This is Your Year for Color! A Step-by-Step Guide to Clobbering Bold Color Fears

This is Your Year for Color! A Step-by-Step Guide to Clobbering Bold Color Fears

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Adrienne Breaux
Jan 14, 2015
(Image credit: Pablo Enriquez)

Do you still fear adding bold color to your home? Make 2015 the year of facing those color fears! Here's our step-by-step guide to ease into working more color into your home. This isn't something that you do overnight, but take these small suggestions one step at a time and you might find yourself boldly going where you've never gone before with color!

Write down your never-in-a-million-years bold color home fantasies

What would you do if you could do anything? If you didn't have other people to think about when compromising on design? If you didn't have any color fears? Just write down your craziest color ideas that you don't have the guts yet to try out — it's good to get these color fantasies out on paper. Maybe it's painting an entire room — ceiling and floor, too — a bright pink. Perhaps you're a renter, but you've had fantasies of painting your bookshelves chartreuse. Just really let your imagination go wild on this step.

Desensitize and get inspiration

Are there any really colorful museums, restaurants, stores or friend's homes that feature lots of color? Spend more time in those places. Don't just look at colors in photos, magazines and on Pinterest — go out and see color in real life. You can have a much more intense connection with a hue in the wild than you can on a page or a screen, and you might find you lose a little fear when you see it out existing successfully. Bonus step — if you fall in love with a color out in the wild, ask someone what it is! You might get a hue to play around with that you know you love.

Start small with a color in your existing color palette

Take it easy to start. Pick a color that already exists in some way in your home and then buy or DIY a small, not-so-scary accessory that's a bold version of that color. Place it somewhere prominently. Get used to the feeling of bold color in your home.

Next do something small with a color not in your existing color palette

One of the most common "color mistakes" you see in homes is rooms that only have like, two colors in them. Three at the most. That will make for a room that doesn't clash with itself, but can be a bit boring. A way to shake that up? Add a small object you buy or DIY into a room that's a color that is nowhere else in the space. It can be permanent or temporary (so flowers totally count) but it'll be jarring to the whole room's composition, and shake you a bit out of your color comfort zone.

Take to a furniture piece

Add a small bit of color to something a little more substantial now. It could be a stool, a chair or other a furniture piece. Make it a small bold pattern. Or just a splash of color on an edge. A flash of color in a throw pillow or blanket. Make it a bigger bit of color than the colors you played around with above (and more permanent, too).

Find a surprise spot

Now find a spot in your home that could surprise you with color, but not a place that's always visible and in-your-face. The insides of a kitchen cabinet. The lining of a drawer. The end of a long hallway. Make it a spot you don't see all the time, but that when you do, will make quite the lasting impression when splashed with a bold color! This will be a way to play with color in a spot you don't have to be confronted with every day, and the surprise will keep it lighthearted, fun and experimental. In fact you might find that you start adding color in even more spots after you try one — you'll start losing that fear of bold color because you'll be applying it in spots you know you can close the door or drawer too if it gets too intense!

Now look back on your dream list and see if anything feels more in reach

Now go back to that dream bold color list you constructed earlier. Do any of those kind of crazy ideas seem less crazy? Jump on that feeling. And leap into trying something before you talk yourself out of it!

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