Use Color to Add Emotion to Your Apartment

The color white can be interpreted different ways. One is “neutral.” Another is “infirmary-like.” Yet another is “completely devoid of imagination.” You get the picture. If your apartment is feeling a bit too neutral/like a hospital/without daring, brilliance, or flair, you need to add some color.

You can do this without painting

There are so many ways to brighten up a space without paint that Apartment Therapy has written about it at least three times:


1. Pillows, colorful pillows. You can have several different shades or patterns, but try to have them match a little, without being matchy-matchy, if you catch my drift. All I’m saying is you don’t want to go from “infirmary-like” to “after being in this room I need to seek medical attention.”

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2. Throws, colorful throws. Throw some around, see how it works! Bonus to having stunning blankets all over your house: you’ll never get cold.

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3. Rugs, colorful rugs. A bold carpet can transform a room, simultaneously pulling it together and making it infinitely more interesting. Pillows and throws are the economical option; if you have money to splurge, consider spending it on your floor.

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4. Furniture, colorful…okay, you get the picture. Colorful couches and chairs instantly boost the palette of a room. Right now, I have a bright mustardy-gold recliner in my living room, and it makes me happy every time I see it. Or sit in it. Or fall asleep reading a crime novel in it.

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5. Art. Make it big. Nuff said.

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You can do this by painting

Well, you get the gist of “coloring” your apartment in ways your landlord cannot possibly disapprove. If you can paint, paint! A small apartment benefits from some guidelines, including: choosing sharp colors, choosing one focal wall to paint differently from the others, and using accents as a way to add a lot of color with a small change. Need more specific ideas? You can:


1. Paint one wall a very deep color, while keeping the others neutral or at least less intense. This works especially nicely if you have a piece of permanent furniture to match, like a blood-red couch in front of a…blood-red wall…I think it’s been too many months since True Blood was on.

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2. Martha Stewart says: paint just the edge of the door—you know, so you don’t even see the color when it’s shut. This requires a) very minimal time and b) very minimal paint, and also allows you a very intense color that might overwhelm a room if it were painted on a larger surface.

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3. Paint every room a different color. I know people who do this, and if you choose the colors correctly, it makes for a very stylish space. Again, you can paint part of a room and leave the rest white, or keep one or two rooms neutral. Remember to pick up paint chips and test out your color choices before buying gallons of potentially hideous paint!

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How do you decorate your apartment and brighten up those plain walls? Tell us your stories on Facebook!

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