A red accent chair is the springboard for the use of red accents in this home office. (Design Recipes/TNS)

How to use accent colors

Looking for ways to add a pop of color to your current environment? Accent colors can be a quick, easy and affordable way to infuse color and interest into a space without having to clean the slate. In general, accent colors can be used as enhancers that can help to transform a space in a matter of minutes.

When looking for ways to incorporate accent colors into your home, here are some top Design Recipes tips.

1. Consider painting a wall with an accent color. Accent walls can add a bold color statement to a space.

2. Purchase portable decorative elements such as vases and pillows. These can easily be transitioned into other spaces.

3. Try metallic accents. Finishes such as nickel, brass or chrome are colors and can be used as accents.

4. Experiment with a technique called color mapping. Color mapping is a color blocking technique in which one creates a cohesive color scheme by repeating or mapping a color throughout a space.

5. Use artwork. Artwork is not only an important accessory, but can help to incorporate various colors that can help determine which accent colors can enhance a space.

6. Select an inspirational piece. Not sure what accent colors to use? Select an inspirational piece to build your color story around.

7. Bring in blooms. Florals are a wonderful way to infuse accent colors.

8. Experiment with patterns. A particular pattern or design can serve as an accent.

9. Use rugs as inspiration for accent colors. A good rule of thumb is to choose area rugs either first for color, design or graphic inspiration or last to tie your color palette together.

10. Less is more. When incorporating an accent color, it is best to use no more than three in a space.


Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at info@cathyhobbs.com or visit her website at www.cathyhobbs.com .

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