Bold, edgy color drenching is going to be big in 2024

Saturating a bedroom or living room in a single color makes a dramatic statement.
A pink color-drenched room from furniture company Mustard Made.
(Courtesy of Mustard Made)

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

A pink color-drenched room from furniture company Mustard Made. (Courtesy of Mustard Made)

Color drenching is a trend you will see more of in 2024 design, experts predict.

In color drenching, you choose a favorite color and, as the name suggests, “drench” the entire room in that color. You paint the walls, ceiling, molding in that shade and then add furniture, accessories and rugs in that same color. The effect is dramatic, bold and has already taken hold in Europe and England.

“Picture a space transformed into a monochromatic wonderland where your chosen color takes the spotlight,” said Australia-based Becca Stern, co-founder and creative director of Mustard Made — which manufacturers colorful lockers for home storage. This trend isn’t confined to just walls and ceilings, it extends to every element of your space, including furniture and styling features, all drenched in the same color.”

A color-drenched hall in Farrow & Ball's Sudbury Yellow.
(Courtesy of Farrow & Ball)

Credit: James Merrell

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Credit: James Merrell

Stern likes lilac, navy blue and olive for color drenching and recently used soothing tones of sage and ocean blue to color drench her two children’s bedrooms.

Experts recommend being intentional and strategic when attempting color drenching. Patrick O’Donnell is a color consultant with high-end British paint company Farrow & Ball. “As with every color decision made in your home,” he said, “I would always suggest making a mood board to see how all the elements come together.”

O’Donnell says color drenching can be a great way to “hide” fussy or distracting room features like a radiator or in his case, too many doors in his kitchen.

Credit photographer - Boz Gagovski

Credit: Boz Gagovski

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Credit: Boz Gagovski

“I have used it in the kitchen, essentially to ‘extend’ the perception of walls. One wall had two doors which would have felt rather messy and cluttered had I painted the trim in a secondary color. The room now feels much more settled,” said O’Donnell after painting the space with Farrow & Ball’s Turret White No. G2, Biscuit No. 38, Mahogany No. 36, and Etruscan Red No. 56.

Color drenching has been adopted in some U.S. homes too though Stern says American homeowners tend to choose pale and neutral colors more than bold ones. But she thinks color drenching will become more dominant in American homes in 2024.

“I think people are becoming more adventurous and confident in using color in their homes and that is something we’ll continue to see over the coming years,” said Stern.

Farrow & Ball's Selvedge in Dead Flat, the company's new matte color line, is used to create a color drenched room.
(Courtesy of Farrow & Ball)

Credit: James Merrell

icon to expand image

Credit: James Merrell

“Color drenching is the next evolution in colorful styling, but it isn’t only about bold, high-saturation colors, the look can also be achieved through softer tones. If you’re looking for a slightly pared back version, you can select a number of shades within the same color family, rather than a single hue, to modify the approach but still achieve the same impact,” said Stern.

Color drenching tips

Think about the room where you are using color and what makes sense there, colorwise. Stern recommends, for instance, not choosing a too-vibrant, far-from-restful color like red in a bedroom.

Look around at the colors in your home. Choosing a color you love in a favorite chair or piece of art is a great way to guide your color drench color choice. “Drawing on a color you already lean towards in your styling can help make that jump to full color drenching less daunting” said Stern.

Start with the paint. Stern recommends painting walls, ceiling and trim in your key color. Then you can add layers through larger pieces, soft furnishings and decor.

Keep a paint color swatch with you at all times to match to any accessories or furnishings you may come across in creating your color drenched room.

Play with texture. A mix of bouclé (a nubby-textured fabric), shag and leather give your color-drenched room dimensionality. “Think bouclé pillows, high and low pile rugs, mixed media artwork, tapestries, and mirrors,” said Stern.

If you already have a piece of furniture in a color you love you can always have your hardware store mix up a custom wall color to match it.

Make extra sure you’ve chosen the right color. Stern recommends: “spot test your paint on different walls and in different lights. Do your research in advance to find out what is available in terms of furnishings and decor in that color so you can make a really well-informed color choice.”

Mix your paint with finishes. O’Donnell recommends using flat, eggshell finishes and even gloss to create interest in the room.

Felicia Feaster is a longtime lifestyle and design editor who spent 11 years covering gardening, interior design, trends and wellness for HGTV.com. Felicia is a contributor to MarthaStewart.com and has been interviewed as a design expert by The New York Times, Forbes and the Associated Press.

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