Trend talk: IH's Style Editor shares the colour trends to try now

Ideal Home's Style Editor Nicky zones in on decorating trends of the moment, from colour drenching to neon

Bold green dining room with white pedestal dining table and pendant light
(Image credit: Little Greene)

When it comes to using colour, decorating trends come and go, which is why finding out the design know-how behind the latest home decor trends is key. If it's a trend you're keen to jump on, we've got the advice you need to help you work it like a pro. 

And it's not only about the trends in terms of the shade you're picking, so these decorating ideas aren't only about your choice of colour. There are creative new ways to use colour in your home whatever the shade, from colour drenching to painted panels or arches.

Here we cover a few of the newest trends for decorating with colour that are on our radar, with tips and advice on how to make them work for your space.

So whether it's a hot colour combination, or the newest living room colour schemes on the block, we're here to give you the trend talk you need.

Decorate with neon brights

Bold living room with dark floral wallpaper, yellow sideboard and accent armchairs in blue and pink

(Image credit: Lola Designs)

Lately I’ve been seeing so many fabric and wallpaper companies steering towards vivid neon brights. Perhaps they’ve been influenced by fashion’s love of hot pink this summer or just the fact that we’re all craving a bit of bright colour to perk us up after two years of being utterly miserable. Wherever it stems from, bold vivid prints - particularly florals - are popping up everywhere in homeware. 

I must admit, these neon brights do scare me a little, but having seen them so much in fabrics and wallpapers, I’m coming around to the idea of using them more. 

Animated pull quote on colour use

(Image credit: Future)

The trick to working them into a scheme is to pick a wallpaper of a fabric to use in a large area of a room, say curtains, or a sofa or feature wall. Choose a fussy pattern set against a black or navy background as this will elevate the bright shades into a more grown up look (rather than a teenage bedroom idea). 

Avoid too many graphic shapes and hard surfaces though - this will make your scheme feel quite cold and unhomely. You need plenty of curved shapes and edges, velvets, florals and even linen to keep the look soft. Use colours from the print in blocks around your space - an upholstered yellow chair here, a blue painted side table there… Just make sure they colour match with the print to ensure a co-ordinated scheme. 

Need more inspiration? Divine Savages and Rockett St George are great champions of this look - I know I’ll be looking to them for ideas for my next decor project!

Dive into colour drenching

Bold green dining room with white pedestal dining table and pendant light

(Image credit: Little Greene)

Not for the faint hearted - or at least, the colour shy - the art of stretching one single paint shade onto multiple surfaces is called colour drenching. A next step up from decorating in tonal shades, colour drenching in one solid hue makes a bold style statement without sacrificing on elegance. As well as creating impact in a scheme, drenching has the added benefit of being suitable for any space, large or small. 

Using one colour for walls and woodwork (and even ceilings!) blurs the traditional boundaries of a room, making the walls recede and allowing the furniture and accessories in the space to take centre stage. As with all painted walls, the colour will change depending on the time of day and the amount of light the room gets, so don’t be put off by the idea that it will look too samey.

Animated pull quote on colour drenching

(Image credit: Future)

Try it in your home by expanding an already painted section of wall out into adjacent woodwork with the same shade. Paint window frames, skirting and/or doors in exactly the same paint, both colour and finish - as used on the walls. Alternatively, go bold and choose a whole new paint colour in an eggshell finish. And the best bit? Since a neat finish isn’t required when you’re painting everything in one block colour, you can throw caution to the wind and put your masking tape back in your tool box!

Open up to painted arches

Purple bedroom with magenta painted arch in front of a black dressing table

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

I love how simple it is to transform any room in your house using nothing but a tin of paint; it’s the perfect way to make a big impression with a little budget.

And painting an arched panel to give the impression of wall architecture or make a look-at-me feature in a room where there isn’t a natural focal point, or the walls are devoid of original character, is one of my favourite decorating tricks. Plus it’s easy to achieve, and it's a great idea for what to do with leftover paint

Animated pull quote on painted arches

(Image credit: Future)

Start by using a pencil, tape measure and spirit level to draw a panel on your wall where you want your arch to be. Measure where the middle of your panel is, about one quarter of the way down from the top and use masking tape to attach a length of string half the width of your panel with a pencil tied to one end, to that middle point. With one hand hold the string in place and with the other, pull the string taut and draw a curve from one side of the panel to the other to create the top of your arch. Carefully use a paintbrush along the curved arch but a roller to fill the middle.

Nicky Phillips

Nicky Phillips was the Style Editor of Ideal Home from 2010-2022. Nicky is an interiors journalist and stylist who has worked for some of the UK’s leading interior magazines for over 25 years. A stint as Associate Editor on Ideal Home in 2000 led to her becoming Deputy Editor of Livingetc in 2002, eventually leaving to have her three children and to start her interior design business @Stylingatnumber42, before returning to Ideal Home as Style Editor in 2010. Nicky has styled and art directed over 300 shoots for Ideal Home magazine to date.

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