The traditional advice on adding color if you’re timid about it is to keep it at the accent or 10 percent level and add it in accessories—throw pillows, rugs, curtains, and so on. This is a fine approach, but it’s possible to be a little bolder while still keeping things at a level you can live with. One great way to add color is to put it in transitional areas—parts of the house where you don’t spent all of your time so you aren’t always surrounded with the color but you can still see it often enough to enjoy it.
Here are a few ideas for using color in transitional spaces:
Pick a color that you’re already using as an accent in a main room, maybe something from a favorite rug or piece of art—and use it to spice up an adjoining hallway. On the walls or on the floor are both options here.
Remember that transitional spaces can also be rooms that you walk past more often than you walk through—laundry rooms often fall in this category and they can be some of the most fun to spice up. Again, one of the best approaches is to use an accent color found in another room to tie things together visually, but laundry rooms can also be great places to experiment with bright pops of color. As an example, if the walls in your home are predominantly a warm beige, a sunshine yellow or even a bright orange can be great on either walls or cabinets. If your washer and dryer already add an accent color to this room, perhaps choose a color that plays off them.
Nooks or wall recesses, which are often located along hallways or near entries to main rooms, are also great spots for adding color and especially so if you’re using them to display artwork. This approach can work especially well with darker pieces with some substance—think a dark brown or black sculpture or pottery—as the contrast between dark and bright balances and grounds the space.