Be Bold!

I recently wrote about how scary colour can be; just the sheer number of colours, hues, tints and shades make selecting a colour an intimidating experience! What if you really like a bold colour such as red or orange or bright purple and want to experiment but are nervous about stepping outside your comfort zone? Relax! There are a number of ways in which to use bold colours but keep it from dominating or overpowering your decor.

French artist Henri Matisse loved the use of bold, brilliant colour. His goal was to create work that would result in “a soothing, calming influence on the mind, rather like a good armchair.” When looking at his vibrant work, soothing and calming are not words that come to mind. However, his approach and the bold use of colour are easily integrated into home décor and design.

Following are some suggestions for using bold colours while still maintaining a calm and relaxing atmosphere in your space:

Paint One Wall

If painting a whole room a bright or bold colour has you hesitating, paint one wall instead. An accent wall can highlight interesting architectural features, provide a back drop to a beautiful piece of furniture or draw attention away from an unattractive view or feature in the room. And if the colour doesn’t work? Repainting one wall is relatively painless!


Adding a bold colour through accessories still provides that burst of colour but without as much work & commitment as painting the walls. Think pillows, throws, a bouquet of fresh flowers, coloured glass, candles or lamp shades. And against a neutral background, bold colours really stand out!


A print that incorporates the bold colour you want to add to the room is another easy and relatively inexpensive way to add splashes of colour. This doesn’t have to be expensive; craft stores often sell prints in a variety of sizes and also sell frames and mats which can make the piece look posh and high-priced. Hung on a neutral colour wall the art work will stand out and draw the eye.

Mary Derrick, "When the Skies Weep"

Mary Derrick, "When the Skies Weep"

Paint Furniture

Let’s face it; we all have pieces of furniture that we value far more than they’re really worth or that we’re tired of in their current state. How about painting the piece in a bold, new colour? Think occasional table, book case, dresser or chair.

The web is a fantastic source of DIY ideas and the pics are so inspirational! There’s usually good how-to info as well. Any one of these options is an inexpensive weekend project and will provide an immediate update and refresh to any room. Have fun experimenting and remember to make it “Swank”!