting her house turn into an Easter Egg, so we chose color locations carefully. Early in the design process we fell in love with Cole & Son’s stunning geometric wallpaper. We wanted to feature it in a central location, without overdoing it. The ideal space was the foyer. It has very limited actual wall space but is visible from most of the main floor for big impact!
Choose a few key colors you love to feature.
Make sure the colors are tied together somewhere in the home (for example- in wallpaper, art, or fabric). The client loves orange, turquoise, and lime (a few of the many colors pulled together in the foyer wallpaper). We featured those colors in different spaces: orange in the office, turquoise in the living room, and lime in the kitchen.
Powder rooms are perfect for being adventurous!
These small gorgeous spaces are guaranteed to be seen by guests and tucked away like a fun surprise, so make them special. In this powder I kept the trim and vanity sleek and simple, but went all out with the wallpaper and mirror to create a bold, fun space.
Go neutral on the big furniture items, because a little color goes a long way.
Unless you’re 100% confident you’ll love that lime green sectional 10 years from now, play it safe with the main key furniture pieces. In this living room I did brown Barcelona chairs and a linen white sofa. The tables and case goods are made up of woods, metals, and mirror finishes. Those choices set the stage for a gorgeous vintage pair of chairs, reupholstered with a stunning turquoise fabric. Voila!
Color defines your home’s personality, so be consistent in your overall color palette.
Every room in this house reflects the homeowners- from the entry foyer to the pantry. Wherever we placed our color accents, we used complimentary and cohesive tones. The foyer wallpaper would have been too overwhelming if we only used pastels everywhere else in the home, so whatever color tones and depths you’re drawn to, just keep it consistent.
“Spend smart” on colorful items that you can update and add to as you evolve.
So you’ve invested first in a great neutral base that stands the test of time and changing trends. Now add your pops of color in pillows, lamps, and accessories (and some killer wallpaper here and there), with some savvy shopping and a little bargain hunting. For example: the pair turquoise living room chairs was a $25 flea market find, made over with a fun new fabric. The bold throw pillows were scored from Target and some great online sites. TJ Maxx Home Goods has tons of treasures hidden among the shelves at great prices as well.
Art is worth the investment.
A great way to bring in color that is worth every penny is a fabulous piece of original art that you love! My clients love art and have a fabulous eclectic collection. They’ve also got a personal story for each piece. I tucked art everywhere in this project- small pieces in bookshelves, vintage maps from a trip to Paris in the office, and a stunning sunset painting gracing the living room mantle, to name a few.
Pick a colorful pattern or texture you love and place it somewhere you’ll enjoy it!
In the beginning of the design process, my client had gone crazy for a unique glass mosaic tile. After a full year of thinking about it during the design and construction phases, she still had no hesitation on using such a bold tile. This water jet cut black, white, and green stained glass mosaic became the life and personality in this otherwise "standard white kitchen." We played off the green with fun barstool fabric and a green accent cabinet to balance out the kitchen.
A rug is a great place for color.
You could have a white house with soft tones on furniture and in art, yet have a hot pink Turkish rug, and the space still feels serene and balanced. The color is not up in your face, but grounds the room. You can pull accent colors out of the rug in small doses in art and pillows. In this living room we did classic paneled white walls and a light ceiling, while using a bold orange rug. So spring for that funky colorful Moroccan or geometric rug!
For more ways to infuse your home with color check out this tutorial for super simple DIY Wallpaper Panels. It promises insta color for your blank walls