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Instant Style with Solid Colors

Decorating with Solid Color is easy and funColor. It’s arguably the strongest design element and the one people pay the most attention to. Often we find colors put together in patterns, and that can make that single object or textile exciting. But what if we forget about pattern for a moment? What happens if we just use color in its solid form in a room. The result is an exciting room. Read on to see how you can achieve instant style with solid colors.

These days I get inspiration from unexpected sources: Play-Doh, crayons, YouTube… Life with a 3 year old means constantly being surrounded by color. Solid, happy, bright colors.

So that’s kind of where this post originates from; the beauty of pure color, as I’ve been reminded daily by Jack. I generally tend toward neutrals and soft color, but lately I’ve been enjoying brighter and warmer hues. I’m really liking this palette – like a California sunset:

c3d2cc713a7524c9d0fd942f2123afc2Source: Lievore Altherr

In 2016 we all went to the the White Side – all white kitchens, white subway tile, stark white walls, white shag rugs. Don’t get me wrong, I love bright neutral spaces, but COLOR adds a level of fun, playfulness, and youthful energy that white just can’t do.

One look I love, and one that I believe anyone can easily do, is decorating with solid colors.

Client: Plascon. Agency: LBCD, Cape Town. Shoot: Colour Forecast Campaign 2013. Location: Cape Town, South Africa. Photographer: Mark Williams. Stylist: Cathy O’Clery. Creative Director: Laurence Brick. 25/04/13 to 08/05/13.

Source: Plascon


Source: astep


Decorating with solid colors means you can simply put colors together without paying attention to “what matches” or rules about mixing small-scale patterns with large-scale patterns. Forget using patterns altogether with this technique. This is an approach I like to recommend to just about anyone because it’s so easy. All you do is put together a few colors you enjoy in a space and add dimension with texture instead of multi-colored patterns. One piece of art can add another layer of visual interest.

For example, wall paint is color A. Throw pillow is a solid color B. Curtains are a solid color C. Console table is painted color D. All different colors. One bold and fun result.

Client: Plascon. Agency: LBCD, Cape Town. Shoot: Colour Forecast Campaign 2013. Location: Cape Town, South Africa. Photographer: Mark Williams. Stylist: Cathy O’Clery. Creative Director: Laurence Brick. 25/04/13 to 08/05/13.

Source: Plascon

118_UdA_Metaphysical Remix_Ripamonti (12)Source: UdA


Source: Camilla Molders Design

28d844af47bc805e048ca1ae1d6cdd47Source: knstrct


Us interior designers are always asked about things “going” together. Does a brass light fixture “go” with brushed nickel door hardware? Does a traditional chair “go” with a modern dining table? Does a cool family paint color “go” with a warm family wood finish. From my experience, if the pieces are pretty and placed in the right spot with regard to proportion – just about anything can work together.

Take an orange sofa, a blue lamp, and a berry-red rug and you’ve got a room. Instant, happy, style.

Ideas for decorating and designing with an orange sofaDo the colors match? Nope. But they look great together. I’ve put together a few collections of color combinations by room that look great.

Here’s a delightful kitchen using shades of yellow, green, and red.

Ideas for a bright happy retro kitchen using yellow, green, and red colors and a yellow Smeg refrigerator

I’m going to call this combination the “V” scheme. The tile is a Viridian green. The clock is in a Vermillion red. The Smeg fridge is a Vibrant yellow! Start with these three saturated colors and add softer shades like rose quartz and olive green. If you want to know where these exact pictured items are from and I don’t have a link, ask a comment below. I was going to add all the links but noticed that some of them are no longer available. Quite a few of these items are on my pinterest board. I do have a link to the dark green artwork pictured here, which is a print from Etsy.

Here’s a simple living room that starts with a white sofa and white walls and adds pops of bright pink, orange, and blue.

Ideas for a bright happy living room using bold colors pink orange blue and mint

I like this. Let’s call this the “P” scheme. The rug is a Persian blue. The pillows are Passion Pink and Papaya. The wall sconce is Pistachio. Okay, it might be a stretch to find color names starting with the same letter. The pillows are more of a Wineberry and Burnt Orange.

Here’s a sophisticated dining room scheme using dusty lavenders, yellow, and green.

Ideas for using color in dining room decor with yellow, purple, and green

Here I have a Chiffon Mist wall covering and Sugar Plum rug. A glossy white dining table is paired with Beetle green chairs. The paint color is Lemon Grove by Benjamin Moore which would be a great color on a bar cart. The chandelier is from Niche Modern in smoke.

Next is a bedroom combination using wine purple, butter yellow and stone blue.

Ideas for using colors plum, purple, yellow, and blue in bedroom decor with an upholstered headboard

Here, the headboard is a plum color and is the statement piece. This particular one is really inexpensive from Joss & Main. The wall covering is the same as the dining room scheme above to compliment the richer plum color. The lamp is a butter yellow and is nice with this artwork and two pillows: yellow and stone blue (which I later noticed is actually not a solid but a small print…sorry)

Finally, a really great retro-inspired bathroom combination. See what I mean? White subway tile and black hex tiles need to move over! This would be so fun in a girls’ bath.

Fun retro bathroom concept idea using mint, yellow, plum colors and penny tile and mint green bathroom sink

Start with a mint green sink, soft clay encaustic tile which I think could go on the floor in this scenario (I was surprised this color way from Cle is called mocha; it makes me wonder what these colors will look like on your screen), a bright yellow wall sconce, and plum colored bath mat. The white penny tile would be great in a shower.

The bathroom and kitchen combinations are definitely for someone on the more adventurous side while the bedroom scheme is more traditional. The dining room scheme speaks luxury while the living room with the white sofa is totally L.A. You can take this idea of decorating with solid colors in different ways, and it’s a refreshing change from the white/black/brass trend.

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