How to Use Color in Your Home

Make your home a colorful, tasteful sanctuary with wall painting tips and editor-recommended products for the palette of your dreams.

| May/June 2016

  • Devine Color in Devine Current, $60/gallon.
    Photo courtesy Devine Color
  • Chelsea Vase Red Medium, $51.
    Photo courtesy Bambeco
  • Stockholm Swivel Easy Chair, $400.
    Photo courtesy IKEA
  • Unearthed Paints Smooth Lime Plaster with Umber Deer Brown pigment, $29 for 2.5 kg.
    Photo courtesy Unearthed Paints
  • Ribbon Cutting Fringe Rug, $69.
    Photo courtesy Land of Nod
  • IKEA Kallax Workstation, in White/Green, $103.
    Photo courtesy IKEA
  • Surefit Lattice Sofa Slipcover in Pacific Blue, $65.
    Photo courtesy Surefit
  • Adorablewares Merlot Chunky Knit Pillow Cover, $38.
    Photo courtesy Adorablewares
  • RV Sunset Print, 12-by-16 inches, $26; etsy.com
    Photo courtesy Jazzberry Blue
  • 220 Percale organic cotton sheets in Palest Aubergine, Queen set, $198.
    Photo courtest Coyuchi
  • Otomi Organic Tea Towels by Rincon Road, $20.
    Photo courtesy Rincon Road

Big Accents

Used on: Furnishings, bedding, curtains, trim

Best for: Although bold colors can work for furnishings, keep in mind their permanence when making selections. You can transform a room by repainting a bookshelf or bureau, whereas upholstered couches may be more of a challenge to change, so you might want to choose a color that can act as a neutral (many colors can act as neutrals in this limited usage). If you want a bold color to stand out without becoming overwhelming, consider using it in this way. Using a bold color on large accents in an otherwise neutral room will allow that color to dominate the space.

Stockholm Swivel Easy Chair, $400 from IKEA
Devine Color Devine Current, $60 a gallon
✽ IKEA Kallax Workstation in White/Green, $103 from IKEA

Pops of Color

Used on: Throw pillows, décor



Best for: If you love a certain color but don’t want to commit to it, use it sparingly in décor and accents. Often these pops of color still stand out but they don’t require the commitment of bigger color blocks. Especially if you love a bold color such as red, hot pink or orange, consider using it as a burst of color in several rooms of your house to provide design continuity without becoming overwhelming.

Adorablewares Merlot Chunky Knit Pillow Cover, $38
Chelsea Vase Red Medium, $51 from Bambeco
Surefit Lattice Sofa Slipcover in Pacific Blue, $65
Coyuchi 220 Percale organic cotton sheets in Palest Aubergine, Queen set, $198
Otomi Organic Tea Towels by Rincon Road, $20
RV Sunset Print by Jazzberry Blue, $26



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