Bold colours to improve your home

Bold colours and contrasts are daring, striking, and unexpected. And that’s why we can be wary of introducing them to our homes. But we don’t have to rush towards neutral colours and airy environments if it means we’re giving up on ways to express ourselves and make our homes warmer, more dynamic spaces. Standout colours give us a great foundation to improve our homes, and they can inspire us to make renovations and updates we might not have considered before. Here are some ways that you can use bold palettes for your home.

Complementary colours

Complementary colours sit opposite each other on the colour wheel – they’re as different as can be. More muted colour schemes tend to use monochromatic colours – variations of the same colour – or analogous colours which sit next to each other on the wheel. When we use complementary colours we’re creating contrast and energy in the room.

Orange living room with blue features.

Examples include pairings like purple/yellow and blue/orange, and you can choose which one of the pair to make brighter, so it pops, and which one sets the calmer tone for the room. If you’d prefer something more classic, you can complement your colour of choice with white or black to form a strong contrast with a calmer colour mix.

This is a great way of renovating your kitchen, and modern kitchens often employ colour pops on kitchen counters, cabinets, and walls. The kitchen is often the heart of the home and it deserves a colour pairing to match the energy you and your family put into using it. If your kitchen needs work, and you’re considering hiring a fitter to refurbish it or a tradesperson to replace equipment like your gas cooker, then it would be a great time to add a burst of colour at the same time to renew the space

Using complementary colours in living rooms and bedrooms is also a great way to breathe new life into a room that might feel sterile or indifferent in white or beige colours. As we move towards winter and prepare to spend more time inside enjoying the warmth of our homes, it’s an ideal time to spruce these rooms up and introduce some mood-lifting colour to counter winter’s grey ambience. Some of us will be preparing for winter by making sure our houses are well insulated, our boilers are working, and our windows are well glazed – so it’s also the right time to make sure our houses are places that make us feel good, as well as being functional.

Making a statement with black

A dramatic black colour scheme makes a strong statement while offering a blank canvas onto which you can experiment with other colours. It’s no wonder that black has captured the imaginations of homeowners: the colour is chic, surprising, and powerful.

Green and black kitchen

If you’re nervous about introducing black colours to your home’s interior, you can start more gradually by painting only one wall in a room, adding a contrast without enveloping you within four dark walls. The black wall recedes in our vision, and this makes the rest of the room lighter and more spacious by comparison – a nifty but under-utilised trick for homeowners trying to create space with limited resources.

This is only the start for black paint. There are plenty of ways to add it in clever and restrained ways: painting black trims on a lighter house and on window frames, or by making small interior edits, like installing black countertops or bathroom fittings to create stylish contrasts in kitchens and bathrooms. This is on trend right now, and Pinterest has reported a 252% year-on-year increase of searches for black kitchen sinks. These sinks look good both as statement pieces in white kitchens and paired with black countertops, and you have multiple options for materials, including porcelain, metal, and granite. Ultimately, when considering a new colour mix, the best place to start is often where you’re already due a change in your home – a fix or a renovation – to kill two birds with one stone and counteract a dull repair job with the excitement of change and improvement.

On the more committed end of introducing black to your home are black exteriors, the most attention-grabbing homes on the street. Searches for houses with black exteriors went up by 774% on Pinterest between 2014 and 2018, so this design is definitely capturing people’s imaginations.

House with black exterior

Because black goes with anything, you have a wide choice of additions and edits you can make which wouldn’t look as striking on a white or redbrick facade. Think of it like clothing, and how much you can do paired with stylish black colours which are the foundations of many-a-wardrobe. With a full black facade on your house, you can spruce up your garden to create a vivid black-and-green contrast. Hire a gardener to build and maintain a landscape, and your garden will be emphasised in front of the black background as its flowers and accessories pop in bright colours. A gardener can maintain the land so its healthy appearance endures all season, and you can experiment with plants and flowers of different colours to create brilliant palettes. A painter and decorator can complete a paint job like this and bring their professional knowledge and experience to make light work of it. They can also help you with the tricky regulatory bits, including planning permission.

Showcasing windows and doors

A painter can revamp your home’s exterior by using bold colours on doors, window frames, the roof, the porch, or any detail on the house. You can achieve boldness with little touches – adding colour to a window frame draws attention to the window itself, and this is great to do if you have an interesting window architecturally or a view which you want to draw attention to.

A little bold touch can also do wonders for your front door. Since it’s the face of your home, it’s the place to use a colour which sets the tone for the rest of the building, giving a great first impression to visitors. This could start with a repaint, though you may also consider a modern front door design alongside this as the focal point for your home’s exterior. A straightforward job for a professional, a carpenter has the expertise to install a new door quickly and properly. Back in springtime we suggested neutrals and soft tones as the trends for a new statement door, so we’re going against the grain here. But individuality and bucking the trend is what bold design is all about. For some out-there inspiration, check out these examples in Portugal, a country with a design heritage of big and beautiful doors.

Bold yellow door & windows

Let’s make a change

Ultimately, bold design is for making a statement, and it’s up to you what statement you want to make. And that’s why it’s exciting. From surprising contrasts and unorthodox designs to using bold palettes more sparingly to create warmth and depth in your home, there’s a lot of potential for you to explore design options without feeling restricted to muted colours and empty space. There are also lots of ways to bring in bold design: we’ve talked a lot about colour palettes, but we’ve only scratched the surface. You could reconsider layout, furnishings, and architecture in the light of eye-catching and stronger design decisions. When it comes to your home, it might be time to make an impact.

If you don’t have the time, or you’re not confident in your ability to make over your space yourself, we have tradespeople across 30 different categories willing to lend a hand with everything from fitting a door, to painting woodwork and installing glazing inside your property.

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