10 easy ways to add colour to your home

It's time to venture beyond beige.
Blue bedroom with upholstered bedhead and patterned lampshade.Photography: Hannah Puechmarin | Styling: Cheryl Carr

Neutral colour schemes and homes that are strictly ‘all-white-everything’ have dominated the interior design sphere for some time – but that’s changing. Vibrant colours, clashing patterns and whimsical wallpaper are making their way back into our homes. Been a while since you ventured beyond beige? You may find that small doses of colour introduced slowly and purposefully is the antidote to tonal tunnel vision. 

The key to decorating with colour is to embrace playfulness. Nothing needs to be taken too seriously. Walls can be repainted, cushion covers can be switched out and floral tablecloths can be folded up and stored away. Don’t let the fear of ‘getting sick of it’ hold you back from making your home a space that reflects your passions, personality and style. 

Not convinced? At the launch of Haymes Paint ‘Origins Colour Library,’ spokesperson Jo Clarke shared the following story: “I painted a few walls in my house when no one was around. I went away and got a tin of very dark, almost midnight blue paint (previously the walls were white). I pulled all the furniture away from the walls and painted the walls. Then I pushed the furniture back and waited for everyone to notice. Everyone walks in – nothing. So we’d gone from white to dark blue and no one even noticed. They didn’t even notice the smell of the paint! Be brave and have a go, what have you got to lose?”

10 ways to decorate your home with colour

Navy blue kitchen island with red tulips
(Photography: Simon Whitbread | Styling: Nonci Nyoni)

Fresh flowers

Colour without the commitment

Want colour without the commitment? Fresh flowers are a great place to start. Tulips are currently on trend, but classic blooms like hydrangeas, roses and dahlias are also excellent choices. If you’re not into florals, experiment with oversized arrangements of foliage in interesting shades such as amber or deep purple.

(Photography: Karl Rogers | Styling: Natalie Boruvka)


Channel your inner ‘urban aunt

Hide a worn out timber table and imbue your home with colour and pattern in the flick of a single tablecloth. It’s difficult to deny – there’s just something inviting, exciting and, quite simply, glorious about a colourful tablecloth. It can take a humdrum mid-week meal and turn it into an event. Enhance the effect by setting the table with gorgeous plates and cutlery. A block-printed, cotton tablecloth adorns the outdoor dining table at Tara Dennis’ beautiful riverside home. For a similar tablecloth, try the ‘Margot’ block-printed tablecloth in cornflower from Tara’s store, Pepperwhites.

The main bedroom with scalloped pillows and a vintage red and orange bed quilt.
(Photography: Louise Roche | Styling: Kylie Jackes)

Accessories, accessories, accessories

The all-white antidote

Take away the accessories in this room: the throw cushion, the European pillowcase, the wall art, the throw blanket and the lampshade and what have you got? A white bedroom. Don’t let an existing all-white colour scheme prevent you from indulging in fun with colour and pattern. In this space, accessories are everything. Sue, the owner of this Sunshine Coast cottage, says confidence with colour comes with time and experimentation. “I’ve become bolder over the years, each house has been more colourful than the last,” she says. 

The kid's playroom with pastel blue and pink chairs and a tropical artwork.
(Photography: Mindi Cooke | Styling: Kylie Jackes)


Colour scheme inspiration

Great wall art can bring colour into a space, but did you know it can also encourage you to go beyond your colour comfort zone? Take this Brisbane home, for example. The eye-catching pink and green pastel print sets the tone for the entire living room. The sofa and the armchair – dressed in putty pink and pastel blue – echo the tones found in the art. So, next time you stumble upon a piece of artwork you love, study it and use it as colour palette inspiration.

A pastel kids bedroom with patterned linen, white woven drawers and a pink lamp.
(Photography: Mindi Cooke | Styling: Kylie Jackes)

Upholstered bedhead

An instant focal point

Add instant interest to a boring bedroom with an upholstered bedhead. Sure, you can purchase one from BedsaHead, McMullin & Co or Bed Threads but you can also achieve this look on a budget. If you already have a fabric bedhead that’s a little dated or worn out, give it a new lease of life. There are plenty of no-sew tutorials for reupholstering a bedhead online, and many of them involve little more than gorgeous fabric, spray adhesive and a staple gun.

(Photography: Hannah Puechmarin | Styling: Cheryl Carr)

Mix and match bedding

Layers of fun

If the swoonworthy style of this Toowoomba farmhouse is anything to go by, you can consider matching bedding sets officially over. Open up the linen cupboard and gather all of those orphaned sheets and look at them side-by-side. See if you can create a layered, eclectic bedding look you hadn’t thought of before. If not, revamping your entire bedroom can be as simple as topping a neutral set with a vibrant, handmade quilt and a new throw pillow.

A book nook with zebra armchairs and a round table.
(Photography: Mindi Cooke | Styling: Tahn Scoon)


No colour-coding required

Bookshelf wealth‘ may be trending on TikTok but it’s no secret that a well-loved, curated collection of books adds soul to a home. Rather than turning book spines in or organising covers by colour, let mismatched, multi-coloured books adorn your shelves and imbue your home with effortless character. This Brisbane cottage, which is home to Tori, an interior designer, is a lesson in incorporating colour into a home in a chic, contemporary way. “People can be a little scared of colour and there is a trend to be minimalist and neutral. I appreciate that look, but I don’t necessarily want it in my own house,” she says. 

modern farmhouse family bathroom
(Photography: Hannah Puechmarin | Styling: Cheryl Carr)

Whimsical wallpaper

Bold and brilliant

Wallpaper has come a long way in recent years, and it doesn’t have to be the huge commitment it once was. Peel-and-stick varieties allow you to experiment with colour and pattern without fear of damaging the wall beneath. If you ever ‘get sick of it’ you can always take it down to find your original wall colour intact. Or, be bold and paper a small space – like a powder room – in a bold print to see how it makes you feel. This bathroom, in modern Toowoomba farmhouse, is brightened with colourful Boråstapeter ‘Lindskog’ 3950 wallpaper positioned just above the vanity.

(Photography: Lisa Cohen | Styling: Amy Spargo)

Upcycled furniture

Custom colour

Upcycling furniture with paint is another great, low-commitment way to experiment with colour in your home. “Some people are aghast when older pieces are painted, but if it means they are going to be treasured again in someone’s home, I think that’s better than being left in original condition,” says Corrina Lindsay, upcycling expert and founder of The Vintage Bird Furniture Paint. In this home, revived by Amy Spargo, vintage dining chairs were painted a bold shade of red and upholstered in waterproof fabric from Etsy.

(Photography: Hannah Puechmarin | Styling: Cheryl Carr)

Colour drenching

A saturated colour experience

This next one is not for the faint-hearted. Colour drenching is really just a new-fangled way of saying: ‘paint an entire room a fun colour’. Rather than limiting yourself to a feature wall, colour drenching encourages the complete saturation of a room in colour. Paint everything – including the cornices, skirting boards and even the ceiling (if you’re feeling bold) – for a high-end look that gives a room a cosy, high-end atmosphere.

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