Painting your living room a bold shade will make the space pop, but it’s certainly not the easiest way. For a less labor-intensive path to adding color to your surroundings, look to your accent furniture and decor.
These five ideas, executed entirely with pieces from The Home Depot‘s online collection, demonstrate just how simple it is to take your living room from muted to vibrant without any major design overhauls. Here’s how to tap the color spectrum to refresh this key zone.
Choose jewel-tone accent chairs
Rather than swapping out the anchor of your living room (the sofa), bring color into the furniture through accent chairs. Here, a pair of deep blue velvet armchairs provide contrast with the neutral sofa. Jewel tones are always an elegant option, adding richness without being overwhelming.
The Home Depot carries seating options in every shade, from eggplant to emerald green to teal, so there’s a style for every taste. Look for saturated hues paired with brass or gold elements to add warmth and a glam touch.
Put dynamic tones on display
Open shelving, like a bookcase or even a single wall-mounted shelf, offers an easy chance to add color and personality to your living room. Keep in mind the size of the space between your shelves as you shop for decor items, as you want to make sure they’ll fit.
Layer your shelves with finds from your travels, plants, books, and ceramics, varying the hues, dimensions, and textures to create a dynamic composition. You can mix a tall blue-and-white porcelain vase with a looped gold sculpture. Trailing plants, like low-maintenance pothos, perched on the top shelf break up a horizontal display and bring an organic sense (not to mention a lush green hue) to the room.
Layer saturated pillows over a neutral sofa
Throw pillows are one of the simplest ways to change up a room’s vibe. You can even do it seasonally. The key is to start with a neutral sofa, which gives you the most flexibility in palette. Pull in hues found elsewhere in the space; in this room, the blush and mauve pillows echo the pink tones in the wall art.
This is also an opportunity to play with texture and shape to bring even more intrigue into a room. This emerald green pillow features plush velvet in a woven chevron pattern, while this round royal blue pillow brings an unexpected form.
Add abstract art with splashes of color
Think of your walls as a blank canvas for artistic display. Abstract art is a fun and expressive way to add color to a room without committing to a particular scene or image as you might with figurative art. Look for pieces with shades that complement your overall palette and give the artwork pride of place above the sofa.
Eschew numerous smaller pieces for a few larger frames or a single, statement-making painting like this large-scale impressionistic piece. To create a diptych or triptych, choose artworks with the same dimensions and similar colors, such as this painterly print and this geometric one.
Go vivid with coffee table styling
Use your coffee table as a rotating canvas for bright and beautiful objects like sculptural vases and real or faux flowers, which can be stacked atop a glossy navy serving tray. More is less when it comes to tabletop styling; stick to just a few items at a time for greater impact.
Create a vignette with objects of varying heights, which pleases the eye more than a flat arrangement. Use the sharp, rectilinear silhouettes of coffee table books to add contrast to the taller items on your table. (This might be the one time to judge a book by its cover—pick something bright!) Your coffee table will be viewed from every angle, so do a lap around the table to make sure your composition works in 360 degrees.
Stefanie Waldek is a Brooklyn-based writer covering architecture, design, and travel. She’s worked on staff at Architectural Digest, ARTnews, and Oyster.com, a TripAdvisor company, and has contributed to Condé Nast Traveler, The Washington Post, Design Milk, and Hunker, among others. When she’s not dreaming about midcentury chairs, you can find her re-watching The X-Files, likely in an airport lounge or on a plane.