How to decorate with colour

Bright, bold colours can add a sense of luxury and playfulness. When contemplating colourful home decor ideas, think about how you want your room to make you feel. Oranges and yellows are positive colours that lift the mood, reds and pinks represent love and compassion, purples are associated with creativity and ambition, greens are healing and blues give off peaceful vibes.

But more often than not, we choose a colour simply because we like it or have a key piece of furniture already in that shade. Before you start, take a look at some of these bright ideas…

Colour drenching

Colour drenching is a no-holds-barred approach to decor that takes one colour and runs with it. When you love a colour, why not use it on all four walls – and the ceiling too? To truly embrace the trend, match your sofa, cushions, rug, decorative accessories and wall art, too, but not in matchy-matchy kinda way. Rather than going for everything in the exact same shade, you need to think tonal – lighter and darker blues, for example – to create a sophisticated scheme that’s impactful and engaging.

colourful decor ideas: blue colour drench bedroom painted in Farrow & Ball

Wine Dark modern emulsion from Farrow & Ball

Fun flooring

Bring in bold colour in unusual ways, whether it’s a vibrant front door, painting the inside of cupboards or laying a colourful floor. This vibrant orange vinyl adds a zesty twist underfoot and gives the illusion of flowing down from the island, which is finished in a similar shade.

orange floor and orange island in a white kitchen

True Colours UNI 558 Orange Vinyl flooring from Carpetright

Kitchen splashbacks

An easy way to introduce colourful home decor into the kitchen is to opt for a bold splashback. That way, if you grow tired of the shade, it’s a lot easier to change than if you’ve gone all in with colour-drenched cabinets. Try combining a bold red with a paler pink, or a navy with a sky blue. You can always bring in some white or neutrals to keep it from feeling too overpowering.

red kitchen splashback with pink painted walls and white cabinets

Juicy Red Essentials splashback, from £109 at AluSplash

Colourful bathrooms

Ramp up interest in the bathroom – whether big or small – by introducing a colourful wallpaper in a striking pattern. It’s also a good starting point for the rest of your scheme, as you can pick out one of the colours from your wallpaper for accessories and accents. Check out these five brilliant bathroom wallpaper looks from Instagram.

colourful home decor: pink roll top bath with gold feet, lilac printed wallpaper and green patterned tiles

Pearl’s Dream in Lilac Wallpaper, from £25 for a 1.25m roll, from Catherine Rowe Designs

Fabric fun

You don’t always have to use the boldest colours to make a statement – sometimes it’s more about using colour in a bold way. Enveloping a room in a colourful, patterned wallpaper then using the same print for the fabric on blinds and seat cushions ensures that wow-factor effect.

colouful william morris wallpaper with matching blinds

Fruit wallpaper in Leaf Green/Madder with Fruit fabric in Leaf Green/Madder, both from Morris & Co

Wild wallpaper

Introducing bold colours with a standout wallpaper is not only a good starting point for your decorating scheme, but you can also use it as a way to choose secondary colours, too. For example, if you pick out the strongest or darkest colour in your wallpaper pattern and use it on the woodwork or for furniture, it can help to tie a room together. Or, choose a colour in your paper that’s used the least and pick out for accessories and soft furnishings.

colourful home decor: orange and purple mushroom wallpaper in a retro-inspired home

Fun Guy wallpaper in Burnt Orange & Deep Pink from Lust Home

Wall panels as wall art

Artwork is a great way to introduce colour into your home and makes an easy first step if you’re unsure about painting a whole wall in a bold shade. You can even create your own coloured wall panels, and use cashing colours for the frames, as shown below. This is a great way to brighten up a living room if you’re feeling bold. Find out how to create wall panelling with beading.

colourful home decor

Do colourful home decor ideas get any bolder than this? All colours by Crown Paints

Happy hallway

Dare to be different with colour and create a scheme that’s individual to you. Look for unexpected ways to introduce colourful home decor – stair risers, for example, offer a chance to get creative with paint, tiles or stickers. Bold, eye-popping shades will keep the hall light, bright and fun.

colourful home decor: hallway with sage green panelling plus mustard accent chair and painted stair risers

Cushions from £7; rattan vase, £20; floor lamp, £45. All from George Home

Privacy, but make it fashion

Along with your walls and floors, windows can be a key way to bring colour into a room and can make a surprising stand-out feature. Add shutters, blinds, curtains or window film in your colour of choice, and don’t forget the frames – paint them in a bold shade for maximum effect.

colour film for windows

Blossom printed window film, from £11.50 at Purlfrost

Statement furniture

If you love the idea of colourful home decor but don’t want to over-commit, adding in an bold piece of statement furniture is a good way to go. A pop of colour from a footstool, accent chair, sideboard or bedframe gives you and to the trend, or a springboard from which to build.

Pictured below clockwise from top left:

  • Thompson upholstered armchair in purple, £179.99 from Wayfair
  • Anderson footstool in mustard woven wool, £209 from Cult Furniture
  • Burnt orange round cotton knitted pouffe, £29.99 from
  • Amalfi sage green velvet storage bed, from £649 at Danetti
  • Midi Locker in navy blue by Mustard Made Lockers, £319 from Rose & Grey

colourful furniture

6 colour styling tips:

  1. When planning colourful home decor ideas, remember that colours work best when they work together, so think in terms of a palette, rather than just a single shade.
  2. A colour wheel shows you how colours relate to each other, with 12 basic hues – three primary colours, three secondary colours and six tertiary colours. A colour wheel is a great tool for picking colours to go together, whether you want a tone-on-tone scheme, contrasting vibrant colours or something more subtle.
  3. Colour can affect your mood, so it’s important to get it right. Think about room function and how you want to feel in the space, from relaxed to energised or playful, before choosing your colour scheme
  4. Consider how you want your room to make you feel. If it’s a kitchen, perhaps you want a positive colour that uplifts your mood, like orange or yellow. Or, for a bedroom, a more restful colour such as warm natural stone or oatmeal.
  5. Don’t forget to pay attention to how the lighting in your room will affect its colour – it can have a significant impact on a scheme. Take note of how the light changes throughout the day and adjust your palette accordingly.
  6. Embrace a small room: Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that dark or bold colours can only be used in larger spaces. If you go for a deep colour, choose one in a high gloss to help reflect light around the room and help your chosen colour glow like a jewel.