My Top 3 Tips for Adding Color to Your Interiors

my top three tips for adding color to your interiors

If you've been alive for the last 10 years (I'm looking at you!) you've probably noticed that lately the trends for interiors has been like this.

Or this.

Or something like this.

A lot of white and grey - otherwise known as achromatic - that screams "I'm a clean person that likes minimal design, and lemon in my water".

No offense to you lemon-water lovers out there. Guilty as charged ;)

But something about these rooms feels a little cold, maybe even erring on the side of, well, sad.

Think about the last time you walked into a space with no color. Did you feel a little out of place? Possibly uncomfortable?

Maybe a part of you wanted to grab a paint bucket filled with your favorite color and slap it on the wall!

If your a color-lover like me then you probably said a resounding yes to all of the above!

So how do we combat this colorless craze that's sweeping the nation? Continue reading below to find out my top 3 tips on using color in your interiors (without overdoing it!). 

(1) The Golden Rule: Pick only three colors

Have you ever come home from a huge home decor shopping trip only to throw your hands up in the air once you put everything together?

With so many gorgeous pillows and accents, it's easy to get carried away in buying any color that speaks to you!

But as I say in my design consultation, great design starts with a game plan; including a good color palette!

For simplicity sake, I won't be going over the color wheel as I am sure many of you took color theory in your schooling or have read a blog or two that cover this topic extensively. With that said let's dive right in!

Main Color - This color will be your most dominant color in your space, so choose carefully as this one will dictate the entire design and "feeling". In the end, most people tend to pick their favorite color for this one.

Secondary Color - As a secondary color this choice needs to pair well with the first one. I tend to find another color on the same "warm" or "cool" spectrum as the main color to create harmony but feel free to play around with this.

Once you've honed in on your choice of color, then determine if you want it to be lighter (tint) or darker (shade) then your main color. Having contrast makes for good design!

Accent Color - Think of this color as a way to add variety to your space. This is where I typically use a complementary color to the main color. Feel free to put your metal accents here as every space needs a little bling! Just remember, this color is to be used in small quantities.

Now that you know the basics, here are a few color palettes from design seeds as examples.


You'll notice that all though there are many color variations, each color palette has three distinct color choices.

Now lets see it in action! Can you identify the three colors used in this room and where they belong in each category?

As you can see the blue acts as the main color, yellow acts as the secondary color and pink is the accent color. Once you get the hang of it it's actually pretty simple but makes a huge difference.

No matter what color choices you choose have a little fun with this stage and don't be afraid to experiment!

(2) Use white as a canvas

If you cringed at the thought of throwing color on a wall then this next tip is for you! There are thousands of jaw-dropping rooms out there that use white to their advantage.

The trick is that most often the white is used as a backdrop to the design, not the focal point.

Take this room for example.

Light and airy with just the right amount of character to say "look at me! I have style". Or even this one.

This rule can even apply to pieces of furniture!

Because once it comes down to it, the fantastic thing about white is that since it's a neutral, any colorful accent you add will make it pop and become the focus.

Which leads me to my next and final tip....

(3) Determine what is "the boss" and back off

This is the focal point in your room that grabs your attention and reels you in the minute you walk-in! And your not limited to pieces of furniture or accessories.

Maybe your dying to have a dramatic tile around your fireplace or jet black walls in your library to really add that "va-voom!" factor into your space.

Regardless of what you'd like to do, the general rule of thumb is to let "the boss" take charge and dial down on the color everywhere else.

Take the kitchen below for example.

See how the peacock blue tile becomes "the boss"? By giving the cabinets the slightest hint of pale blue they were able to give it a little bit of contrast while still letting the backsplash stand in the spotlight.  

I hope these tips will help you in your quest to have a beautifully designed space with color that makes an impact.

What other things do you consider to be important when choosing colors for a space? I'd love to hear your thoughts!