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Home Decor Tips and Tricks: Using Brightly Colored Accessories In Neutral Spaces

Home Decor Tips and Tricks: Using Brightly Colored Accessories In Neutral Spaces

Decorating a living space seems like a pretty simple and straightforward thing to do, right? You couldn’t be more wrong! While the process is undoubtedly fun, it is by no means an easy feat – especially when it comes to choosing the right colors!

Colors form the framework of your living space. Everything else, the furnishings, the accessories, and the knick-knacks are all added after you’ve decided on a color palette. 

We implore you to go against the herd: Mix bright colors with neutrals!

Sounds daunting, doesn’t it? But don’t worry! Here are a few home décor tips and tricks to use brightly colored accessories the right way in neutral spaces:

Blending Warm And Cool Tones

Aesthetic Home space

Source: AC Vision Design

Bright colors are warmer and neutral colors are cooler. The undertone in warmer colors is between yellow and orange. Whereas the undertone in cooler colors is between blue and purple.

Here are a few examples to better understand the concept:

  •         Beige – Brown – Oak
  •        Pastel Pink – Pink – Hot Pink
  •         Baby Blue – Blue – Navy Blue
  •         Sandy – Yellow – Mustard

The colors we see everyday are usually right in the middle of the color spectrum. So, how can you blend warm and cool tones? You do so by picking colors that go well with one another on the everyday scale.

A few examples include:

  •         Yellow – Blue
  •         Pink – Yellow
  •        Gray – Pink
  •         Purple – Brown

Next, you’ll need to decide which color of the two would serve as your base color or the cooler tone, and which color would serve as the pop, or the accessorial color. 

Adding a Pop of Color

  1. A gray backdrop with an orange picture frame right at the center of the room.
  2. A yellow backdrop with blue furniture.
  3. A pink backdrop with yellow throw pillows.

Remember: Choose colors that work well with one another on any scale!

The Right Percentage

Bright and eye catching living room space

Source: Dots N Tots

Here’s something that stumps a lot of homeowners, and a few novice designers as well: Knowing when to say stop. You see a few things you like and you think to yourself, ‘that would look great in my living space.’ And then, before you know it, your room seems like something out of a whimsical wonderland!

Now, there might not be anything inherently wrong with a whimsical wonderland, but that’s not really where people want to spend every waking second of every day. You need to know when to stop, or when pop or a smidge turns into a full-blown splatter!

The best way to keep track is to make the right estimates – the right percentages. Naturally, you can’t measure out the color. You could, but that’d take the fun out of interior decorating.

Determining Percentages

  • Your walls, ceiling, and floor make up the majority of the room. Consider each one of those surfaces as at least 10% of the overall room. For context: The colors of your walls, ceiling, and floor make up your base colors or just one color.
  • Major furnishings make up between 5% to 7% of the living space. This would mean that the couch, the coffee table, and the mantle could make up between fifteen to twenty-one percent of the room. Throw in a few extra values depending on the size of major furnishings in reference to the room.
  • Minor decorations, frames, décor pieces, lamps, and such, make up between 2% to 3% of the space. This is where you need to add your pop of bright color.

Now, let’s run you through how it’d all come together:

  1. All white walls and ceiling would make up 50% of the room. Or, at the very least, 40% of your space. Your base color is the majority color, and since you have two other colors to sort through, your base color is already in the lead!
  2. Beige or brown major furnishings such as couches, tables, and a few frames would make up another 30% to 35% depending on their size in reference to your room’s dimensions.
  3. You’re now left with between 15% to 20% to dedicate towards the accent color or the bright color against a neutral backdrop and neutral accessories. Try to incorporate blue or pink throw pillows and you’re all sorted.

House Plants Can Do Wonders!

Houseplants in living room space

Source: Livspace

Never underestimate the importance of the humble house plant! Not only do they give you a sense of purpose in taking care of them, but they’re also crucial to make your home feel more earthy, roomy, and homely.

The stark green in the leaves can also work as a bright contrast or a bright pop of color against an otherwise neutral background. You might’ve seen this in many modern homes where the focus is on living minimally and sustainably.

Remember: House plants are only as sustainable as you let them be! They’re a big responsibility and a lot more than just décor items.

Golden Rules of Houseplanting

Here are a few cardinal rules to follow when adding houseplants to your living space:

  • If you’re aiming towards a single pop of color, try to keep the pot of the potted plant the same color as your base color. The green needs to shine, and it would be absorbed with an equally brightly colored pot.
  • Make sure the plants are positioned near the window but spaced apart to give more room to the plants that need more light nearer to the window.
  • Incorporate plants of different sizes, and different types. You could also choose different shades of green.
  • Bonus points for picking plants that have flowers the same color as your base color. It’s a pop within a pop!


Bright colors can work with neutrals – provided that they’re used right! We’ve given you the best design tips there are, and you’ll be using them to create the living space of your dreams in no time! For more design inspiration, and a catalog of lighting elements that’ll go great with it, make sure you check out Light Vault!