The 10 Most Colorful Homes of 2021

From a surrealism-inspired desert getaway to a loft that blends Pop art with midcentury treasures, these vibrant living spaces make a strong case for saying “yes” to more color.
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As people continue to spend more time at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are reexamining how we live—some starting with the research-backed knowledge that color can play an important role in impacting behaviors and emotions. The below projects demonstrate how infusing a space with bold splashes of color can add some much-needed playfulness to the interior atmosphere.

Before & After: A Faux Mountain Inspired by Disneyland Caps This Riotous Renovation in London

Architect Mat Barnes, founder of CAN, transformed the Edwardian-era house he shares with his wife and toddler into a postmodern playground of pattern and color in South London. The kitchen features eye-catching cabinets made of recycled milk bottle tops, manufactured by Smile Plastics in Wales.

To contrast with the light-filled rear extension, the architect and homeowner created a cozy living room in the front of the residence that is painted with a rich, royal blue from floor to ceiling.

Featuring 360-degree views of the Atlantic Ocean and downtown Miami, the 1,900-square-foot studio apartment of Brooklyn-born artist Christopher "Flore" Florentino features a delightful mix of midcentury treasures, Pop art, and Japanese design.

"I went a little crazy with wallpaper," says the artist of his space, dubbed the Ghost Loft. A custom-made kitchen bar doubles as a home office furnished with Knoll Bertoia Barstools and a George Nelson Bubble Lamp.

Studio Ben Allen used prefab elements to transform a dated London Victorian in just four days, implementing a series of multihued, concrete rooms for the rear extension.

One of the new bathrooms is cast in mossy green and incorporates an arch motif that appears throughout the home.

The eponymous founder and principal of local firm Michael K. Chen Architecture resuscitated a four-story, 3,600-square-foot home in Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill neighborhood that was built in 1895 and had been abandoned for 20 years. Its newest owners were inspired by the playful color palette that was still apparent underneath the building’s decay. 

The various color selections range from a bright raspberry paint shade in the living room to a serene blue at the stairs, and a fern green in the front hall. Patterned tiles and bold wallpaper also "maximize delight"—as Chen puts it—in the individual spaces throughout the home. 

Lisbon firms Aurora Arquitectos and FURO collaborated on the renovation of an 18th-century structure in Vila Real de Santo António, a city in Portugal’s southern Algarve region.

Formerly a single-family residence, the building now comprises five different apartments defined by distinct palettes that bring together chromatic combinations using ceramic tiles, ceiling artwork, and painted walls.  

The 750-square-foot accessory dwelling unit (ADU) that Bo Sundius and Hisako Ichiki of BunchADU designed in Los Angeles’s Atwater Village is filled with bright colors that help to designate the spaces within the small backyard home.  

The Stop Making Sense ADU takes its name from the 1984 concert movie documenting the Talking Heads’ performance at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre, wherein the band’s lead singer, David Byrne, wears an oversize suit onstage.

Office S&M turned the lower ground floor of a Victorian terrace in London into a colorful space that evokes the beach huts of South Beach Miami or the playful approach of the Memphis Group. "The name of the project, MO-TEL, is linked to this sense of escapism," says the firm’s cofounder, Catrina Stewart. "The couple wanted the space to make them feel like they were on holiday."

From the utility room, a gold-tinted mirror reflects a distorted view of the space, offering moments of surprise and delight.

Josephine Heilpern, founder of Brooklyn ceramics studio Recreation Center, revamped her run-down, rent-stabilized apartment in New York’s Crown Heights neighborhood, which had been occupied by the previous tenant for 40 years. In the kitchen, Josephine removed most of the upper-cabinet doors and painted the open shelving with mustard yellow, denim blue, primary red, and a bubblegum-pink color inspired by vintage California homes lined in salmon-colored tiles. 

The living room and bedroom required less heavy lifting, but Josephine personalized both spaces with curated artwork, colorful light fixtures, and plenty of greenery. She also gave a French door in the living room a Mondrian-like treatment, covering various panes with red and yellow vinyl. 

Perched on a kopje, or small hill, overlooking Johannesburg, the brick-and-glass home of fashion designer Lezanne Viviers also acts as a display case for her eponymous label.

Upon moving into the 1960s dwelling, known as the Lotus House, Lezanne and her husband began pulling out rotted carpets, refurbishing the woodwork, and painting the interior and exterior walls in bold shades of mustard, tarragon, and turquoise.

Taking cues from the otherworldly landscape of Joshua Tree National Park in California, Los Angeles artist Shawn Button turned a dilapidated 1959 cabin into an immersive desert getaway that is available to rent on Airbnb.

The color pink is featured prominently throughout the house, particularly in the primary bathroom. The main suite contains custom light fixtures with stained glass designed by Button, and vintage side tables that the artist painted the same color as the walls. 

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