Pop your colour: How to jazz up a dull space

Dare I say it, summer is well and truly over (well, what we saw of it!). It’s time to put away the flip-flops and shades and get out those autumnal scarves and hats. But just because it’s getting darker outside, doesn’t mean it has to be drab indoors.

On a recent trip to Lisbon, I was inspired by its colourful architecture, quirky boho-chic interiors and bright graffiti art. It’s amazing what a burst of colour can do. Like many, my home interior scheme is largely neutral with white, gold and wood tones. But it did inspire me to look at ways of introducing bold colours, without being too overwhelming.

Sky Bar, Lisboa
This colourful backdrop for this rooftop Sky Bar in Lisbon is far from an art installation…they’re actually the toilets!

So if you’re a colour novice like me, here are some simple tips from the experts (and my talented design pals) on how you can inject colour into neutral spaces.

Soft furnishings

If you already have an existing colour scheme, try and experiment with bright cushions, curtains and textiles.


AW Cushions Cameo
AW Cushions
Lipsy - Watercolour lily
Lipsy – Watercolour lily


They don’t have to match, but could be contrasting colours. “Add another layer to a scheme with different textures – a throw and a few cushions on a sofa, a rug in the hallway or super bright towels in a bathroom.” advises Delali Foli, award-nominated interior designer. “The key while increasing colour confidence is buying items you can move around your home, and if they don’t work in the intended area, you can try them out in another room.”


If you don’t want to go grand, you can add subtle touches here and there with vibrant ceramics, candle holders, vases, light pendants or other decorative features. Find ones that compliment the style of the space.

Brighten your home with accessories (pexels.com)

Wall art

If you have a neutral wall, use it as a blank canvas to display a colourful piece of artwork  or phography- then you can accessorise around it.”Prints, photography and posters are a great source of inspiration,” agrees Delali, “because the job of choosing the right colours has already been done. All you then have to do is find the right elements to work with it.”


Accent piece

You can also try one big statement piece, like a colourful table, dressers or an armchair.

Oslo Main FINAL small




Choose a piece of furniture with a body that you adore and highlight it with a bold colour, so that visitors and guests won’t be able to look away. “Think about the mood or vibe you want to create and work backwords from that.” says Chrissa Amuah, interior designer and founder of AMWA Designs. “Mediterranean colours tend to be colourful pastels. Fuchsia, teal, purple and sunburnt orange can be used to create a more exotic atmosphere. Minimalism always reverts back to whites, greys and natural wood tones.

Say it with flowers

I love placing tropical plants and flowers to add instant colour to my home. There’s something visually pleasing about nature, and great for bringing the outdoors in (when it’s frosty outside!). An eye-catching vase with bright flowers is a quick and easy way to dress a table or mantelpiece. “Think about how you want the room to feel,” suggets Delali, “what kind of atmosphere are you trying to create?”

Courtesy of Pexels.com
Courtesy of Pexels.com
Courtesy of Pixabay
Courtesy of Pixabay

If you’re not keen on real foliage, you can get some pretty authentic-looking faux florals now. They can be quite pricey, but they look just as striking.

Feature walls

I’ve mentioned this before in a previous post, but feature walls are a fabulous way of adding bold colour. The good thing is, it’s literally only one wall or section in a room that will stand out. You can choose from paint, to geometric prints or to some innovative wallpaper murals.

Inspiration: crafthubs.com
Inspiration: pinterest.com
Courtesy of AMWA Designs: Wallpaper@www.amwadesigns.com
Courtesy of AMWA Designs: Wallpaper@www.amwadesigns.com



Before you hit the shops, make sure you have an idea of what colours/features you are after. Create a moodboard of favourite styles and colour hues and see how it all looks laid out. This way you can easily change elements until you’re happy with what you’ve got.  Pinterest and other interior design websites have plenty of colour inspiration.

Special thanks to:  Chrissa Amuah at AMWA Designs and Delali Foli at Decor by Delali




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