The Design Home is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Color can transform a room. The judicious application of matching and contrasting colors brings character and interest to drab or austere spaces.
We’re all for minimalism. While pristine walls and floors with a monochromatic aesthetic won’t offend anyone, they often lack personality and punch.
If you’re on a tight budget or are renting a space that you can’t completely transform, know that you’re not stuck with whites, beiges, and grays. There are many ways to inject a splash of color without breaking the bank.
Add A Painted Feature Wall (or Door)
Painting one wall in a room in a bold color brings vibrancy and focus to a space. It also creates a foundation on which you can build, using the other tips in this article to add colors that complement or contrast the wall.
You don’t have to paint to create a feature wall. You can use tiles or wallpaper to introduce color, pattern, and texture. If you can’t make permanent alterations to a space, fabric wall coverings are a great alternative.
Or, for an even smaller project that actually works great for staging a home on a budget: paint just a door. You get a huge impact with minimal cost.
While you might not have a lot of control over the colors of the walls, the furniture and accessories are entirely up to you. As you can see from this image, rooms with white walls and beige furniture are brightened with the addition of a red armchair, with curtains and cushions to match.
The artwork on a wall continues the same color theme, with dominant red and orange highlights.
If you don’t have furniture that fits into the color scheme you want, a quick coat of paint to drawers, bookcases, and other furniture can bring them to life.
Here, the decorator uses a blue accent on the drawers to brighten up the sideboard. It echoes the blue in the paintings, the dominant greens of which are picked up in the highlight colors of the ornament and the plant.
In both of these examples, it’s striking how the use of inexpensive objects and artwork throughout the room can bring cohesion to a space that would otherwise be flat and dull.
Use Rugs, Cushions, and Throws
Rugs are one of the most straightforward ways to bring color, texture, and comfort to a room. A simple rug can form a colorful focal point for the room. An intricately patterned rug with multiple colors can offer a foundation to the room’s color scheme. Cushions and throws can complement a rug to brighten an otherwise uninteresting environment.
Any of these tips will brighten your room. But the best interior designers mindfully combine them to create a coherent color scheme. Each element – the rugs, colored walls, furniture, accessories, and artwork – play a role in bringing the space to life.
About Agnieszka -Agnieszka Wilk is the co-founder and CEO of affordable interior design service Decorilla. She leads a team of over 300 designers that create 3D and virtual reality models for customers seeking interior design help. Being the first in the interior design space to offer affordable VR models to clients, Agnieszka continues to push the boundaries of where tech meets interior design, challenging her team to make the industry more accessible and engaging. Her expert opinions have been featured in The New York Times, TechCrunch, Huffington Post, among others.