Don’t hold back — bright, bold colors are on trend and easier to incorporate than you might think.
The next two years are all about the big, the bold, and the beautiful. While neutrals and metallics will always dominate interior color palettes, the new color trends are paving the way for a rise in fearless accents.
Adding pops of color to your home doesn’t have to be a daring feat. Bold hues in a few unique places make a world of difference. Whether it’s a new front door color or a festive case good, let’s dive into a few unexpected ways to use bold color.
Subtle yet significant architectural details — like baseboard trim, molding, and wainscoting — are hidden gems when it comes to adding color in unexpected places.
A move as simple as swapping out a neutral trim for a bold, lacquered shade turns even the tiniest space into a prominent focal point. A new color on the old staircase railing stirs instant conversation with visiting guests, while a bright fireplace mantle breathes in new life.
Don’t forget your home’s exterior: Unique details like brackets, corbels, and hidden soffits are perfect places to add a fun, unexpected color pop. Spring gardening DIY calling your name? Shutters and built-in window planters are easy projects, and great candidates for your favorite fab shade.
Go bold in the bathroom and kitchen
Tubs and sinks — who would ever think that the workhorses of the bathroom and kitchen could be prime real estate for a new splash of color? While avocado-green kitchen sinks are a thing of the past, modern counterparts are taking over the design realm in fun, bold shades.
For a DIY route, paint the underside of a farmhouse-style, wall-mounted sink or vintage clawfoot tub for a fun take on an old classic. Go for tubs and sinks that have lips — they make the new color application look seamless.
Color and case goods
What better way to add an unexpected hue in your space than with a custom case good? Case goods are extremely versatile — use them as a buffet in the dining room, a console in the entry, a dresser in the bedroom, or even a chest in the living room.
While most furniture pieces feature a beautiful, natural stain or a neutral shade, customizing a case good with a vivid hue is a sure way to turn that piece into a showstopper.
If a new case good isn’t in your future, a fresh coat of paint and some fun hardware on a well-loved piece is an easy way to bring new life into an unexpected place. Have fun with an emerald-green buffet in the dining room or a coral console for a festive entrance — whatever shade you choose, it’ll be a unique piece.
Even if you’re an ardent amateur decorator, starting from scratch in a new place can be intimidating. So many white walls screaming out for paint, so much bare hardwood dying for furniture. What’s a new homeowner to do?
Maybe you don’t want to shell out for an interior decorator and besides, you have Pinterest on your side. Hey, you can do this thing yourself, right? All you need to do is follow the rules of the decor road. You know the ones we’re talking about—the nuggets of conventional wisdom like “don’t paint a small room with a dark color” or “avoid mixing metals.”
But not every decor rule should be considered gospel—in fact, some are downright myths. Here, our expert designers clear up nine misconceptions about how you should decorate your home. So get moving and decorate your place already!
Myth No.1: Ceilings must be white
A complementary ceiling color gives a cozy feel. White ceilings might seem like the norm, but they aren’t right for every room.
“White ceilings can actually be distracting if there is no other white in the room,” says Dee Schlotter, the senior color marketing manager for PPG.
Deep-emerald walls look strange with a blazing-bright ceiling. That cheerful yellow you carefully selected for the kitchen seems too bold with the ceiling so stark white. A complementary color—or even a coordinating off-white shade—can prevent distraction, Schlotter says.
Myth No. 2: Everything should match perfectly
The days of matching and monochromatic looks are over. Instead, cohesive coordination reigns supreme. Think: Wood tones, lush fabrics, and colors that harmonize with (not identically match) your walls. Otherwise, you risk dull, monotone decor that bores every visitor who passes through your doors.
“Look at the undertones of the primary color scheme,” says Jill Hosking, an interior designer in Windham, NH. “It does take more time and effort to coordinate versus match, but your room will look and feel more cohesive, chic, and likely will seem to be a better reflection of your personal style.”
Myth No. 3: Less furniture equals more space
You might believe paring down your furniture collection will make your small room feel massive—so there’s more room for activities, right?—but be prepared for some disappointment after the final Craigslist buyer trucks away the love seat. In fact, the empty space feels tiny.
“A fully furnished room will actually make the space feel bigger,” says Megan Hopp, a designer with Homepolish. “It’s counterintuitive, but having the right amount and right-size pieces in a layout will make your room feel bigger, better, and help you breathe a sigh of relief.”
If your massive sectional overwhelms the space, consider sizing down with a new couch—but don’t ditch the seating entirely.
Myth No. 4: Dark walls make a space look small
White or neutral tones aren’t the only shades allowed in a tiny room. Far from off-limits, dark walls can even size up the space.
“Covering all of the surfaces of a room in one color makes it larger,” Schlotter says. Choose a hue that moves you—warm, rich, buttery, soothing—and “envelop the space,” she says. Yes, even the ceiling.
