Come Home to a Colorful Apartment

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Come Home to a Colorful Apartment

aptsherpa · Oct 9, 2006

Your walls are white, your carpet is beige, your kitchen tile is gray, and you chose neutrally colored furniture to give you a blank background for decorating. Now your apartment just couldn’t be more boring—but what can you do to liven it up? Color is the key, especially when you’re starting with a blank palette. Read on for some super creative and exciting ideas about how to add color—and therefore excitement—to your home.

Painted pizzazz

You may already be protesting: “But my landlord won’t let me paint!” You’re already succumbing to traditional thinking. While painting the walls can certainly revolutionize a room, paint doesn’t have to go on your walls—it can go on your kitchen table, your chairs, your bookshelves, your desk, your TV stand, or anything else that can absorb paint. And if your painting doesn’t go well, no worries—you can always strip, sand, and repaint. Paint is nothing if not reversible! If you’re afraid to attack your furniture, paint an old sheet or other fabric with a new and exciting design, and then hang it on your wall.

Fabulous fabric

Using colorful fabrics is a great—and versatile—way to add some style to your apartment. Whether you’re using slipcovers for your sofa or tablecloths for your table (not just the dinner table—think about coffee and end tables as well, not to mention cabinets!), fabric can do wonders to brighten up your apartment. And you don’t need to go overboard. If a tablecloth is too much for you, make or buy a simple table runner to add a more subtle accent to a room. And fabric isn’t just for furniture—hanging fabric on a wall is a great way to add color to your apartment. You can completely re-cover your walls with fabric, or hang up a smaller tapestry to add excitement and interest to a room.

Pretty pictures (and more!)

Framed photographs or paintings are perhaps one of the most obvious ways to add a little artistic flair and funk to your apartment. But you don’t have to spend a lot of money at a gallery or an art store. You can make your own artwork by throwing paint on a canvas or by framing or creating collages from postcards, old calendars, or other images around the house. Your options are almost unlimited. Nature is another great source for inspiration. You can use dried flowers or leaves as artwork, or make a wreath from vines you find outside. Also, keep in mind that artwork doesn’t have to hang on walls. Some of the most innovative pieces, like vases or artistic boxes, can be placed on tables or shelves to add interesting features and new hues to your home.

Lovely light

You might not have colorful lighting fixtures, but you can always add a new, bright shade to a lamp, or drape colorful fabric over or around a lamp. You can even use a colored light bulb if you want a really dramatic effect. Altering the nature of the lighting in a room can have a bold impact on other objects in the room as well, so it’s a simple way to have a far-reaching effect.

Radical rugs

Block out that boring beige carpet with cute patterned throwrugs—a pattern can be just as effective as a bold color in lending interest to your home. Pick a big, bold rug as your room’s centerpiece or use a variety of smaller, more subtle floor coverings to add zest to your décor. There’s almost no limit to the variety of rugs available out there, so don’t get stuck in a rut and think traditional is your only option.

Whether you use paint, fabric, brightly colored accent pieces, unexpected lighting techniques, or an assortment of rugs, color can go a long way toward making your home less boring and more exciting. Start small if you’re nervous, or go all out with a major wall hanging. Remember, most of these tricks are reversible, so you can always change what you’ve done if you don’t like it. The only way you can go wrong is by not at least trying to jazz up your surroundings. There’s a lot you can do—get going now!

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