12 Ways to Add a Pop of Color to Any Neutral Space

Saffron Marigold - Updated: September 16, 2023

Unlock the creative potential of your living space by mastering the art of pop of color in neutral rooms. Whether your backdrop is pristine white, sleek black, or soothing green, we’ll guide you through innovative techniques to infuse personality and uniqueness into your home. From colorful throw pillow covers to brilliant gallery walls, discover ways to makeover neutral spaces here. Call on your inner designer and transform your bedroom, living room, and any space in the home into a one-of-a-kind, vibrant sanctuary.

Transforming a Neutral Room with Pops of Color

A neutral living space is beautiful in its sophisticated simplicity, but add in a few pops of color and you’ve got the elements for a stylish home you can redecorate every season.

Living room demonstrating red pops of color in a black and brown neutral space

Take this neutral living room with pops of color, for instance. Black furniture, brown walls, and brassy wall accents ground the vibrant red and white pillows. The result? A common space with a splash of drama—pure rustic elegance.

Choosing the Perfect Neutral Base

Neutral colors form the canvas of your interior design. Whites, grays, and beiges create a clean, adaptable backdrop that can highlight your pops of color. This flexibility makes them perfect for experimenting with various color accents.

Why Neutral Colors Work

Neutrals work because they support virtually any color—think of a neutral base as your blank white canvas for strokes of color, or decor. This white living room with pops of color is dotted with gold and royal blue accents. Meanwhile, layers of white and off-white textiles give it a luxe, elegant feel.

Living room demonstrating blue and gold pop of color in a neutral white space
Photo: If Walls Could Talk

If you want a more dramatic look, a black and white living room may be an option. Incorporate different materials and textures like glass vases, acrylic chairs, metal lamp bases, and so on.

Pop of Color Using Pillows

Throw pillows are your secret weapon for introducing color into a room. They’re cost-effective, easy to swap out, and come in a wide array of colors and patterns. Try mixing and matching pop of color pillows to find the perfect combination that suits your style.

The Versatility of Throw Pillows

Throw pillows are the unsung heroes of interior design, and their versatility shines when it comes to injecting vibrant hues into neutral spaces. These small accessories can easily transform a room’s ambiance, making them a cost-effective choice for those who love to experiment with decor.

This window bench is brimming with personality—the eclectic mix of throw pillows, elephant-adorned upholstery, and gold-touched curtains is a wonderful expression of global style.

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Mixing and Matching Pillow Colors

Elevate your living room by mixing and matching pillow colors. Experiment with contrasting hues and complementary shades to infuse energy and personality into your space effortlessly.

The pops of color in this living room come from the vibrant pillows, making it an inviting and visually dynamic haven, especially against the neutral color sofa.

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Artwork and Wall Decor for Aesthetic-Boosting Pops of Color

Transform your neutral space into a gallery by adding vibrant art pieces. Bold, colorful artwork serves as a focal point, drawing attention and adding character to your living room. Consider creating a gallery wall with a mix of paintings, photographs, and other colorful wall decor.

Adding Vibrant Art Pieces

Frame your favorite works of art for colorful wall decor that’s easy to change out when you feel like it.

Photograph of a colorful framed artwork on a neutral white window sill
Photo: Etsy

Gallery Walls for Colorful Impact

Abstract artwork with pops of color breathes new life into any room. This gallery wall radiates maximalist energy, yet the neutral paint, upholstery, and linens keep the room in harmony.

Photo: Palmito Design

Area Rugs and Carpets

A colorful area rug or carpet can anchor your room and create a striking contrast against neutral flooring. Look for patterns and colors that complement your existing decor to tie the room together seamlessly.

Infusing Color Through Flooring

Whether you opt for bold, patterned tiles in a kitchen, colorful carpets in a living room, or elegant hardwood in a bedroom, your choice of flooring sets the tone. Flooring isn’t just a foundation; it’s an opportunity to weave color into the very fabric of your living space.

Photograph of a colorful rug in a neutral living room to demonstrate pops of color in a neutral common area
Photo: Jute Bazaar

Choosing the Right Rug Patterns

Rugs with pops of color come in many patterns. However, you may opt for clean, subtle patterns if you already have heavily patterned throws, wall decor, or other pieces of furniture. If you want your rug to be the focal point in a room, though, pick out bold patterns like chevron, polka dot, checkers, or Oriental rug patterns.

Furniture Statement Pieces for a Practical Pop of Color

Inject personality into your neutral space with colorful furniture. Vibrant sofas, chairs, and unique coffee tables can serve as eye-catching focal points, transforming your living room into a haven of color.

Vibrant Sofas and Chairs

Bright sofas and chairs can make up the secondary color in your room’s palette, the first being your wall color. With a neutral base, you can get creative with your choice in furniture upholstery/color.

Photograph of colorful furniture to showcase how to use pops of color i a neutral living space

Unique Coffee Tables and Side Tables

Curate smaller pieces of colorful furniture such as coffee tables and side tables, making sure each piece serves as a unique statement with pops of color.

Photograph of unique coffee table demonstrating use of pop of color through furniture
Photo: Henryle Design

A vibrant coffee table or side table not only adds functionality but also infuses your space with dynamic personality, ensuring your home reflects your distinctive style.