“One unified color fades defining lines, which enhances the coziness of the space and makes it feel larger,” she says.
Myth No. 5: Decor pieces can’t touch
A couch 5 feet from a side table and another 5 feet from the coffee table feels museum-like, not comfy-cozy. And contrary to popular belief, table decor is allowed to slightly obscure your artwork. (It can actually look better!)
“Yes, your lamp can cover the bottom corner of the mirror, and your armchair would love to live in front of your bookcase,” Hopp says. “Just like a sandwich, each ingredient on top of the other makes for a much better recipe than each piece alone.” Bon appetit!
Myth No. 6: You can’t have nice furniture if you have kids
Yes, skip the pricey white leather armchair, unless you’re eager to dress it up with crayon. But you don’t have to ditch all of the expensive and lovely pieces you’ve collected over the years. You can even buy new, elegant furniture that make you happy—even with your rugrats scrambling around.
The key is to choose and position your pieces carefully, and to aim for indestructible materials and finishes. It might seem counterintuitive, but splurging on well-made furniture could end up saving you in the long run. It’s more likely to hold up to years of abuse than the cheap models you think you’re resigned to own.
Myth No. 7: Never mix metals
Gone are the days when it was taboo to mix metals. With the infusion of brilliant golds, brushed nickels, and rich coppers into our decors, designers have found themselves asking: Why limit ourselves to just one? It turns out, you can have it all.
“Mixed metallics is not only a good thing, in my opinion, it’s a better choice than confining yourself and your design to one or the other,” Hopp says.
Some metals, such as copper and gold, contribute warm tones—others (think silver and nickel) are cooler. Together, they create “a healthy balance” that adds texture, glamour, and dimension to your space.
Myth No. 8: Art goes up high
Move that art lower—please, designers plea. Hang your art like a museum does: at eye level. Placed properly, the glory of your collection can be fully appreciated by your guests, who won’t have to crane their necks.
“Try moving your pieces down so as to sit just above the center point of the wall,” Hopp says. “Think about how art looks in a gallery. Follow suit, and bring it down.”
“Only infuse trends into your home if it’s one you truly like and can live with longer than a year,” Hosking says. “It’s unrealistic to paint your walls every year or to add that mirrored chest to the dining room because ‘it’s in.’”
Love a style but hesitant to go all-in on a trend? Consider using smaller pieces to incorporate popular fabrics and styles into your home.
Pillows, throws, and art are easy ways to “infuse a trendy look without breaking the bank or generating buyer’s remorse,” Hosking says. And once you’re tired of the chevron, or the Swiss cross, or the trellis, donate the piece, take a tax deduction, and try something new.
Ready for a revamped bathroom space, but nervous about taking on a big renovation project? These easy updates can give you a whole new look on any budget.
The bathroom is probably the best room in the house for a mini-makeover. When you realize how dramatically, quickly and inexpensively you can completely update the space without an actual renovation, you’ll wonder why you’ve waited so long.
Before you dive in, take a minute to consider what you’re going for in terms of style. Your bathroom should be a peaceful, relaxing space. Are you more soothed by rich, dramatic tones and style, or are you going for a more simple and serene spa-like space? Once you know what you want, take a look at these simple tips for getting the bathroom upgrade you’ve been dreaming of.
This is obviously the place to start, since doing it yourself results in such fast and dramatic change. For the simple and serene look, choose soft and soothing tones to give you a greater sense of space and light. If you’re looking for a rich, dark hideaway, choose warm saturated tones to strike the right mood.
Now choose drawer pulls that keep the style makeover moving forward. They’re available in all styles and at all price points, and this is another big change you can make on your own. Typically, a nickel or stainless finish goes best with the spa look, while oil-rubbed bronze tones will add the richness you’re looking for in a sophisticated atmosphere.
Because our bathrooms are also spaces that our guests may see, keeping them clutter free is essential. Organization is also important for keeping stress on the other side of the bathroom door.
A quick and functional fix here are simple storage cubbies. Stash toiletries, makeup and other beauty and grooming equipment in small caddies that you can pop out and put away easily.
Good grooming requires good light, but when you’re just looking to slip into the tub and relax, you want something softer. Start your lighting makeover with a simple dimmer switch.
Replacing the vanity lighting fixture is easier than you think, too. To keep the job a simple and quick one, simply choose vanity lighting that covers the same space the original fixture did. You can maximize your options, though, if you tackle the lighting when you do the painting.
To take it up one more notch, consider a dramatic piece of statement lighting such as a chandelier or pendant that adds a sense of style.
Shower, sink and tub faucets
Now we’re moving into the updates that really make the space feel new. Look for sink fixtures that offer a little more height over the bowl and length extending into the bowl for the most functional effect.
