Put Down the Paintbrush: 10 Ways to Add Color Without Painting

published Jul 29, 2014
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Are you a color-lover adrift on an ocean of white? Living in a rental where you’re not allowed to paint doesn’t mean you can’t surround yourself with brilliant hues. Here are ten easy ways to add color without ever picking up a paintbrush.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

1. Go for big, colorful art.
An oversized piece (like the one in the bedroom above, from Okologi, or the living room pictured up top, from Sköna Hem, via Design Milk) instantly brightens a room.

(Image credit: Pablo Enriquez)

2. Hang a colorful tapestry on the wall.
Like this one from Beatrice & Ramsey’s Cultured Echo Park Casa.

(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

3. Use colorful pillows and throws.
As seen in Christina’s Comfortable, Collected Austin Abode.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

4. Or shades in a crazy color, like these malachite ones in a Belgian home spotted on Elle Decor.

(Image credit: Katie’s Hillside Bungalow)

5. Invest in a colorful couch.
The red couch in Katie’s Hillside Bungalow makes the room.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

6. Or a colorful rug.
Like the Turkish kilim in Natalie and Kevin’s Perfect Parkdale Perch.

→ Real Room Inspiration: Adding Color With Rugs

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

7. Upholster a set of dining chairs in a vibrant rainbow of colors.
Image from Nuevo Estilo, via Apartment Therapy.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Or just paint them, as in this interior by Ilse Crawford (via Lauren’s Style Library).

→ Painted Furniture for When You Just Can’t Paint Your Walls

(Image credit: Jaclyn Campanaro)

8. Fill your home with plants.
Like Adam and Ashley did. Green is a color.

(Image credit: Marie Mersier)

9. Cover the back of your bookcases with colorful paper.
Sure, this isn’t a traditional bookcase (it’s a stack of IKEA boxes), but you get the idea. Photo from Marie Mersier.

(Image credit: Nicole Crowder)

10. Combine any of the above strategies for maximum color.
Bonus points go to Alex and Alina for pairing a colorful rug and colorful art in different shades of blue.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Bonus points also go to the creators of this interior (photoraphed by Logan Photography for Period Living), who have combined colorful textiles and pillows and accessories and furniture into a room that, despite being white, is bursting with color.