Bring Color Into Your Home: Adding Flavor to an Otherwise Neutral Room Without a Drop of Paint

Neutral Room


Does living within walls of white go against every fiber of your being? Perhaps your rental lease forbids painting the walls the vibrant colors you love. Maybe you plan to put your condo on the market soon and have heard a neutral palette is better for attracting buyers. Yes, sometimes life has a way of placing restrictions on us, but it need not stop you from adding a splash of color to an otherwise neutral room Curl up on your couch with a home decor magazine or two or fire up your laptop and you’re bound to come away with a mélange of ideas.

Apartment Therapy recommends going to the source of the problem, that bland living room wall staring you in the face. Choose a painting, a tapestry, even a throw rug or a plush or velour wrap—just choose a large enough piece to introduce a big, bold splash of color onto the wall space. Now consider adding a puddle of color with a rug of the same bright hue, and texturize the color scheme with a scattering of throw pillows of various fabrics and patterns that either match or compliment the color. Felicidades, now you’ve got a color scheme!

The HGTV website presents a fascinating 60-30-10 color scheme based on the premise that we humans tend to perceive the 60% color portion as unifying, the 30% as visually interesting, and the 10% as adding a sparkling splash of bling. If you can’t make a drastic change to your walls, start by looking at the colors in the largest pattern in the room. For example if your sofa is burnt orange, taupe, and crimson, you can make burnt orange the 60%, taupe, the 30%, and crimson the 10% and go to work finding pillows, decorative art, sculptures, rugs, vases, picture frames and the like to fill out the scheme—even book spines will do.

Better Homes and Gardens suggests combining color and memories. Go through your vacation photos and choose several of the most vibrant nature photos. Find a service that specializes in blowing them up and putting them on canvas. Voilá! You have a colorful, arresting grouping of color to adorn your wall.

Speaking of Mother Nature, bring her in, making living plants part of your living space, not just on the window sill, but as points of focus. Large flower arrangements, graceful ferns, fiddle leaf figs, citrus trees, and exotic orchids whether on coffee tables, mantles, or even in fireplaces add refreshing patches of color.

If you still feel you can’t stand the walls, there’s always removable wallpaper. Get creative with your space despite any limitations your landlord or realtor may enforce, and you’ll soon find yourself feeling more at home than ever, basking in the colors you love. And if your situation changes, allowing you to paint the walls, be sure to check out our guide for choosing paint colors.




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