Is Bolder Better? Here's How to Add More Color + Pattern

If your mantra is 'more is more,' these tips are for you. 

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Simple white interiors have been everywhere for a few years, and it's no surprise why. It's hard to dislike a clean, easy color palette, and a white space is considered more timeless than a more colorful or pattern-heavy one. But what if it just doesn't feel right for YOUR space?

Gray Contemporary Foyer With Sofa

Gray Contemporary Foyer With Sofa

In a smaller space, try graphic patterned wallpaper on the walls and ceiling. It can give the room a cozy, intimate feel as seen in this contemporary foyer.

Photo by: Rethink Design Studio

Rethink Design Studio

Joel Snayd, principal at interior architecture firm Rethink Design Studio in Savannah, Ga., like to push the boundaries on color and pattern in the homes they design. They also know it's not the right choice for everyone.

"When you step out the door, are you somebody who wears black and white, or are you somebody who dresses with color," Joel asks. "What do you gravitate to? It will tell you a lot about your personality."

Gray Contemporary Sitting Room With Pink Sofa

Gray Contemporary Sitting Room With Pink Sofa

A charmingly eclectic mix of whitewashed furnishings, vintage accessories and a wallpapered accent wall makes this bedroom into an inviting retreat. An ocean blue rug anchors the space and unifies the look.

Photo by: Rethink Design Studio

Rethink Design Studio

If someone has a bubbly personality or loves colorful clothing or blingy jewelry, chances are they'll feel more comfortable with bolder design choices, Joel says. If they tend to dress more conservatively, then large doses of pattern and color may be more of a risk.


Budget restrictions can also put a damper on the desire to up the drama in a space. In those cases, pay attention to colors and patterns that you never seem to tire of. If you've always felt drawn to fuchsia, then a hot pink sofa may be a sound investment, Joel says.

And if bold colors and patterns speak to you, but you still feel hesitant to go all in for your home design -- start small, Joel says. Try out colorful accessories like pillows or curtains. After a while of living with them, your comfort level with bolder choices might grow.

Another way to test out your commitment to bolder design is to try it in a smaller space like a powder room or closet. The impact of striking patterns or blasts of color in smaller areas aren't as overwhelming as they are in larger spaces, and if it doesn't work out, it's often more affordable to change.

White Living Room With Yellow Sofa

White Living Room With Yellow Sofa

A buttery yellow sofa and gorgeous striped curtains take this living room from sedate to smashing. Large windows brighten the space with natural light and a crystal chandelier gives luxurious panache overhead.

Photo by: Richard Leo Johnson

Richard Leo Johnson

Artwork is another smart way to play with color and pattern, Joel says.

"You can have an all-white home, but with art it can instantly look like it has 60 shades of color, and it brings personality in," he says.

See More From Rethink Design Studio

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Neutral Eclectic Bedroom With Blue Rug

A charmingly eclectic mix of whitewashed furnishings, vintage accessories and a wallpapered accent wall makes this bedroom into an inviting retreat. An ocean blue rug anchors the space and unifies the look.

Funky White Sitting Room With Blue Sofa

Shades of blue and green pop out from the white background to give this sitting room a fun feel. The varied textures and patterns of the furniture, artwork, even the chandelier help deepen the dimension of the space.

White Living Room With Yellow Sofa

A buttery yellow sofa and gorgeous striped curtains take this living room from sedate to smashing. Large windows brighten the space with natural light and a crystal chandelier gives luxurious panache overhead.

Gray Contemporary Sitting Room With Pink Sofa

This sitting room gets a big, bold personality thanks to a mix of striking patterns and pops of hot pink. The white rug and clear coffee tables help anchor the flights of fancy around them.

Gray and White Bathroom With Gold Mirror

Ornate gold embellishments on this bathroom's mirror bring a touch of old world glamour to the sophisticated gray-and-white space. Tiny gray mosaic tiles add texture underfoot on the floors and shower.

Gray Graphic Wallpaper and Dresser

Keep graphic wallpaper from overwhelming a room by pairing it with monotone furniture and artwork. Here, a gray dresser and white wall hangings are ideal complements, crisp and clean.

Photo By: Rethink Design Studio

Green and White Bathroom With Skylights

A sense of restful calm exudes from this bathroom with its pale green tile backsplash and skylights filling the space with natural light. Soft gray hardwood floors complete the look.

Blue Traditional Bedroom With Pink Sofa

At the foot of the bed, a bright pink sofa trimmed with white piping delivers a shot of energy to this bedroom. The bold color is picked up again in the wall mirror and in the edging of the curtain.

White Powder Room With Gray and Yellow Feather Wallpaper

In a flight of fancy, this cool powder room features feather wallpaper in a soothing palette of gray and yellow and an eclectic antler sconce.

Gray Powder Room With Patterned Wallpaper

This wallpaper's intricate pattern helps the powder room feel as though it were wrapped in lace. To juxtapose that delicate feel, a black mirror is hung by a wide strap from a peg.

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