Redfin Blog | By Julia Weaver
Painting your walls is a great way to add color to your home, but it’s also a big task and a fairly permanent addition. If you live somewhere short-term, say an apartment in Portland, OR or a rental home in Chicago, IL, paint might be out of the question. Luckily, there are ways to add color to a room without touching a paint roller.
We reached out to design experts to share their unique ways to add a pop of color to a room and make the space your own. Check out their ideas to get inspired.
Bring personality into your space
I try to avoid anything I might move regularly, e.g. pillows, kitchen stools, etc. Unless they’re perfectly placed or fluffed, moving them will make the room feel disorderly and will drive you crazy. We do a lot of pleated fabric lampshades; these not only add that pop but also turn ordinary lights into sculptures.
Art is the easiest and most powerful way to add color to a room. If you do it, go big for maximum impact, although you can also assemble flea market finds into one big “Salon Wall” for the budget-minded.
Of all the colors, I find yellow to be a great color accent. It works super well in a neutral room, but most importantly, it says ”HAPPY” while still elegant and calming.
Another trick to add color is to get something that has more than 2 or 3 colors, as this can soften the pop and blend in without overwhelming your room.
– Benjamin Dhong Interiors in the San Francisco Bay Area & Napa
Acknowledge trends and stay current
The safest way to experiment and add color to a room is to incorporate it into soft goods like pillows, throws, and area rugs. In living spaces or the bedroom, add a little color with new throw pillows and accent decor. I often like to choose bright prints or to pair pillows in shades of contrasting colors like orange and blue. In the bathroom, swap out your towels and bath mats for something rich with color, or find a unique decor piece that brings an element of surprise to the bathroom. Adding color is a great way to make your entryway more inviting and warm for guests. Try adding a new rug, lamp, or plant to add more interest.
– Lara Anderson, Red Door Interiors in Olympia, WA
Incorporate colorful curtains and rugs
Do you live in a temporary spot, but still want a life full of color? Paint is absolutely not necessary to add some color to your life. Curtains and rugs are two of our favorite ways to spruce up a place. If you need some brightness and texture, go for velvet curtains in your favorite color and hues to match your rug. Most importantly – have some fun.
– The Girls at Bitchin’ Digs in Malibu, CA
Consider adding wallpaper
Top-floor bedrooms with dormers and small spaces like entry foyers and powder rooms are good areas for wall coverings. Coverings can help disguise awkward angles and blur tight corners.
– Vani Sayeed, MFA | Principal, Vani Sayeed Studios in Newton, MA
Remember, location is everything
Most clients who want to add color to a room are initially fearful of color and terrified of wallpaper. I can only imagine their minds flashing back to an ’80s pastel-themed childhood with every wall covered in floral patterns or metallic streaks. Wallpaper has come a long way since then, and there are tons of unique patterns and colors now to enhance a space. The key is using them correctly in your home.
Consider adding wallpaper in powder bathrooms, smaller rooms (mudrooms, sitting rooms, breakfast rooms), and ceilings. Ceilings on their own are typically white and minimal in terms of what they offer towards a room’s design. Dressing your ceiling with color or an exciting pattern draws your eye upwards and creates a pleasant surprise for guests.
Powder bathrooms are also ideal for wallpaper since they tend to be smaller and not very attention-grabbing, while being one of the most-used spaces in your home. I love walking into a cheery or moody powder bathroom transformed by wallpaper.
The only consideration with wallpaper is choosing a pattern that works well with the existing colors and furnishings in your space. If you have a breakfast room that opens into your kitchen, I advise picking a paper that complements your cabinet color or fixtures. A pattern with a bit of gold may look great with brass fixtures and hardware, just like a papered dining room ceiling with hints of green would beautifully highlight green velvet chairs.
Removing wallpaper is easy with new peel and stick varieties that allow renters, students, and homeowners to try out a pattern without consequence. I would recommend throwing a funky pattern on your wall or ceiling—don’t go too crazy, and make sure the wallpaper complements the other colors and furnishings in your space.
– Amanda Y. Tucker, Owner/Principal Designer of Bohome Interiors, LLC in Houston, TX and Santa Fe, NM