Love Affordable Designer Style? Get it Emailed Weekly

Drop your email below to get all the tips, ideas and inspiration you need to make your home amazing.

Red Bedroom Design Ideas Red and black bedroom colours on The Life Creative

Adding Brights to a Neutral Colour Palette is Easy. Here’s How to get it Right

If looking around your room at all the neutral furniture is putting you into a sleep from which you fear you won’t wake, it’s time to add some colour into the mix. It doesn’t have to be a daunting experience, though.

Here’s how to reinvigorate your interior without much work (or much money). And it won’t overwhelm your stunning, stripped-back colour scheme, either, which I know can worry you if you’re not particularly gutsy when it comes to brights.

Red and Yellow Living Room with Grey Sofa on The Life Creative

Elevating a Neutral Colour Palette

I always say that a neutral colour palette is a good idea for your home’s base. If you’re like me and you love to update the look of your space every 5 seconds (guilty!), then having a neutral palette allows you to do it with ease.

By keeping the larger furniture pieces fairly subdued in hue (as well as the wall and floor colours), you can adorn them with accessories and decor that don’t cost much and can be changed up seasonally.

If you go out and purchase a red armchair or blue sofa, you might find yourself stuck on which colours to pair them with, and if you tire of the colour, replacing it is costly.

See more on that in my recent post, The Furniture Pieces you Need to Avoid Buying for your Home.

Grey Kitchen Ideas Grey and Red Kitchen Colours on The Life Creative

Start Small, Ease into it

When it comes to bringing in some bold and bright tones, the key is restraint. You don’t want to overwhelm your visually calm interior. It’s best to start by choosing two of your favourite colours and use those sparingly. Introducing any more than two bright colours will cause your space to feel visually chaotic.

The photos in this post are a great example of that restraint. Notice how the bold red and yellow tones bring such a liveliness to the room but they don’t cause too much chaos? That’s because there’s only a pop of colour here and there.

The other thing you need to do is ensure your base neutrals are varied. You don’t want an all-white palette with red and yellow on top, because it can appear a little juvenile (more on how to avoid a juvenile colour scheme in this post).

Instead, look to milky off-whites, soft greys, charcoal tones and blacks and browns to ground the space. The room will feel well-resolved if you take this approach – and the bright colours on top will make more sense.

If you need some help on building a neutral base for your home, check this post out.

Red Black and White Living Room Ideas on The Life Creative

Spread Colour Around and Connect it

It’s a great idea to spread the bright colours around the room as well. In a bedroom, use a red throw, a red accessory on your bedside table and some art on the wall that features the same red tones. This will tie all of the pieces together and add graphic punch to the space.

It’s a wise idea to have the same colour tone used throughout the room (as opposed to a chilli red, maroon and burgundy mix in the space, for example). Keep the colours quite pure, too. This look is a graphic, punchy one and will feel half-hearted if you opt for sorbets or pastels.

For additional interest, consider pattern play. Teaming block colours like red with graphic black and white pattern is a great way to make your accessories stand out against the neutral colour palette.

This post includes images and/or videos of Metricon display homes and events, reproduced with permission. © Metricon Homes Pty Ltd 2016.

How do you add smaller amounts of colour to a neutral colour palette? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Outside of writing the TLC Interiors blog, Chris is an interior stylist and author. You can also catch him on your TV screens as a designer on Channel 10's Changing Rooms. If you'd like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

Comments (2)

  • Sharyn W

    great articles thanks


Post a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.