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Home Improvement

Your Interior Design Guide: How to Add Accent Colors

When your space is looking flat and dull, turning to some interior design trends can add a burst of energy or sense of calm. A punch of red on a dining room accent wall will make anyone hungrier. And lighter touches of paint and patterns can breathe new life without requiring a significant investment.

Are you curious to find out how the color wheel can help your interior design skills? Read on to learn how to add accent colors!

Keep It Cool to Keep It Calm

Accent colors don’t have to be intense. In fact, painting your interior walls in cooler colors or tones can add interest without making you anxious. Stick with cool colors that derive from blue.

A blue-gray bedroom wall, for example, will help you feel relaxed and sleepy at night. A set of baby blue lamps or a throw in navy draped across your herringbone sofa will add touches of elegance.

Blue wallpaper featuring different tints and shades of the same hue will be soothing. Or, for a little more drama, introduce a navy wall in an otherwise neutral living room. Hang a gold-framed mirror against it for a statement wall, and place some navy pillows on your wing chair for balance.

Consider Undertones Before Choosing Accent Colors

If you’re surrounded by neutrals, it’s wise to examine the undertones of the colors first. Yes, even off-white has some nuance. And you’ll notice this if you’ve ever compared paint swatches featuring variations on white.

Are your neutrals warm or cool? Do they favor rosier undertones or peachier ones? When you can identify which ways your neutrals skew, you can determine which accent colors work best.

And are the accent colors you’re considering warm or cool? A blue that has rosier undertones will be warmer than one that favors green. Similarly, yellow can look more acidic or it can appear rich and intense.

For warmer undertones, you might want to play off the sense of warmth and choose throw pillows, rugs, or pictures in yellows and oranges. You’ll enhance the sunniness of a room even if you’re in the middle of a cold winter.

Alternatively, you can create some contrast by opting for a cooler accent wall next to a neutral wall with warmer undertones. Before painting your interior, test some options first!

Go with Bold Color Trends

Bolder can be better if it’s your preference when it comes to color trends. Choose more saturated versions of your color wheel favorites for ultimate impact. And aim for contrast in value to maximize the boldness factor.

In a kitchen with checkerboard floors, introduce an aqua backsplash to create a vintage style. Or in your dining area, make a retro Formica table in fire-engine red the centerpiece of the space. Some yellow placemats and festive dishes will make the space lively.

Consider colors that reflect your favorite seasons, too. Pumpkin, green, and purple can work well together as split-complementary colors. And these paint colors can give you the ideal fall color scheme so every day feels like harvest.

Be aware that any color that’s devoid of gray can look bold. And when you place those colors in a room with lots of gray, you’ll amplify their intensity.

Monochromatic Can Be Anything But Boring

Not interested in bold accent colors? You can still improve your space even if you limit yourself to one base hue or color. This refers to using a monochromatic color scheme.

For instance, you can choose variations on one blue paint and assign different values to your sofa, chairs, pillows, and area rug. You’ll be guaranteed cohesion in the final result. And for a little more flair, you can mix cooler blues with warmer blues.

Alternatively, you can stick with neutrals if you don’t want to risk clashing colors. A deep beige wall can be the perfect backdrop for a white sofa. Then paint your other walls in a neutral that sits between the sofa color and accent wall color.

Analogous colors are another option when you’re developing an interior design strategy. This type of color scheme involves choosing neighboring hues on the color wheel. It’s a step up in variety from a monochrome scheme, but still harmonious.

Don’t Get Too Dark Downstairs

Don’t overlook your basement as prime real estate for accent colors. Even if you don’t have a properly finished basement, you can still inject some color trends to make it a functional space without gouging your budget. And if your basement was finished 30 years ago, some accent colors might make the fake wood paneling look better.

Just don’t opt for very dark values of colors. Unless you have a walkout basement or one with deep window wells, you’re probably relying on artificial light. A sage accent wall might look great in your well-lit dining room, but it may look dark and drab in the basement.

Go with lighter tints of blues and oranges to add some complementary contrast. Or introduce a shag rug in pink with some lilac throw pillows on a gray loveseat for a fun and edgy look. Steer clear of using big stretches of deeper colors like navy or brown.

Spruce Up Your Interior Design

When you start investigating accent colors, you’ll see that there’s no right choice. For a calmer ambiance, stick with monochromatic or analogous hues from the color wheel. But if you want to be bolder, intensify the saturation and add some patterns to the mix.

For more interior design tips to keep you trending, check back for new articles.

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