Neutrals have dominated the interior design world for the past decade. While a neutral palette has many positives, such as being timeless, calming and versatile, it lacks a strong sense of personality and vibrancy.
It takes courage to step out of the neutral safe zone and choose to make a statement with home decor. Fortunately, the use of vibrant color in interior design has a long history, and there are many established design styles to use as a guide.
If there is an antithesis to neutral decor, bohemian design is it. There is nothing neutral about a bohemian room. This style is all about embracing color, pattern, texture and deliberately mixing and matching materials and furnishings. It is a highly personal design aesthetic meant to showcase a homeowner’s personality and passions.
Bohemian interior design might place opulent green velvet sofas layered with ikat throw pillows next to rustic wood end tables adorned with elaborate crystal-hung lamps. Bohemian rooms should showcase thrifted treasures and personal memorabilia to create an intimately personal ambiance.
A more over-the-top and less organic sister to the bohemian style is called maximalism. Spruce.com calls this style a “more-is-more” approach to interior design and likens it to the highly decorative Victorian era. This style needs to be carefully curated to avoid coming across as chaotic and cluttered.
If the color of the bohemian palette appeals to you, but you want something more elegant, the refined opulence of an art deco interior will delight you. While this style was at its height in the 1920s, it remains a much-loved design aesthetic today and mixes beautifully with modern contemporary designs.
Bold jewel tones, geometric shapes, brass and glass accessories, and lavish textiles are integral to art deco design. Decorative and colorful marbling on walls is common, as is the use of elaborate wallpapers. Here too sleek green velvet couches can find a home, alongside brass and glass accent tables in rooms lit by sophisticated chandeliers.
Atomic Mid-Century Modern
Mid-century modern is a design aesthetic that never goes out of style. Known for clean lines, natural woods, and vibrant pops of color, this is a timeless style that is sophisticated in its simplicity. It’s a perfect style to investigate if you want to explore a touch of color while staying true to a neutral base.
However, if you love MCM and are ready to go all in on color, atomic mid-century modern design is a fun and vibrant sub-genre you might want to explore. This aesthetic maintains the clean lines of MCM while adding vibrant color and retro-futuristic shapes like rounded triangular tables and light fixtures shaped like satellites. The color palette is playful and includes vibrant teals, oranges, yellows and greens. That’s right, those vibrant green velvet sofas will fit right in here too.
Going neutral with interior design is a safe bet, but if you find yourself pining for something more colorful, you can’t go wrong with these three well-established design styles. If you decide to take the plunge and need the perfect furniture to match your new aesthetic, peruse the beautifully crafted, mid-century-inspired furnishings at Poly and Bark. They offer quality furnishings with free returns for 100 days. Shipping is free on eligible orders and financing is available.