Tired of seeing the same white walls and gray couches in your home and in every other home featured in social media? While there is understated beauty and ease in minimalist interior design and neutral color palettes, there is just this stimulating appeal to a well-decorated, colorful space that’s quite unmatched. The right colors in a space can increase brain function, control stress levels, and inspire movement – all things that anyone would be glad to have in their humble abodes.
Of course, there runs the issue of not really understanding which colors match well together, or which tones make you alert and which ones calm you down. But the beauty of designing your home is that it is a never-ending process and more often than not, your space grows with you. You should not be stifled with the fear that you might get it wrong; where’s the fun in getting everything right the first time anyway?
Here are four interesting hues to get you started - these will transform your home into a color-filled oasis that functions. Pro tip: All colors on this list can not only be used sparingly but also as much as your heart desires.
Bright Yellow: An Ode To Pantone
Illuminating – ½ of Pantone’s 2021 Colors of the Year (the other being a neutral, Ultimate Gray) – is a bright yellow that signifies fortitude and hope in the face of adversity. Telling of current events, the yellow shade can bring energy and a much-needed optimism in your personal space.
Following Pantone’s expert opinion, yellow is a great complementary color to the neutral gray; together they pair well with black and white accents. A more-or-less permanent presence of yellow in your space is in the form of sunny walls. Bring energy to your home by painting your living rooms, play areas, and even your home offices yellow. Another great space to introduce yellow to is your kitchen - opt for a statement backsplash, bright cabinetry, or a luminous ceiling.
If you still prefer minimalist and Scandinavian interior design but want to start incorporating color to your space (i.e. indulge in a contemporary design style), consider picking up colorful furniture items and ornaments instead. Yellow is generally an uplifting shade so this works well as an accent color in areas where you meet and entertain guests - think seating covers and plates and cutlery. A quick source of yellow that’s as functional as it is cute? A basket of fresh lemons, bananas, or ripe mangoes atop your kitchen counter.
Use on: Kitchen tiles, big furniture pieces, decorative items
Powder Blue: An Interesting Shade That’s Almost Neutral
Blue is not a new color in the face of interior design; in fact, even minimalist designers love to incorporate shades of blue in their plans. Somewhat considered a neutral, blues – especially when muted with gray undertones – are a classic pairing or even alternative to your favorite whites and light grays.
Powder blue is a great example of a pale blue that works just as well as any neutral. This pastel hue offers lightness yet has that subtle depth in its color profile, making it an appropriate hue for your untouched ceilings. Change up the entire look of your bedroom with a fresh coat of powder blue paint and see how well you unconsciously respond to it being on your ceiling. See, this pale blue mimics the natural sky you love to see when you’re outdoors, but without being too bright it still makes you feel calm and restful in your personal space.
Following the theme of taking inspiration from nature for your color schemes indoors, you can also use powder blue in your bathrooms and laundry areas – generally wherever you see a steady stream of water. This is why the said color works just as well in your kitchen – where sinks are front and center. Switch out your tired white cabinets with blue ones and breathe a new life – tranquil yet active – into your kitchen space.
Use on: Kitchen cabinets, bedroom ceilings, shower tiles
Emerald Green: Opulent Oxymoron
Emerald green is vibrant and lustrous in its glamour. The jewel tone can seem too bold and intimidating to work with, but is surprisingly versatile. Genderless and reminiscent of untouched forestry, this deep green introduces a natural calm while remaining exuberant in its saturation. Emerald green is universal and still luxurious, peaceful and still exciting - which makes it a go-to color of many designers and decorators.
Large rooms and open spaces can handle the boldness of emerald green, so don’t be afraid to use this luscious shade in your living room walls. Just make sure to furnish the room with neutral color pieces and items made of natural materials (e.g. wood, stone) to really let the walls take center stage.
If you are a renter (check out our apartments for rent here!)and can’t make permanent changes to your space or just can’t commit at the moment, you can still incorporate colors to your home by using statement furniture. Emerald green works great in seating furniture and side tables just as well as it does in walls and cabinetry.
Use on: Big furniture pieces, living room walls, kitchen cabinets
Blush: The Grown-Up Pink
If you never grew out of your love for the color pink and want to incorporate it in your adult home, blush is the way to go. This warm medium pink is pretty and soft without being childish. Blush emits a romantic glow that works well in lounging areas, bathrooms, and even in outdoor spaces. A beginner’s understanding of color theory will tell you that a soft pink in seating furniture or coffee tables complements the greenery of gardens and lush backyards.
A designer favorite is using blush or muted pink paint on walls. Pink bathrooms are especially popular in the young female crowd (remember millennial pink?), while blush accent walls are more widely appreciated. If pink walls are too overwhelming, you can carry the statement hue across the interior design by using blush-colored textiles. Think bed runners, living room rugs, and pillow covers.
Use on: Bathroom walls, accent walls, lounging textiles e.g. blankets and covers
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