Colorful Accents and Decor

Add pops of color with smaller decor items like vases, bowls, and lamps. These accents can be easily swapped or moved around to refresh your space whenever you like.

Using Vases and Bowls

When it comes to choosing unique colorful vases and bowls as pops of color, consider selecting pieces that not only stand out on their own but also harmonize with your existing decor or with the elements on the table/counter.

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Livening Up with Lamps

Transform a tabletop using lamps with pops of color—mosaic lamps with vibrant designs, monochrome metal lamps in a cheerful color, or ceramic lamps with eye-catching palettes.

Curtains and Drapes

Curtains and drapes offer another opportunity to infuse color into your room. Whether you choose bold, solid-colored curtains or those with eye-catching patterns, they can instantly transform the look and feel of your living room.

Choosing Bold Window Treatments

These turquoise window valances in an all-white kitchen command attention. Curtains with pops of color are great ways to add accents in a neutral space.

Combining Patterns and Solids

Here, a white-on-white tablecloth combined with a patterned runner and colorful drapes make for a dramatic arrangement.

Painted Accent Walls for a Fun Pop of Color

Consider painting an accent wall in a vibrant color to create a focal point. It’s a bold choice that can breathe life into a room, especially when paired with complementary decor.

Creating a Focal Point

Accent walls with pops of color pull attention to a unique architectural feature or decor. Whether that’s a wood panel wall or a simple coat of paint behind the bed, accent walls invite you to get creative.

Photo: Bethany Nauert

Selecting Colors That Pop

By far, jewel tones are some of the most popular choices for accent walls. Various shades of blue (from inkly black to bright turquoise), saturated yellows, and blush pinks are also great choices for colors that pop against a neutral canvas like white.

  • Electric blue
  • Dark green
  • Honey yellow
  • Burnt orange
  • Eggplant
  • Kelly green

Don’t be afraid of colorful paint, and make sure your color choice coordinates with your accents.

Or, try a painted ceiling for a unique pop of color

A neutral living space is perfect for an attention-grabbing painted ceiling. For less contrast, try bringing up your wall color all the way to the ceiling instead of color blocking. This also makes any statement light all the more impactful.

Colorful Throw Blankets

Cozy up your neutral space with colorful throw blankets. They not only add warmth but also introduce texture and color, making your living room inviting and comfortable.

Cozying Up with Throws

Drape a throw blanket with pops of color on an armchair or sofa for a cozy living room. You might coordinate the throw blanket with your cushion pillow covers for a cohesive look.

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Mixing Textures and Hues

Different shades of the same color family and mixed prints can yield some interesting results like this blue pairing. The blue star print and Moroccan print give this corner of the living room a very boho vibe.

Photograph of neutral living room that uses a pop of color through a blue throw blanket and blue throw pillow on a chair

Indoor Plants for Healing Pops of Color

Plants can bring life and color into your space with little effort. Green leaf plants, in particular, offer a refreshing pop of color that complements almost any color scheme.

Greenery as Natural Color Pops

Adding color with plants also gives you the opportunity to choose unique plant pots.

Best Plants for Neutral Spaces

For green pops of color that work well in any space, plants from the palm family, fig trees, dracaena trees, and snake plants are particularly appealing. Choose larger varieties if you want to make a statement with a single plant.

Color Psychology

Understanding the psychology of color is key to making the right choices. Different colors evoke different emotions, so be sure to choose hues that resonate with the atmosphere you want to create.

Understanding the Emotional Impact of Color

What specific feelings and associations do you want to evoke in your room? Through your decor, you can transform a bedroom into a quaint French country home or a luxurious cabin retreat, like the neutral room with red bedding pictured here.

Photograph of neutral white and brown bedroom that uses a red pop of color in the bedding
  • Energetic colors: red, orange, yellow
  • Calming colors: blue, green, purple
  • Refreshing colors: spring greens, teals, peach, grapefruit
  • Other colors: purple for wisdom and royalty, gray for balance, brown for a grounding energy

Choosing Pops of Color That Complement

Complementary colors are colors that sit on opposite sides of the color wheel. On the other hand, analogous colors are ones that sit next to each other on the color wheel. Either color pairing strategy produces a harmonious and visually appealing palette.

Photograph of neutral living room that uses a pop of color in the furniture and flooring

However, a bold color paired with a neutral will always work.

  • Colors that pop with white: Royal blue, teal, pastel shades (blush pink, apricot, sage green)
  • Colors that pop with black: Red, magenta, brown, white/cream, mint
  • Colors that pop with green: Gold, gray, terracotta, maroon, raspberry
  • Colors that pop with blue: Orange, yellow, coral, turquoise, fuchsia
  • Colors that pop with gray: Dark green, rose gold/blush, electric blue, lime, orange, cherry red

Making Your Neutral Space Come to Life With Pops of Color

Incorporating pops of color into a neutral space allows you to personalize your living room, bedroom, and any room that needs your individual touch. Whether you opt for vibrant pillows, colorful artwork, or striking furniture, these decorating methods will help you create a vibrant and inviting living space that balances the best of both worlds – the timeless neutrality of the base and the exciting pops of color that bring it to life.

Photograph of neutral living room and green pops of color through pillow covers, art, and plants

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