Then, upgrade to a new showerhead that makes your morning feel anything but routine. A handheld showerhead that ties into the shower arm and can extend from the wall via a hose is another indulgent and functional option.
Mirror and medicine cabinet
Most standard medicine cabinets are not much to look at, and there are now plenty of options that will your replace your current cabinet. A simple beveled mirror version with a plastic wipe-able interior can update a rusted metal version.
But another simple fix if you don’t want to replace the whole cabinet is to build a simple picture-style frame right over your basic wall mirror. Just choose the frame according to the style you’re going for, and make sure the surface is moisture resistant.
Even if you don’t have the most spacious bathroom, this is an amenity worthy of serious consideration. In case you think you just can’t spare the space, you’ll be glad to hear that they also come ready to plug-in or hard wire and hang on the wall.
The final touches
New towels and a fresh bathmat can change the appearance of your bath space with little effort. Pick a monochromatic color scheme to dry off in style, or go all white for the spa-like aesthetic.
For a little added detail, consider monogramming your towels with your initials or “His,” “Hers” and “Guest.” This added touch will make all your efforts well worth the time and consideration of your bathroom update.
We love historic homes for their character, craftsman qualities and charm. Gorgeous windows, beautiful wood floors and detailed moldings. However, today many of us want a more modern lifestyle and furnishings to fit with our personal style. Mid-century modern furniture mixed with vintage rugs and antique pieces, original moldings and stain glass windows juxtaposed against contemporary art and clean lines.
With an eye towards accessibility we asked one of our own talented Elite designers Katie Storey who had recently designed a charming San Francisco home to share 5 tips that will help create that modern flair within a historic home.
Neutral Color Palette
Use a neutral color palette as your base. In this room, I used a neutral wall paint and simple bedding and fixtures to allow the bedroom to feel serene and light. With such beautiful windows I didn’t want to cover any of the detailed molding. The room seamlessly transitions from day to night.
Design with Architecture
Find an architectural detail that grabs you and design into it rather than remove it. Whether it’s stained glass windows, detailed trim, wood beam ceilings or herringbone floors, focus on the existing design elements and play them up. Pair with clean lines and don’t over do it.
Vignettes of Bold Color
Choose your color palette for the space, and stick to it. I like to use neutral, muted, earthy tones and bring in color through vignettes and accessories.
Balance Traditional with Contemporary
When designing multiple rooms, make sure to maintain a balance of traditional and contemporary throughout. I like to mix up furniture and rug styles to give it an eclectic feel. Too many of either style can end up feeling stale and/or scripted – like you just purchased an entire showroom. Diversifying patterns and textures allows for a more original feeling space. It’s your home after all, it should feel authentic.
Less is More
Don’t over design! Don’t be afraid to let a space breathe. Minimal can be just as effective and will allow the finer details of your furnishings to really shine through.
So if you’re feeling inspired and want to refresh and update your own home, then pop over to Katie Storey’s page to start your own room design project today. With Decorist you have fast, professional and affordable design at your finger tips. Happy Decorating!
From stone fireplace surrounds to built-ins, craftsman-style details bring character to a builder-basic home.
The American craftsman architectural style originated (by and large) in sunny California at the turn of the 20th century. It is a distinctive American style that incorporates natural materials and clean lines.
While the exterior of craftsman homes offer details upon details — like columns, exposed beams, and stone work — the interior maintains a clean and simple vibe with hand-hewn elements and a down-to-earth feel.
Adding craftsman-style interior elements is a great way to add warmth to a home, especially new construction. Here are five budget-friendly ways to do it.
Craftsman style is very no-nonsense, so stone is a natural fit in this aesthetic. Stone accents throughout the house add a warm touch, especially on a fireplace surround or as an accent wall.
Stone’s natural beauty is perfect for the fireplace. Add a large wood mantel and decorate with earthy colors to make the fireplace surround a truly craftsman-style masterpiece.
To use stone in an accent wall or backsplash, make sure you choose a color that lends itself to the surrounding areas of the home. Favorite types of stone include slate, honed granite, and soapstone, especially in the kitchen, where it can truly shine.
The craftsman palette pulls straight from nature. This aesthetic puts a focus on simplicity, but not a lack of color.
For this style of home, think mossy green, rusty brown, and clean white. Accent with natural finishes and tones like wood and stone, and make sure to use the colors in different decorative elements, like tiling, flooring, wall covering, and trim.
Clean lines and simple silhouettes are key to accomplishing craftsman style, and built-in shelving is a go-to way of creating this particular look.
Stay away from ornate or overly detailed structure, and opt for a clean and classic shelving unit.
Ample storage arranged in a polished way with built-in shelving perfectly reflects the unique and straight-forward craftsman aesthetic. Inside the built-ins, keep decor simple and neat so the sleek shelving can be the focal point of the space.
