Home & Living

8 Easy Ways To Try Color In Your Home Without Freaking Out (PHOTOS)

03/05/2014 03:59pm ET | Updated December 6, 2017

If there's one decorating idea that tends to inspire an unusually big debate, it's color. What's a gorgeous sun-kissed green to one person is a nauseatingly loud lime to another. Often, these people end up living together. So, many will live with the same "apartment white," secretly wishing they could just paint everything...if they could just settle on a color. We caught up with the fabulous Michelle Adams, editor-in-chief of Domino magazine, and the equally fabulous Anne Ziegler, trend forecaster and cover girl, for their tricks on how to overcome color phobia.

Photos 1-3, 5-8: Brittany Ambridge. Photo 4: Michael Wiltbank

1
Figure Out What You Love
Brittany Ambridge
It's harder to get overwhelmed if you have a clear vision. But if you're not quite sure what that is, Adams swears by the power of the mood board. "Use Pinterest or a bulletin board to collect inspiration before adding a specific shade to your home," she says. "Just seeing the color in other settings may hone your vision or inspire you." Photo: Brittany Ambridge
2
Introduce Bold Accents
Brittany Ambridge
Starting small through accessories is perfect for commitment-phobes. "Select an attention-grabbing color and use it in a table centerpiece or for brightly patterned pillows," Adams says. Photo: Brittany Ambridge
3
Pillows Are The Easiest Way To Add Color
Brittany Ambridge
They're generally a cheap purchase and offer a way to try out different patterns and colors. Photo: Brittany Ambridge
4
Experiment In A Small Space
Michael Wiltbank
We love the idea of playing with color through art -- especially on an often-neglected space like a stairway. Adams also recommends trying out new decor ideas in the bathroom. "It’s usually the smallest space in a home, so it’s a perfect way to experiment with a paint or wallpaper that’s outside your comfort zone," she says. Photo: Michael Wiltbank, for Domino Magazine
5
Try Picking Up Colors From Your Favorite Art Piece
Brittany Ambridge
Speaking of art, it can often be a good place to start when developing a color scheme. Just pick a few hues from a piece you love, then use it through the room through accessories. Photo: Brittany Ambridge
6
Mix In A Few Touches Of Black
Brittany Ambridge
Black provides a place for the eye to rest, which helps temper mixed-and-matched patterns and color schemes. Photo: Brittany Ambridge
7
Can't Paint? Try A Splash Of Color
Brittany Ambridge
"I typically use pops of color instead of focusing on major color-centric schemes," Ziegler says. Here, you can see her wisdom at work: The printed fabric pillows introduce brights into the room without overwhelming. Photo: Brittany Ambridge
8
Remember: Nothing Is Permanent
Brittany Ambridge
Basically, don't be like the hapless home buyers on HGTV and fixate on an element in the room. It's so easy to change. "Decorating and styling are supposed to be fun and take you a little out of your comfort zone," Ziegler says. "The worst case scenario is that you have to return some pillows or repaint a wall." Photo: Brittany Ambridge

For more great decor ideas, check out the new issue of Domino, available now!
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