How to give your home a colourful makeover

a room with a bed and a table
How to decorate with colourHouse Beautiful

From bold zoning to an all-over hues, there's a spectrum of ways to give your home a colourful makeover. Here are our top tips...

1. Perk up pale walls with bold accents

Soft, powdery pink, dusky neutrals and a mix of wood and white accents set the tone for a calming and sophisticated dining space – and for just the right amount of 'wow', add an electrifying shot of cobalt blue. Introducing vibrant hits of colour like this will demarcate an area and prevent it from merging into an open-plan layout. You can easily achieve this by choosing furniture and accessories in the same standout shade.

dining table with linen table cloth and blue chairs and cone ceiling light and crockery and fruits on the table
Cobalt blue is a striking, punchy hue that will bring energy to your spaceNassima Rothacker/House Beautiful

2. Play with shades & shapes

If you want to dial up the drama then abandon single-coloured walls, instead painting in colourful curves and blocks. This can be useful to create different zones in a room, such as a cosy corner snug, or a home office station. Strike the right balance between statement and safe by using accents of colours you love to pop against more neutral tones. Vibrant accessories offer the perfect opportunity to weave a dose of added colour into your scheme and create overall cohesion.

close up detail shot of living room area with geometric cushion on armchair and edge of marble firework and colour paint block effect on wall in green and cream
Colour blocking, as shown here shown in Earthborn`Earthborn

3. Add drama with black

Dark colours are hard to beat when it comes to creating an intimate space. Depending on the mood you want to set, you could consider a jet black or daring charcoal on the walls and woodwork to add instant interest. Be sure to lift a moody space with blonde wood furniture or flooring: this natural material will prevent dark colours from hogging the spotlight. Bring depth by using textured finishes such as limewash, stained wood or chalky paint.

farrow and ball black kitchen, utility room

4. Embrace modern mono

Move over grey – black and white are back, this time teamed blonde woods and mid-century furniture for an elegant look. A fail-safe way to work with monochrome is to start with white for the walls and larger pieces of furniture, then introduce black accents in the form of cushions, artwork and accessories. Layer in plenty of textures – linen fabrics, jute rugs and touches of wood will bring natural softness – and inject life with a houseplant or vase of flowers.

walls painted in mono tones 01 and mono tones 09trua oak dining table 2 benches, £900, pendant light, £45, waffle wool throw, £68, metro linear jug, £17, metro linear glasses, £5 each, metro stacking bowl, £9, metro dinner plates, £11, all hb x homebase
Black and white softened with wood and soft textiles will look modern and minimalistJake Seal / House Beautiful

5. Inject warmth with terracotta

Channel natural materials, rustic textures and a palette of toasty shades inspired by the sunsets and sunrises in the Mediterranean. The earthiness of terracotta gives much-needed warmth in spacious rooms with high ceilings or tall windows. Use it wall to wall and on the woodwork, from skirting to architrave, or opt for terracotta floor tiles and plant pots to warm up a cold colour scheme. For an extra layer of sophistication, pair it with wood furniture and accessories in the same brownish tones.

a bedroom with a bed and a lamp
Rich, earthy terracotta tones make for a luxurious but cosy bedroomSimon Bevan / House Beautiful

6. Team red with more red

Forget any preconceptions: this rosy, primary hue can be versatile and cosy – and is bang on trend. When it comes to making an impact, the key is to mix reds in all manner of glorious temperatures and tones. Layer the look with furniture, drapes and accessories to add depth and playfulness. A backdrop of contemporary white walls will create balance, while decadent textiles, such as velvet and silk, lend themselves perfectly to these show-stopping shades.

benjamin moore press lifesyle image accent chair with sidetable red accent chair with seagrass rug and sidetable with fruit and ceiling pendant light

7. Get calm with all-over blue

Associated with relaxation and tranquillity, blue is one of the most versatile and easy-to-use colours. With shades ranging from rich navy to comforting duck egg, there’s one for every type of scheme. The softest palest blue acts like a neutral – pair with wooden flooring and natural accessories for a balanced look. Using one colour on the walls, woodwork and furniture will create a calm, enveloping sensation and make a room feel larger.

blue hallway lifestyle shot with rug and table with fern and ceiling light and art on walls

8. Ground a scheme with green

Just as the weather can affect our mood, so too can the colours we use to decorate our surroundings. Soft greens and chalky shades are restful choices that are ideal for the bedroom and living areas. These lighter hues work especially well on upholstery and walls. Contrast their coolness with warm wood floors, a large jute rug and creamy whites. If you want to get on board with the full pastel package, a springtime favourite, then team mint green with accessories in sugary shades such as lemon and powder pink. Bringing in touches of nature, such as dried grasses, can help to create a connection to the world outdoors.

hbuk september 2022 style 1 botanicals shoothbuk september 2022 style 1 botanicals shootphotography rachel whiting styling hannah deacon direction sarah keady
Green is more interesting than neutrals tones but remains calm and groundingRachael Whiting

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