Many of my clients come to me with questions about which colors to use in their homes. They get stuck in the neutrals rut, and they are not alone! A lot of homeowners steer clear of using bright colors in their homes because there’s a bigger risk involved, rather than sticking with a more neutral palette.

Sometimes we want some color in our lives. Colors can boost our mood. They have the power to make us feel energized, (like the above image, Benjamin Moore Soft Glow 014) or relaxed- color can even promote creativity. 

Using bright colors in your space can bring it to life and inject some personality into it too. But how can you use bright colors at home in a way that is tasteful? Today I am going to be answering this very question! And explain more about how you can use bright colors in your home.


Choosing the Right Color


Before you can determine where you should use a bright color in your home, you should think about which colors you’d like to use. It’s no use to use every bright color you can think of in your home because it will look like a hot mess! Ideally, you want to introduce bright hues of color throughout your home so it looks cohesive.

It’s important to do some research to gather some inspiration on which bright colors have been used that you love the look of. While it may be more straightforward to swap and change decorative accessories, you don’t want to be re-painting your spaces every couple of years! So being completely in love with the bright color you select is incredibly important.

If you’re looking for the color to give off a certain emotion or feeling, color psychology will be worth considering… 

Red gives off excitement, energy, and love, while Orange evokes confidence, success, and bravery. 

Yellow provides warmth, happiness, and creativity while Green gives off a fresh feeling, healing, and hints towards nature. 

Blue provides trust, peace, and loyalty, and Pink feels sophisticated and sweet. 

Purple feels luxurious, gives off royalty and ambition. Brown on the other hand is rugged, dependable, and simple.

Then you have Black that can feel dramatic, sophisticated, and formal. And White gives off a clean, simple, and honest feel.

A deep hue of any of the above colors will make a space feel more sophisticated and formal. But if you’re looking to show a fun and playful side then going for a lighter or brighter shade will certainly do just that!

Sometimes though, the inspiration for using a particular bright color can come from other things. Perhaps you have a painting or art print that you absolutely love – does it contain some bright colors that you could use for the rest of the space?

Choosing the right bright color to use in your space can seem like an impossible task. But by researching on Pinterest and Instagram you can discover creative ways other homeowners have used bright colors in their homes too. Sometimes the simplest solution – like the navy blue feature wall shown here – Sherwin Williams Indigo 6531- makes the most impact.


Where to Use Bright Colors


You can use bright colors almost anywhere in your home. The only place we would recommend to avoid using bright colors is the foyer, unless it is paired with neutral wainscotting or paneling and is applied to half or a third of the wall surface.

Bright colors are best suited for creating feature walls in the home. This could be in the dining room, living room, family room, bedroom, or the home office even. I love using bright colors for feature walls in my client’s homes because they add a dramatic and exciting look that is also unexpected.

If you absolutely love one particular color you can definitely paint an entire room in it, but be thoughtful about which room it is! You may want to keep this for a room that is just for you, such as a home office, playroom – somewhere that isn’t regularly used by the entire household.

You should also use your selected bright color for the decorative accessories within the room too. This helps to create a cohesive color scheme for the room and brings the whole room together. Use pillows, throw blankets, vases, and rugs to do this.

Alternatively, you can also use your bright color for accent furniture pieces. For the kitchen or dining room, you could introduce this bright color into your dining chairs or counter stools through the upholstery fabric. In the living room or bedroom, you could use this bright color again through an accent or feature armchair.

Lastly, you could introduce a bright color to your kitchen cabinets or bathroom vanity unit. This is a warmly welcomed pop of color to spaces that are traditionally very boring and bland (all-over white bathrooms and monochrome kitchens). By painting some of your kitchen cabinets or bathroom vanity in a bright color, you can break the monochrome up and add some personality to the spaces. What’s there not to love?

Use a bright color in your bathroom or kitchen by painting your cabinets in a different color. (Benjamine More Blue Nose 1678 shown.) This creates an unexpected interior and breaks up the black and white of a traditionally monochrome interior.


Anchor the Color with Neutrals


Whenever you introduce a bright color into your space, you should anchor this with a good set of neutral colors too. This could be through the furniture used, such as a sofa or coffee table or lighting pieces. You can also anchor the space by painting the trim cohesively with the rest of the house and use neutral decorative pillows to balance out all the color. 


Stick to a Color Scheme


So you’ve decided on the bright color you want to introduce to a space… Now you should consider what other colors will complement this aside from the neutrals mentioned above.

What works really well for bright colors is to choose a contrasting color to work with it. For example, if you’ve chosen bright blue you may want to consider either pink or orange to set the blue off nicely. Then pair this with some neutrals like black or cream. This will really help to create a consistent and sophisticated scheme even with bright colors!


Once you have selected the bright color you wish to use in your space, choose a contrasting color to work with it in smaller amounts. In this example, yellow (Benjamin More Firefly 299) has been chosen as the main bright color but is supplemented with green through the indoor plants. White, cream, and light brow act as the neutral anchors.


I hope this blog post gives you some added confidence for using bright colors at home! Have you chosen to use bright colors in your home? Or perhaps nervous about using them? I’d love to hear your thoughts and fears on this topic in the comments below.