10 Ways to Use Color to Transform a Room

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By Jonathan Simcoe / Published by Dwell
Color has a unique way of transforming a space when used creatively to draw attention or capture a mood.

These 10 unique uses of color provide a template and inspiration for how subtle touches or loud interruptions of color can transform a room and provide a new perspective.

Expansive Neutrals

10 Ways to Use Color to Transform a Room - Photo 1 of 10 -

By flooding the space in a sea of neutrals, Scott Parker of Nest Architectural Design helps this room take on a much more open feeling.

Artwork

10 Ways to Use Color to Transform a Room - Photo 2 of 10 - Images by Raw Color hang in a room upstairs.

Images by Raw Color hang in a room upstairs.

The use of colorful artwork on a white backdrop is a way to breathe new life into a space.

Colored Lighting

10 Ways to Use Color to Transform a Room - Photo 3 of 10 - Ground at Yale University by Bentel and Bentel Architects<br><br>The original concrete surfaces are intentionally visible through, and are highlighted by, the veils of the material intervention out of respect for Breuer's unique exploration in his design of the textural possibilities of a single material.

Ground at Yale University by Bentel and Bentel Architects

The original concrete surfaces are intentionally visible through, and are highlighted by, the veils of the material intervention out of respect for Breuer's unique exploration in his design of the textural possibilities of a single material.

Colored lighting is a way to paint on the canvas of a room in a non-permanent way, allowing the mood to develop depending on context.

Thematic Colors

10 Ways to Use Color to Transform a Room - Photo 4 of 10 - The bed in Sara’s room has been in the family since the early 1900s.

The bed in Sara’s room has been in the family since the early 1900s.

This young girl's room is themed with repetitive uses of bright teal and light pink, creating a personal touch to an otherwise neutral space.

Dark & Bright

10 Ways to Use Color to Transform a Room - Photo 5 of 10 - From the Color Combinations in Interior Design series.

From the Color Combinations in Interior Design series.

By using larger swaths of dark, muted colors with objects that convey pops of brightness, a space can start to take on a very distinct and intentional personality.

Bright Objects

10 Ways to Use Color to Transform a Room - Photo 6 of 10 - San Francisco designer Tina Frey creates modern resin products for the home, using a thoroughly executed design, hand sculpting, and hand casting process. Her products are all food-safe, making them an excellent serveware solution in the modern kitchen. The Short Trough is a standout container that can be used to hold and display fruit, or as a vessel for an artful centerpiece.

San Francisco designer Tina Frey creates modern resin products for the home, using a thoroughly executed design, hand sculpting, and hand casting process. Her products are all food-safe, making them an excellent serveware solution in the modern kitchen. The Short Trough is a standout container that can be used to hold and display fruit, or as a vessel for an artful centerpiece.

By using bright objects with loud colors in a neutral space, you introduce a burst of color that brings energy and focus to the room—and creates a dynamic mood.

Neon

10 Ways to Use Color to Transform a Room - Photo 7 of 10 - Pizza Me ($695) was created in collaboration with blogger Laura Gummerman of The Band Wife.

Pizza Me ($695) was created in collaboration with blogger Laura Gummerman of The Band Wife.

Neon lights were once synonymous with Las Vegas and cheap strip malls, but no longer. Bringing this dynamic element to the home is a fresh, playful way to engage a space and its inhabitants.

Contrast

10 Ways to Use Color to Transform a Room - Photo 8 of 10 - Inspired by the sea and sand, the couple chose blue and orange joinery colors. The oven, cooktop, range hood, and dishwasher are by Bosch.

Inspired by the sea and sand, the couple chose blue and orange joinery colors. The oven, cooktop, range hood, and dishwasher are by Bosch.

Contrasting colors in large quantities can energize a space with competing hues, drawing visitors in. The complementary hues of blue and orange create tension and resonance in this kitchen. 

Pattern and Repetition

10 Ways to Use Color to Transform a Room - Photo 9 of 10 - This wall of carefully arranged books at Warby Parker's NYC offices emphasizes their primary brand color in a unique way.

This wall of carefully arranged books at Warby Parker's NYC offices emphasizes their primary brand color in a unique way.

Using a particular color over and over again reinforces a value, mood, or tone, while its careful arrangement in a space creates a sense of movement and unpredictability.

Wallpaper

10 Ways to Use Color to Transform a Room - Photo 10 of 10 - Holy Matcha in San Diego sports wall adorned with bright, floral wallpaper than tranforms the company's retail space.

Holy Matcha in San Diego sports wall adorned with bright, floral wallpaper than tranforms the company's retail space.

The use of a modern wallcovering can transform a space and is a versatile way to create visual interest.


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