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Tips to Pump Up Your Interior with Color Accents by Libby Langdon

Punches of color perk up your space and give it personality. Discover how to pump up your interior with color accents.

Punches of color perk up your space and give it personality. You can add a hit of color anywhere in a room in a number of ways. I like to think of accents as low-commitment color you can achieve a big impression with a quick color hit. Plus you can easily change these accents when you want a fresh look.

Libby's Low-Commitment Color Hits:

Consider painting certain walls or pieces of furniture, such as end tables or the back of shelving units as this can be an extremely effective technique.  You can also easily create accents with fabrics—headboards, pillows, bedspreads, area rugs—as well as with wallpaper.

  • I encourage people to paint one accent wall in a room a bold color and paint the other three walls a neutral tan.  A tan color helps balance the bolder-colored wall while adding more life than simple white or off-white walls can—it looks more deliberate.  This adds some punch and a hit of color without closing in your space.  Good candidates for accent walls are those with a fireplace, a bed, or a sofa.  You want to make that wall the visual focus of the room.
  • If you really don’t love color (or you’re renting and aren’t allowed to paint), consider painting all four walls a neutral tan or a pale gray. Tan has more zip to it than white or off-white.  It also creates good contrast, making artwork and furniture really pop.  Tan also adds more dimension than white or off-white, but it remains neutral enough to mix well with all colors.  If you are truly terrified to use color, go ahead and leave your walls white and light (although I’m secretly encouraging you to put even the palest color on your wall to add some personality to your space). You can easily change the look of your room in a matter of minutes by adding colored accessories, artwork, and china.  
  • The most commonly used accessory in spaces is artwork; it adds life and style to a room without using up valuable square footage. It may seem counterintuitive, but big visuals actually work well on walls in a small space.  They add height, scale, and dimension. Also, keep in mind that one lonely picture on a wall can call attention to the lacking square footage of your room.  So hang large and small pieces together to create a grouping, or choose oversized artwork.
  • Some people think in symmetrical terms, and if they have a vase on one end of the shelf, they feel they have to have another vase on the other end. This type of styling can give a room a robotic feel.  Instead, consider balancing the vase with a stack of books, some candlesticks, or a green plant.
  • The trick to arranging items like a pro is to think in terms of threes—two vases on a shelf are too little, four vases are too many, but three vases are just right! Also, mixing three objects in varying heights balances the scale and looks chic. Items can range from pillar candles to vases to books; these objects will help make your space look more like a home. Just don’t go overboard, because you don’t want it to look cluttered; a little styling goes a long way!  

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