Decorating With Bold Colors

The spaces Maxwell has revamped for Inside Man have all had a major factor in common: bold color. Is is undoubtedly easier and safer to decorate in neutrals — but fear shouldn’t determine the aesthetics of your home! Color can transform a room, making it brighter or cozier, more cheerful or more sophisticated, and it can be a cheap fix for a ‘blah’ interior.

The key to using strong color without overdoing it is to balance the bold with neutrals — white, black, gray, beige, etc. Another decorator trick for balancing color is to use it more than once, picking up the bright wall color in a chair, or a rug, or even a ping pong paddle! Or if you’re especially daring, you can balance saturation with more saturation — the ceiling in Image 9, for example, balances purple with a complementary saffron yellow.

Here is a roundup of inspiration from the Elle Decor online LookBook for adding some color to your neutral interior. What do you think is the best way to decorate with bright, bold colors?

Images: Red: Elle Decor, April 2010; Metropolitan Home, April 2008; Metropolitan Home, April 2008; Orange: Metropolitan Home, May 2009; Yellow: Metropolitan Home, December 2008; Green: Elle Decor; Metropolitan Home, November 2008; Blue: Metropolitan Home, October 2008; Purple: Metropolitan Home, July 2008; Black: Elle Decor, November 2002.

The Inside Man is our guide to interior style for guys. All summer long we’ll be sharing inspirations, ideas and projects. Check out our Inside Man page for more details.