I just found this old picture of the gatehouse decked out for Christmas.

Can we talk for just a second?


I like color.  I like pattern. But color with pattern and pink and black and chevron and that patterned wallpaper?  I seriously had to blink once or twice to make sure it was all actually in the same room.


Do what I say.

Not what I did.

Here are a few ways to add color to your home without commitment.

1. Flowers

Have neutrals in your home?

Want a little color to make your day brighter?

Add a pop of color to the space with flowers.  Don’t overthink it.  Don’t worry if the arrangement is perfect.

And the best part?  You can streeeettttttccccchhhhh that $5 flower bundle from the grocery store with greenery from your yard.

PPS  Here’s a great flower arranging tip.

2.  Rugs

Sometimes all you need to add a little pop to a space is a rug full of color.

If you took the rug out of this space it would be a whole lot of neutral.

But adding that blue into the porch makes the space feel full of color without a lot of commitment.

PS  Here’s a great tip to stretch your rug budget.

3.  Pillows

Here is a whole lot of pattern going on.

That’s some brown mixed with some pink mixed with some orange mixed with some blue mixed with a bird.

But in a pillow?

It’s just a little commitment.

Pillows are also a great way to try out colors in a room before you go all in and paint.

PS  Here are some great pillow projects.

4.  Painted furniture

Painting furniture is a little more commitment than pillows or flowers.

(total aside:  see how I led you gently down the commitment road)

But repainting a piece of furniture is so much easier than repainting a wall.

5.  Paint a wall

And sometimes not even the whole wall.

Here, I just painted part of it.

But that beautiful wonderful SW Coral Reef pops the room out without a lot of color in the rest of the space.

PS  You can see how to build this raised panel wall here.

Here’s an example of a room that’s secretly neutral.

Look at the walls–white.

Look at the furniture–white.

Look at the lamp—white with a hint of gray.

Look at the rug–gray and white.

But when you look at the overall space?  It feels FULL of color.

Extra color with color sprinkled on top.

Color without any of the commitment, just in case pink and orange start getting on your last nerve….

…you can always break up. 🙂

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for david david

    When I first bought my fixer-upper house I managed to paint every room a different color it was.....festive....... I've now swung back the other way and gotten (almost) all the walls a bit more neutral but it does look a bit bland. Thanks for the advice - the rug thing is amazing to me - that space does really look colorful.

  2. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I think of myself as a big fan of color but when I read this excellent post and actually took a second look at my rooms, all my big pieces are neutral! Who knew I was doing it right all along? #feelin'goodaboutmyself

  3. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    I want neutral in our walls -- except I really loooooooove that coral color wall -- I need to find some polish that color for my toes. It looks good with a tan. Sorry, that was a total aside. Yes, I want neutral furniture and walls and then I want to go WILD with color. Uh huh! That's what I need to do AND find someone to paint the walls. I think Honey gave away all of our painting tools so he wouldn't have to do any more painting. BUT! Where there's a will there's a way -- I have the number to some painters. Heh! Heh! Heh! Have a great day and a Happy Independence Day. 🤗

  4. Image for Jolyn Jolyn

    Love the color without commitment. My hubby is a drab TAN kind of decorating guy, but I can add color to wall hangings, couch (and pillows) without a lot of fuss. Great ideas!

  5. Image for gee gee

    I am a neutral base kind of girl. Except when we moved and the men took control and we ended up with crazy colored walls. Eeekkkkk!!! That lasted a little while and since then we have had antique white , and now a nice calm ☺light grey called meeting house white. I need calm walls to showcase my art work . But I am all about little Pops of colour that I can change out on a whim and am not married to. Right? Luv your ideas as always! 😚

  6. Image for Susie Susie

    Love this post, but have to admit that color and I are officially going steady. Although, your point is well taken about the last room being neutral and filled with color. What a GREAT way to keep "going steady" with color at an arm's length. Create a neutral room and fill it with color. Got'cha. I'm going to get busy with this idea in the dining room. Fingers crossed ---there's no break up. :-) Susie from The Chelsea Project

  7. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    Wow, those are great tips! The rooms read color but are really neutral. I'm taking a page out of your book (or blog, in this case) and doing this for my city house kitchen. ( bye- bye olive green). I see lots of flowers, pillows and maybe curtains in my future - with neutral walls! Yay!

  8. Image for Mary Mary

    Sometimes just a little tweak makes all the difference! And who ever said they have enough pillows? But I would prefer the blue stenciled table! <3

  9. Image for April J Harris April J Harris

    Big decorating changes can be so expensive - it's great to be able to try a bit of a change before making a long term change. I really enjoyed reading this post and your tips are so helpful. I've featured it at the Hearth and Soul Link Party this week. Thank you so much for sharing it!

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