Inside Sarah Richardson’s Colorful Home

Designer Sarah Richardson opens her Toronto home to HGTV Magazine to show you how to use color (and lots of it!).
By: Steele Thomas Marcoux

Photo By: Paul Costello

Photo By: Paul Costello

Photo By: Paul Costello

Photo By: Paul Costello

Photo By: Paul Costello

Photo By: Paul Costello

Photo By: Paul Costello

Photo By: Paul Costello

Photo By: Paul Costello

Photo By: Paul Costello

Photo By: Paul Costello

Photo By: Paul Costello

Color-Coding Tricks

Walking into designer and HGTV host Sarah Richardson's house feels like opening a box of crayons — nearly every room is a different hue. What’s the secret to getting so many shades to play well with one another? "Because every room features a bold color, you're not caught off guard as you move through the house," says Sarah.

From: HGTV Magazine and Sarah Richardson

Blend Color With Neutrals

She also uses subtle swaths of neutrals "that help balance out all the color and keep the place from looking like a kaleidoscope on steroids," she says. Read on for her other tricks for creating a happy-hued home.

From: HGTV Magazine and Sarah Richardson

Divide a Room With Two Colors

Sarah defined two areas in her living room by painting accent walls different colors. "Use the colors from a piece of fabric in the room. It's a good way to confirm the shades live nicely side by side," says Sarah.

From: HGTV Magazine and Sarah Richardson

Pick the Right Pair

"And choose colors that have the same intensity. Check that they're the same distance down on each paint strip. For example, pick two that are both the third color down from the top of the strip." Get the look: Jardin by Sherwin-Williams, Hazy Blue by Benjamin Moore

From: HGTV Magazine and Sarah Richardson

Go Bold on a Small Wall

"Most people have limited wall space in the kitchen, so it's a good place to play with a more intense color," Sarah says, especially when you keep the cabinets white or neutral.

From: HGTV Magazine and Sarah Richardson

Don't Be Afraid of Change

The color she chose for her own kitchen is "an energizing but restful sapphire." Come back next month, though, and it could be another vibrant shade. "These same walls have been raspberry, deep plum and aquamarine," she says. "Since it's not a huge paint job, it's easy to change it up." Get the look: Spinnacker by Ralph Lauren

From: HGTV Magazine and Sarah Richardson

Pull Colors From Artwork

The hues on the entryway credenza were inspired by the painting hanging above it. The multicolored furniture works like a preview for the rest of the house, letting everyone know from the get-go: This is a lively, colorful place. Get the look: Begonia by Sherwin-Williams, Ciara Yellow by Farrow & Ball, French Lilac by Benjamin Moore

From: HGTV Magazine and Sarah Richardson

Lead With a Statement

The multicolored furniture works like a preview for the rest of the house, letting everyone know from the get-go: This is a lively, colorful place. Get the look: Begonia by Sherwin-Williams, Ciara Yellow by Farrow & Ball, French Lilac by Benjamin Moore

From: HGTV Magazine and Sarah Richardson

Play With One Color in Different Shades

Most of the rooms in Sarah's house feature more than one color. But in her daughter Robin's bedroom, she layered various blues, sometimes with paint, sometimes with fabrics. "When you love one color, keep the look simple and soothing by mixing multiple shades and nothing else," says Sarah, who especially likes this trick in a child's bedroom.

From: HGTV Magazine and Sarah Richardson

Try it in Your Home

If blue isn't your thing, try the layering technique in red or green shades. Get the look: Stone by Farrow & Ball (on the walls), Rivera Azure by Benjamin Moore (on the ceiling)

From: HGTV Magazine and Sarah Richardson

Decorate the Way You Dress

You wouldn't wear head-to-toe fuchsia, right? Same is true when you're dressing a room. "You have to work in a lot of neutrals to balance out all the color," says Sarah. In her master bedroom, she painted one wall rosy pink and the others a yellow-green.

From: HGTV Magazine and Sarah Richardson

Blend With White

Then she kept the carpet, lamps and bedding white. "Without white, a colorful room would just look chaotic." Get the look: Eros Pink by Sherwin-Williams, Tasty Apple by Benjamin Moore

From: HGTV Magazine and Sarah Richardson