5 Tips for Using Color2I’ll be the first to admit that color makes me a little nervous.  Don’t get me wrong, I love using color, but I seem to change my mind every year as to what is my “favorite” color.  Four years ago it was cranberry red, two years ago it was terracotta and this year, it’s blue!  So my fear is that if I use color in my home, I’ll quickly tire of it and then either be stuck using it or be out of lot of money trying to change it.

So how can you incorporate color if you’re afraid of color?  Here are 5 tips to get you started.


1.  Keep Your “Base” Neutral

by Ellen Grasso & Sons, LLC

So let’s say that blue is your new favorite color.  Does that mean you should run out and buy the gorgeous blue sofa you saw in the window downtown?  It depends!  If you’re new to using color in your home and are a bit apprehensive as to how to incorporate it, then maybe not.  Instead, opt for neutral colors for your base objects like furniture, flooring, walls and window treatments.  These tend to be the more expensive items in a room and are therefore, more costly to buy should your tastes change.  And on the plus side, neutral pieces make a great backdrop to highlight accessories and tend to match with most colors, so they’ll work no matter what your color of the month is!


2.  Start Small – Think Accessories

by Jessica Bennett Interiors

Instead of brining color into your space through furniture or other expensive items, try bringing it in through your choice of accessories.  Toss pillows, throws, vases, candlesticks, baskets, wall decor, planters and picture frames are all relatively inexpensive and are easier to change out should you decide that your “favorite” color is no longer your favorite color.


3.  Consider Muted Colors and Patterns

by Flow Home Staging & Design

If you’re nervous about going big and bold, go soft instead!  You don’t have to jump right into using primary colors but instead, can use their more muted counterparts.  Instead of using a bold blue, maybe try a gray-blue.  Instead of a fire engine red, try a cranberry. But what if you love those bold colors?  In that case, try adding your new favorite color in a pattern instead of a solid.  If your sofa is taupe and you want to add blue to the room, you don’t have to pick a solid blue toss pillow but can opt for a patterned pillow that contains both the taupe and the blue and that way, the blue will blend more easily into the sofa.


4.  Pick Your Color and Use it Throughout

by Carter Kay Interiors

One of the most common mistakes when trying to incorporate color into a room is to add it through one object or in one spot in the room.  For example, if you add blue toss pillows to your sofa, don’t let that be the only blue in the room or the pillows (and the color) will seem out-of-place! (Unless of course, you’re going for an abstract look!  And that tends to work better with a larger piece of furniture or art, not a small toss pillow.)  When you introduce color to an otherwise neutral room, be sure that you use it consistently throughout the room.   Including color throughout the room helps your eye easily moves around the room and that the color looks like it has been incorporated, not just added, to your design.


5.  Use Varying Shades

by Lisa Benbow – Garnish Designs

When adding colors through accessories, it can be hard to find lots of pieces that match perfectly.  But don’t let that deter you because they don’t have to be an exact match!  Think of color usage much like the sample paint strips at the store.  Within one color, there are many shades ranging from light to dark.  All of these different shades can work harmoniously in a space together.


It’s okay to take baby steps if adding color is new for you.  And when you’re feeling more comfortable, then the sky’s the limit!  Mix and match your colors and patterns, paint your walls and buy that blue sofa you’ve always wanted!

by Becky Harris







5 comments on “How to Add Color (if You’re Afraid to Use Color)”

  1. Hi, I know this is old, but had to let you know I found your blog recently and am a big fan now. I’ve been reading it new to old and wanted to let you know this info on color really helped me (I’m color paranoid) understand how to add it. I love your dining room as well as the rest of your home. Thanks for all the effort you put into your blog. It is appreciated!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m so glad that you found my blog and took the time to leave such a nice comment. :) Kim

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