How to Decorate a Room with Color (While Keeping the Mood Simple and Calm)

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Do you like decorating with color? Or do you prefer neutrals? I appreciate so many types of rooms. I sense the beauty in rooms with primarily neutrals and a serene organic look…and I also feel so happy when I see rooms with fun little pops of color…as well as rooms bursting with color all over!

Perhaps you know you are a tried and true neutral fan, or a color-for-life fan. Or, maybe you’re like me and you love BOTH, so which one should you choose for your own home?

The good news? You don’t have to choose! In my own home, I love to include color, but still strive for an overall sense of calm. I sometimes have a little more fun with color in certain rooms, and then transition into a room with a calmer palette. I also give myself freedom to change things up with my whims!

There really are no rules, so if you love color but see your favorites on the “what not to do list” in any given year, or if someone says the style you love the most is going to be a passing trend, don’t worry!

Ultimately your style should be all about what YOU and your family love for your home.

If you are like me and want to add more color to your home while keeping the overall mood simple and calm…here are a few inspiration rooms along with my design observations and takeaway tips!

This room uses a lighter muted wall color with fun pops of color! Color was brought in through furniture with the sky blue painted armoire and fun orange painted chairs. Accents like a bouquet of cheery sunflowers, green and white patterned pillows and chair cushions, and an orange throw blanket wrap color around the room.

Using neutral elements as well like the eclectic mix of baskets and pottery bring in a natural calm feeling. Whitewashed wood floors keep the whole space light and airy. The connected room is a bright bold blue, but with white paneling below.

This space brings in spring green with the muted green and white patterned wallpaper, dried hydrangeas, a stack of springy beach towels, and landscape artwork. Simple off-white wall trim and wood floors keep the atmosphere calm. Natural texture was brought in with straw hats hanging on simple white peg hooks and the large woven basket! A tiny pop of extra color comes in with a blue ribbon on one of the hats. I love how that one simple touch pairs the color with the neutral texture. Adorable!

This cheery space uses white paneled walls with a bright turquoise painted wood floor. Colorful striped braided rugs, a cheery dresser painted a similar color as the floors, fun colorful rows of books, and a green and white patterned chair. Color was even subtly brought in on the white bedding with blue scalloped trim.

This kitchen has been a fave of mine for awhile now! I love the soft and muted blue/gray cabinets–they add a whisper of color while keeping a distinguished and serene tone. Another tip for adding color subtly in a room is to incorporate warm metals! Notice the brass wall sconces, copper pot and colander, brass hardware, and lanterns. Greenery and a beautiful pot of bright red flowers adds some cheer. Colorful patterns and accessories in the adjoining room make it an all around lively space that is still calm and comforting! LOVELY!

You can certainly bring in color with furniture, but for investment furniture pieces, choosing neutrals can be a wise choice for flexibility and longevity. A neutral sofa has always felt like a classic investment to me. My white slipcovered sofa and leather roll arm sofa (above) have stood the test of time, we’ve had them for years! They’ve allowed me to easily swap out pillows or rugs when I want to change up my look. A pop of cheerful color was added with a less expensive piece (that tufted ottoman!) and of course, the rug adds color and pattern.

If you want to just dip your toe into adding color, check out this kitchen. It’s primarily neutral, but they brought in the same repeated color through blue upholstered barstools, a blue painted island, and a blue accent backsplash behind the stove. There’s even a hint of blue in the pendant lights. You could certainly add more colors to this space if you wanted to, but repeating a few of the same color is a simple place to start!

A neutral backdrop can give you total flexibility to change up your accent colors throughout the seasons, too! You can see some of the paint colors we used in our craftsman home HERE, and more paint colors in our Seattle home HERE.

How do you use color in YOUR home? I’d love to see in our free Facebook community! You can share your homes there, as, decor advice, and get inspired! Join us here.

I share more decorating advice in my books The Inspired Room, Simple Decorating, and “But Where Do I Put the Couch? & Answers to 100 Other Home Decorating Questions.

Related Posts:

A Calm Home (While Decorating with Color and Pattern //// Dignified with a Riot of Color //// Freshen Up for Spring: Green and White //// My Old Laundry Room with a Green Barn Light

You’ll find lots of inspiration in our galleries, I’ll share links to a few of the categories below:

Browse Inspiration by Color

Bedroom Inspiration Gallery

Kitchen Inspiration Gallery

How to Decorate: find inspiration room by room (and browse posts in other categories)

Style Tips (designer advice, home styling tips, how to find your inspired style, mood boards and more)

You can also search anything specific you’re looking for below (just type in the box and click search!)

Source: Style Tips -


Roz Barr designs co-working club Bureau in Greenwich Design District

Cara Mela by Casa Antillón is a dual-colour pastry shop in Madrid