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The art of using accent colours

Think of accent colours as the finishing touch to a newly decorated room. Without them a room would be bland and uninspiring. The art of using accent colours in a room is to be inspired by your surroundings, or elements already within a room. Use accent colours for bold emphasis or to create an interesting contrast.


The main inspiration for the room above was obviously taken from the rug. Two colours were chosen: a dusty pink and creamy yellow. The artwork on the wall mirrors these same colours, while the rest of the room is decorated in a neutral colour scheme.

Not all accent colours are defined by elements in a room, some are added to create an impact with a neutral or monochromatic colour scheme. ABOVE: In this room the dark grey walls and start white accessories are jolted out of being bland by adding purple fabric and a vase of fresh lilac orchids. BELOW: This neutral living space is splashed with jewel tones.


This colourful room setting takes is cue from the striped rug. Curtains and fabric were then chosen to tie in with colours from the rug, and a feature wall on either side of the fireplace painted in a matching hue to create an overall cohesive colour scheme in shades of red and orange.

Here's another room that takes its colour cues from a rug. The Victorian love seat is upholstered in a bright pink fabric that mirrors the pink in the rug, a colourful table lamp - a small accent - picks up a square of orange from the rug, while the vase of flowers echo the same colours.

In this bedroom, the headboard and night frill complement the colour of the dresser to balance out the room. Accessories on the bed pick up start contrasts of black and white from a floor rug.

Artwork and decor accessories are another way to choose accent colours for a room. In this bedroom the bedding, cushions and trim on the drapes all tie in with the colour used in the wall mounted artwork.

In this cool, tranquil living space, the designer started with a neutral background and then added a blue lounge suite. Taking this as a colour cue, accents where added here and there around the room - in shades of blue and teal.


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