Last week, we posted on Facebook asking if you prefer to decorate with color or neutrals. The answers were varied. But we saw several people who commented they want to decorate with more color but always end up with neutrals.
Speaking from personal experience, decorating with color can definitely be a learned skill. There is most certainly an art to it – finding the right color palette and blending those colors together. But, 90% of it comes down to confidence in your choices. And for some of us, that takes time and effort.
When I started working at B. Whimsy, I was as neutral as it comes. Like, I thought I was edgy by mixing black with tan.
Kari kept telling me I needed more color. And, frankly, it kinda scared me at first. But, over the last three years, I’ve slowly gotten more and more comfortable with color – to the point that I crave it now. I’m in the process of decorating a new space and keep saying, “That’s not colorful enough!” – what a change in decor perspective!
Here are a few ways that B. Whimsy has helped me get more confident in my color choices over the years…
1. Pick your palette and stick with it.
If you aren’t totally comfortable developing your own color palette, find something that mixes the colors you want to use in the proportions you want. There are tons of inspiration palettes on Pinterest, for example.
For me, it was a piece of fabric. I found this fabric while looking for a different project, several years before I even moved into my house. I fell in love with this fabric, so I bought a few yard to have on hand in case I came up with a way to use it (I still haven’t used it!) When I started to face the fact that I needed a little more color in my house, it was so helpful to have a visual to reference when shopping. Greens, blue, and mustard. If I found something I liked that didn’t fit in the color palette, I skipped it.
Over the years, I’ve trended more toward blues and less toward the greens – but this definitely remains my primary palette.
2. Add a little color in unexpected places.
Your kitchen is a great place to experiment with color. Add bright hand towels, a fun set of canisters, or a colorful mat or rug. Since kitchens tend to be pretty neutral, these accents make a big impact.
3. Start in small doses.
While you’re still getting comfortable with color, start in small doses. One of Kari’s favorite places to add color is in a book case to break up the single color – in this case, to break up the white. Use a tray, artwork, a big picture frame, or even cardboard covered with fabric as your background in the shelves. Add a few bright candle holders, a flower arrangement or some moss balls, and some colorful pottery, and you have a lot of color in an otherwise blank canvas.
4. Get a sample.
Most recently, I decorated my son’s nursery. I found this rug online and really loved it. It’s a little on the wild side, so I decided to order a 2×3 version of it first to make sure I really liked it in person before committing. I also ordered a calmer, more neutral rug sample just in case. Best decision ever – I definitely liked the bolder colors. Then, I was able to carry that sample rug with me as I shopped for the rest of the furniture and decorations. And, my laundry room got a little pick me up once I was done with the sample rugs – the 2×3 rugs are great to put by doors!
5. Go bold.
When you’re really feeling comfortable with your color palette, it’s time to go bold. One of the cardinal rules in decorating is to pick big items to make a bold statement. So, find a bold accent chair, a daring rug, a colorful piece of furniture – these bigger items that act as focal points will add the character and color you’re longing for!