Conventional wisdom says that you can’t use bold color or pattern in small spaces. It makes the room look smaller, feel like it’s closing in on you or make the space look chaotic. But this isn’t true at all.
Bold color and pattern actually do the opposite. They enliven the room, draw the eye up and push the walls out. But before you go crazy and start putting color everywhere you gotta keep a few things in mind when taking the plunge into using bold color.
Ground bold colors with neutrals
One way to keep bold colors from getting out of control is by keeping the grounding pieces (seating, bookcases, cabinets etc.) neutral and adding color in between.
In this room they kept all the heavy pieces white and added color via the textiles and wall paint. Another interesting thing to note is that by keeping the bookcases and the accessories white, the blue wall behind recedes. It tricks the mind into thinking it’s further back than it is.
Keep it simple
Use a limited amount of bold colors in the space. If you use too many bold colors the space will look frantic, like you didn’t know when to stop.
Designer Lee Kleinhelter via Lonny Mag
Here they only used two bold colors; orange and brown. They look great in this small space because they were used sparingly. And the brown isn’t overbearing since it was only brought in through pattern.
Add one big punch of color
Use one bold punch of color and keep the rest of the room mostly neutral. But be sure to bring the color into the room through small pieces like accessories, or it will look like a mistake.
Who would have thought, black walls for a bedroom. By keeping basically everything else white, the room actually looks light and airy even though the walls are dark. The bedding, with small touches of black, helps bring the color into the room.
Use vertical pattern
A great way to make a small space appear larger and use bold pattern at the same time is by using a vertical pattern. Vertical patterns draw the eye up towards the ceiling, making it seem higher than it really is.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be vertical stripes, anything that appears vertical will draw the eye up.
Keep color consistent
At first sight it looks like they just threw in two yellow chairs into a blue room. But if you take a closer look, you’ll see that the yellow is sprinkled throughout the room. The window shade, throw pillow, rug, and in some of the accessories. This keeps the bold color balanced in the room and keeps from weighing one side of the room down.
Designer Katie Ridder via Look Linger Love
Monotone color and pattern
Using one color and varying the pattern works well because it keeps it uniform.
Here for example they’re using four different patterns, but you can barely tell since they are all in the same color. It’s pleasing to the eye and actually expected. Everything in the same pattern would make the room look boring and unimaginative.
Exaggeration equals intention
If you’re going to use a bold pattern and color for that matter, just go for it. Don’t be timid, don’t just throw in a couple of patterned pillows and call it a day. It will seem like you weren’t sure about your choice.
Designer Wendy Musgrave via BHG
There’s no doubt they weren’t sure in the example above. They decided on a very appropriate pattern for the laundry room and went all out with it.
Break up the color
When using so much color, like in the room below, you need to let the eye rest while scanning the room. If the color extended all around the room without any neutral color breaks, it would be too overwhelming and look more like a circus than a room.
Designer Katie Ridder via CocoCozy
They did this by here by using neutral art work on the walls, white accessories and a neutral color/pattern on the back of the chairs.
Add bold color and pattern through accessories
If you’re not 100 percent committed to permanent color choices, then why not just add pops of color and oversized patterns to your rooms via your accessories.
When you get tired of the colors or feel overwhelmed, then you can just easily edit out as much as you need to.
Or you may end up liking it so much you make it more permanent through wall color and furniture.