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9 Zesty Ideas To Add Color to Your Space (Without Painting the Walls)

We’re in the midst of spring, everything has come alive outside, and chances are good that you want your interiors to match that vibrancy. If you’ve been thinking about shaking up your color scheme, you’re not alone—we’ve been perusing paint samples ourselves. Really!

But here’s the thing about paint: While it can transform a room on the cheap, it’s also messy. It can be difficult to choose a shade from 40 bajillion samples. And you need supplies, space, and time to devote to the project. We’re not saying don’t paint your walls! But if you’re open to some alternatives, we know of quite a few ways to add color to your space without getting out the paint roller and blue tape. Read on.

1. Change the lighting

Photo by PKA. This might sound random, but even something as simple as new lighting can affect the way your existing color schemes appear.

“Changing the light fixture itself can add a dramatic new color into your space, and truly change the entire look of your home,” says designer Samantha Bird of Shiloh Home.

“Using a 2,000K to 3,000K lightbulb can make things feel cozy and inviting while casting a warm glow, while bulbs anywhere from 6,000K to 100,000K cast a cool glow and will make the space read a little more blue,” Bird explains.

2. Toss in a colorful throw rug

Photo by McQuin Partnership Interior Design Another low-commitment way to swap out the colors in your space is with a colorful throw rug.

“Add some color and pattern to the space by selecting a vibrant area rug instead of a neutral one,” says interior decorator Pattie Kelly of Inspired Home Interiors. “This is a great way to introduce new colors while incorporating the existing palette, and can have a huge impact on the feel of the room.”

3. Swap in new textiles

Photo by Deborah French Designs Much like changing out your area rug, swapping in new textiles (blankets, throw pillows, etc.) can be a great and cost-effective way to switch up your color scheme.

“Add an energizing pattern or floral that highlights a different color than before,” suggests Kelly.

“If your pillows previously coordinated with a hue in the area rug, try picking up colors in the draperies or artwork instead,” says Kelly. “Go bold to really change the look and reinvigorate the space.”

4. Redo your cabinets

Photo by Significant Homes LLC While giving your cabinets a face-lift is a pretty involved DIY project, it can be worth it to modernize your look while incorporating more color into a kitchen or bathroom.

“Opt for a tonal color when painting your cabinets—think rust or sage,” suggests Bird. “This allows you to add color to your design while still feeling soft, approachable, and allowing your color palette to not go out of trend for a long time.”

5. Shop for a bright new sofa or chair

Photo by Linda Ruderman Interiors Similar to modernizing the cabinetry, bringing in a new sofa or chair allows you to kill two birds with one stone—by updating your home and also invigorating the space with fresh new colors.

“Don’t be afraid to pick a bold color for your sofa or a chair,” says Bird. “Especially if you’ve got a vintage frame and a bold modern color, the juxtaposition can be so fascinating and beautiful.”

6. Create an abstract gallery wall

Photo by Homepolish “I love to scour small artists’ websites for digital prints that I can download and have framed,” says Bird. “Find some pieces that you love, and create a gallery wall out of them, mixed in with photographs and even extras, like small mirrors.”

7. Go bold with peel-and-stick wallpaper

Photo by McKeithan Design Studio, LLC If changing the walls is in the cards for you, don’t reach for that can of paint quite yet. Peel-and-stick wallpaper is a great way to revamp your interior, and it’s also a lot less involved than painting.

“Instead of wallpapering an accent wall, why not try out wallpapering the ceiling?” suggests Bird. “Hear me out: With peel-and-stick wallpaper, you can try something bold with very little risk. Order a few different samples, tape them to your ceiling, and just sit with them for a few days. The ceiling is the most underutilized wall in a room—give it a shot!”

8. Try tile decals

Photo by Copper Creek Homes, LLC We all love a good backsplash, but installing new tiles is a pretty involved process. That’s one reason we love the idea of using tile decals to get funky with color.

“Of course, trying tile decals on your kitchen or bathroom backsplash can make a world of difference, but why not take that same energy to your staircase?” says Bird. “Slap some tiles onto your stair risers to bring a whole new look to a very functional space.”

9. Remove the excess

Sometimes the best way to reinvigorate a space is also the simplest.

“Clear off surfaces or pare down wall hangings to give the main elements space to breathe,” says Kelly. “Try editing your space to see what could be removed to allow just one piece to take center stage. Then, focus on making that piece—like a large piece of colorful art or a brightly colored sofa—a real showstopper.”

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