Perhaps the most distinctive detail of craftsman style is interior columns, particularly those that are squared off or tapered. This recognizable look can be found on the exterior as well, as it helps support the home in a beautifully simple way.
If your home comes equipped with columns, celebrate them! Keep the decor around them simple, and let the columns do the talking. They are best shown in earthy tones, or a simple, bright white.
Contributing to the uncomplicated aesthetic of craftsman style, statement lighting and task lighting are unfussy and simple. Composed mostly of glass, iron, and bronze, the lighting pays homage to the natural materials used in this classic turn-of-the-century style.
To honor this simplicity, look for straightforward silhouettes that add just a touch of style to a space.
Nod to bygone eras without making your home look like a time capsule.
The era of “Mad Men” has come and gone, but the love of all things retro is here to stay. Not only are vintage pieces a fantastic way to recharge a space, but they can even save you a few pennies.
Here are our favorite ways to add a retro touch without completely dedicating the look of your home to the style.
From mid-century mint to tricycle red, punchy hues give a retro vibe without much effort.
Whether it’s a buttercup-colored KitchenAid mixer or a burnt-orange accent pillow, using more saturated colors associated with eras past will add a distinctly retro character to any room.
Flea market finds
For that one-of-a-kind piece, hit the flea market or your favorite online auction site. Antique steamer trunks are a great modern take on the traditional coffee table (with bonus storage), and old ladders are versatile for hanging linens or stacking potted plants.
If you want the retro look on a smaller scale, invest in quality vintage barware pieces, like a cocktail shaker or champagne coupes for a pop of nostalgia.
Beadboard and paneling
Dip into the Victorian era with the addition of beadboard or wood paneling. It’s fairly affordable, available at most neighborhood hardware stores, and a great way to add character and texture to any home.
Small, overlooked spaces like hallways, laundry rooms, and entryways are perfect candidates for paneling. Paired with a calming color or fun wallpaper, it can add visual interest almost immediately.
You don’t need to outfit your living room like The Jetsons to show your appreciation for fashions past. Simply adding one or two anchor pieces to a room, like a ’70s-inspired sofa or funky accent chair, is an instant nod to nostalgia. With the love of retro in full swing, many companies are re-creating styles from a range of periods.
Distinctly contemporary, the room pictured above incorporates mid-century elements, like a 1942 Noguchi coffee table and mod circular mirror, for a well-rounded but notably retro space.
Lighting, like furniture, is remarkably good at capturing the essence of an era. Use vintage-style industrial pendants for a rustic kitchen feel, or circular mod chandeliers for an instant retro upgrade.
Not ready to invest in permanent fixtures? Edison light bulbs are available in all shapes and sizes, some with LED technology, and can easily be paired with existing lamps, pendants, and sconces.
Sometimes it’s a real challenge to paint window muntins (the wood diving panes of glass) and sashes neatly, and it will be time-consuming if you try to mask out the glass with painter’s tape first.
Here’s a timesaving solution: Go ahead and throw out your painter’s tape!
This is one time when it simply doesn’t matter if your paint job is a bit messy. It’s ok to get paint on the window glass. Just wait for the paint to dry, and then scrape it off easily with a razor blade, for clean, crisp edges.
Pro tip: For best results, scrape up the dried paint soon after it dries, and don’t let it sit for more than a day or so.
Painting behind the toilet
Bathrooms have more tight areas than most rooms, and perhaps the most challenging of all is the space behind the toilet.
This is where a “hot dog” roller comes in. It works just like a regular paint roller, only it’s smaller, narrower and shorter. This is the best tool for painting behind the toilet, but it’s also the perfect tool for painting behind radiators and other fixtures.
In fact, you may find all kinds of tight spaces that your hot dog roller can reach that might have been a real challenge to paint without it.
Pro tip: If you need a longer handle on the roller to get into a particularly tight or high space, you can screw on an extension pole to provide the right amount of reach to get your hot dog roller into the space.
Painting high ceilings and walls
There may be some high areas in your home where a ladder simply can’t go, such as above a staircase. And when you need to paint a wall right up to the ceiling, it’s going to be a challenge.
Perhaps in the past you’ve tried attaching a paintbrush to a pole to reach these high areas. But that can be very awkward, and you might end up creating a mess.
Enter the paintbrush extension tool. Think of it as an extension of your arm, holding your paintbrush right up to the top of the wall in the area where a roller can’t go. And it’s flexible, so you can position your paintbrush in just the right way.
Pro tip: Load your paintbrush judiciously, using less paint than you would if you were painting the wall in front of you. This is one job where you’ll want to take your time to get neat and drip-free results.
Painting high spaces, window trim, and areas behind fixtures are just a few of the areas that might present a challenge when you’re giving your room a makeover with anew paint color.
Follow these tips for painting in tricky areas, and you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to get professional-looking results in your own home.