Decorating with colour - 10 ideas

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After the outlandish decor of the 80s, the minimalism of the 90s and the shabby chic of the early naughties, it's time to take a new approach to your home design. Bold colour is making a come back and is slowly reappearing as a must-have trend for any room.

Bright colour can completely rejuvenate a tired room, so be brave with your new design and choose something you might not have tried before.

You don't have to cover a whole room in colour to achieve a new look. Instead, choose one area to highlight. Painting or papering a chimney breast in a bright hue is a clever way to use an expensive paint colour or roll of wallpaper without breaking the bank.

You can also use vibrant colour to open up a small or dark space. A basement room will benefit from a lovely pop of sky blue all over the walls and ceiling, creating the feeling of wide open space. Accessorise with a brightly coloured chandelier and blonde wood fittings or furniture for a fun and quirky take on the trend.

But being bold with colour doesn’t have to mean choosing a bright hue. Deep colours can be just as inviting and will contribute to creating a decadent style, especially in a bedroom. Choose dark plum tones, teamed with pale pink and white to give your bedroom an opulent boudoir feel. Just a splash of plum, on well-chosen floral wallpaper, will be all you need to completely overhaul your room. Stick to the lighter hues on your bed to brighten the room – a lightly coloured floor will also complement the dark walls.

1/10 Living room with turquoise chimney breast

room with wooden floor and cream wall

(Image credit: TBC)

If you want to make a statement in your living room then try painting the chimney breast a vibrant turquoise, to give a unique focal point.

Paint colour
Graham and Green

2/10 Plum and pink wallpaper in hotel-style bedroom

bedroom with plum and pink wallpaper and grey bed

(Image credit: TBC)

Decorating with colour doesn't necessarily mean painting - you can add splashes of colour with a well chosen wallpaper. Try a decadent plum and pink floral paper in your bedroom for a boudoir feel.

Graham & Brown

3/10 Modern living room with books displayed by colour

living room with book shelves and blackboard

(Image credit: TBC)

Adding space-saving ideas to your home doesn't mean you can't also add some colour. Try arranging books, in a large bookcase, in rainbow colours for an eye-catching and quirky display in the living room.


4/10 Pale blue kitchen with chalkboard wall

kitchen with blue wall and chandelier

(Image credit: TBC)

A basement or dark kitchen can be brought to life by painting the walls and ceiling a lovely sky blue. Accessorise this with a funky, colourful chandelier and you'll have a bright, cheery room. Try painting a wall in chalkboard paint, great for entertaining the kids or the weekly shopping lists.

Chalkboard paint

5/10 Red and white dining room

dining room with burgundy wall and dining table

(Image credit: TBC)

Instantly add some warmth to your dining room by painting it a deep red. Add a white and pale wooden table with matching chairs to keep the look fresh and not too dark.

Table and chairs
Hampshire Furniture

6/10 Green kitchen with pops of colour

kitchen with wooden floor and flower pot on table

(Image credit: TBC)

Balance stylish white kitchen units with apple-green walls, which will stop the room looking too stark. Add in some extra pops of colour with bright chairs around a plain wooden dining table.


7/10 Wallpapered chimney breast

bedroom with fireplace and mirror on wall

(Image credit: TBC)

If you love a wallpaper design, but it's too expensive to use on a whole wall, restrict it to a smaller area such as a chimney breast. Great for updating your bedroom, pick out tonal colours from the design and accessorise with them.


8/10 Turquoise sofa with patterned feature wall

living room with wallpaper and blue sofa

(Image credit: TBC)

Don't be afraid to go for bright furniture, especially in a light or all-white room, such as a living area. A turquoise sofa and patterned chair are complemented by a strking feature wallpaper.

Sofa Workshop
Wallpaper Direct

9/10 Bathroom with pink painted walls

bathroom with pink and white colour

(Image credit: TBC)

Pastel pink may not be the first colour that springs to mind when decorating a bathroom, but it can add a sense of space and light to a small room, as well as complementing a white suite.

Johnson Tiles

10/10 Modern kitchen with bright blue backdrop

kitchen with wooden floor and crockery

(Image credit: TBC)

Try decorating a modern kitchen by painting the walls a bright blue. This eye-catching choice works well with white units with walnut tops, and makes the accessories stand out even more on open shelving.

Little Greene
Kitchen units
Laura Ashley

Like these decorating ideas? Find plenty more help and advice on the Style at Home website