Pop of color

Add a splash of pizzazz at home to spice up winter.
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Home is where we make our most precious memories, but your home’s aesthetic could be keeping you from remembering them long-term.

Neutral spaces have become a huge design trend in recent years, but did you know there’s scientific proof that color helps us store and process memories more effectively than colorless scenes?

Surrounding ourselves with color also can help combat Seasonal Affective Disorder, a common struggle here in Michigan this time of year. The good news is, adding color to your home doesn’t have to be a permanent, all-encompassing design element.

For a lot of homeowners, it can be intimidating, but if you’re feeling sick of your neutral-on-neutral spaces, here are six easy, non-committal ways to incorporate color into your home.

COLOR TIP No. 1: ARTWORK

Colorful artwork can be a beautiful focal point in an otherwise neutral room. It also can be a wonderful starting point for creating a color palette for your space. Artwork is very personal, and everyone connects with it differently. Find a piece that speaks to you and use it to inspire the rest of your décor.

COLOR TIP No. 2: USING NATURE

It feels a little cliché to say bring the outdoors in, but it’s actually a striking way to inadvertently incorporate color into your home. Are you surrounded by windows and colorful views? Take advantage of those blues, greens and browns and find ways to weave those same tones throughout your décor. If you don’t have a scenic landscape, you still can embrace nature by incorporating plants into your home. Did you know indoor plants have magical powers? There’s scientific evidence that they have the ability to reduce stress and increase productivity, so get your green thumbs ready!

COLOR TIP No. 3: ACCESSORIES

Lamps, trays and vases — oh, my! There are endless ways to incorporate small pops of color using accessories. Something as simple as a colorful lamp shade or a decorative box on a console can be just what a room needs, and no space is too “unimportant” to be accessorized. Even a hallway or passthrough deserves to feel unique and well-designed, and colorful accessories can make an otherwise neutral space a little happier.

COLOR TIP No. 4: A RUG

Rugs are a great, functional way to incorporate color into your home. If you have hard surface floors, a rug can warm up your space during the colder months as well as protect your flooring. The biggest challenge I hear is choosing the right size rug, and all too often homeowners go too small. A safe bet for most main rooms is to try either an 8×10 or a 9×12. In your living room, a good rule of thumb is it’s important that your rug is large enough that the front legs of all your furniture are able to touch it, and in a dining room, you don’t want half of your chair hanging off the rug when you’re sitting at the table.

COLOR TIP No. 5: PILLOWS

Pillows often are the most popular way to add a pop of color to your space because they’re so easy to swap in and out seasonally. You also can change the entire feel of your space just by switching the pillows, and they can typically be purchased on a tight budget.

COLOR TIP No. 6: WINDOW TREATMENTS

I love using draperies and window shades to add a pop to a room. With drapery fabric, focus more on the colors than the fabric’s pattern as you often lose the subject matter in the undulating folds. In addition, make sure to have them backed with white or ivory fabric to create a cohesive look from the outside of your home.

This story can be found in the January/February 2022 issue of Grand Rapids Magazine. To get more stories like this delivered to your mailbox, subscribe here

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