Adding Bold Colours to a Neutral Living Room

I always knew there was a good reason why I gave my blog a generic title like Inside, Outside and Beyond – I can write about mental health one week and brightly coloured cushions the next!

Our living room/lounge/sitting room, has always been on the cusp of looking un-homely. With wooden floors, grey walls, pale grey leather sofas and white wooden shutters, it really is no surprise.

The upside to having such a neutral back drop however, is that you can pretty much add any colour or texture to give it a more cosy, lived-in vibe. I’ve had fun experimenting over the years and finally, I think I might have got it right.

bold colours neutral living room

Choosing the Right Grey for Walls

I know it’s been around a while but I’m still a fan of grey for walls. It’s not as boring as cream or as stark as white but acts as a great back drop for bold colours.

We’ve heard all the jokes before but there are SO many shades of grey, way more than 50 and I’ve probably used most of them somewhere in my home. Our living room is a naturally bright room with either a glass door or window on every wall.

grey walls in sitting room

In order to make it feel cosy, I opted for fairly dark shades: Dulux’s Feather Flock on three walls and Natural Slate on the largest wall with the fireplace.

If you’re not sure which grey to go for, Dulux has written a great article explaining the difference between ‘warm’, ‘cool’ and ‘true’ greys and when to use which one.

I think the lighter grey enhances the white of the wooden shutters and both work well with the wooden floor – something I did have slight concerns over initially.

Now for the Colour

I decided to stick with the grey theme when choosing a rug (our original fluffy cream rug reached an untimely death with the arrival of our rescue dog *rolls eyes*) but desperately wanted to add colour elsewhere.

It’s quite difficult to know where to start when choosing a colour to brighten up a fairly neutral room. The great thing about a neutral back drop though is that pretty much anything goes.

bright pink made.com chair

I already had this bright pink chair from Made.com which I bought about 5 years ago. Bright pink goes brilliantly with grey and is really in-keeping with the 2018 trend of jewel tones – bright yellow, pink, red, blue, turquoise and orange.

The best thing about this chair (apart from the fact that it is super comfortable), is the brightly coloured buttons – aren’t they amazing? I love a covered button and the numerous colours featured meant that I could pick out just about any other colour to compliment the pink and rather handily, they are all ‘jewel tones’!

My piece de resistance in this room has to be the turquoise footstool. Although a bold move, I think the grey rug really sets it off. Both the rug and the footstool are new acquisitions and finally make my room feel cosy.

turquoise footstool

Top Tips for Accessorising a Room

1. Choose only two colours

My advice for accessorising any room would be to choose just two colours. As I said, I opted for a bright turquoise blue to compliment the pink – two classic ‘jewel tones’.

Cushions are a winner in every home so I chose one of each colour.

 

2. Stick to a theme on the walls

I attempted to draw out the same pink and blue colours in the wall art but interspersed them with some black and white photographs.

I think black and white goes really well with grey and also fits in with a contemporary look if that’s what you’re going for.

I did think outside the box a little with the mirror but this large wall was crying out for a mirror and I do love a circle. It’s still got a black frame so goes with the theme! What do you think?

circular mirrors

3. Opt for only one metal

By ‘metal’ I’m talking about copper, silver or gold. I was actually really torn in this room but plumped for silver in the end. I think silver is probably the most contemporary metal and is also pretty timeless.

After twelve years of living here, I think I’ve finally got our sitting room the way I would like it – a contemporary space that still feels cosy. Not an easy balance to strike!

Shop the Look

Ombre Silver Vase
Large Geo Pattern Grey Rug
Footstool from M&S
Natuzzi Leather Sofa
Neon pink and grey cushion
Turquoise Cushion
Walnut Floor Lamp
Made.com Media Unit
black mirror hexagons
Pink Wing Back Chair
Life With Munchers
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11 Comments

  1. May 17, 2018 / 9:21 pm

    I want that pink chair omg!!! It’s gorgeous. I am in the process of planning B’s big boy room and my new office in the loft when we get it built. I love a neutral background and pops of color as you can change the look whenever you want. This is fab hunny. #wrc

  2. May 18, 2018 / 8:39 am

    It looks fab! I’ve recently decided that our lounge is way too brown. We’ve spent so much time and money on the kitchen and bathrooms that the lounge has got rather neglextend. We’ve got brown settees and brown curtains! On a whim a couple of years ago my husband decided to change the colour of the walls from cream to very light grey, which looks nicer, but doesn’t go as well with the brown! I think the lounge needs to be our next project…

  3. May 18, 2018 / 10:31 am

    Aaah that pink chair Suzanne — all the heart eyes for that! I’m a fan of grey walls too — although we have such a lot of white going on in our home, as you know.

    I love all this — but disagree a little with ‘opt for only one metal’. I LOVE seeing a mix of metals in a room; they all offer something different — bounce the light around — but can work beautifully together. I’d be tempted to add a lovely big shallow copper bowl to your upholstered bench! 😉 xx

  4. May 19, 2018 / 8:41 am

    It looks amazing Suzanne I love the chair and how the colours just pop. I always incorporate grey into my decor too, but do love the odd white wall. But yours looks so stylish x

  5. May 21, 2018 / 1:56 pm

    Our base colours at home are grey, white and black, and then I add a pastel colour theme in each room – sage green in the kitchen, yellow in the lounge and pale pink in our bedroom. I never even thought to use bold, bright colours but they really work! That pink chair is gorgeous – my littlest girl would totally claim it for her own.

  6. May 24, 2018 / 11:11 am

    I absolutely love your pink chair, and your sideboard and the round mirrors. It all looks fab Suzanne. xx

  7. May 24, 2018 / 1:16 pm

    I love the grey walls Suzanne, you’ve picked the perfect shades. I’d stuck with white in all our rooms, maybe I need to get brave and add some colour. x

  8. May 26, 2018 / 11:27 am

    Loving this!!! I’m always so nervous when it comes to colour in my house but LOVE IT when I see how others have done it. I really do need to be more brave when it comes to interiors!!

  9. May 28, 2018 / 9:27 am

    This is awesome. These pictures are amazing. I would also add bold colours in my living room. Thanks for sharing.

  10. June 6, 2018 / 3:33 pm

    We have grey in a couple of rooms and found it hard to choose a shade, mainly because neither room has a lot of light, thankfully we got it right but could have gone so wrong. Great tips

  11. July 12, 2018 / 8:03 am

    It’s lovely. I really liked these ideas to update Adding Bold Colours to a Neutral Living Room. Thanks for sharing this post.

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