This Designer’s Tip for Decorating with Color will Help you Create a Balanced and Nuanced Palette

Experts tell us that this hack is a great rule of thumb to choose harmonious colors that are best suited to your space

Living room with peach walls and sofa
(Image credit: Damian Russell. Design by Matthew Williamson)

Neutral homes will always have a place in our hearts, but color has officially made it back on the trend list. From vibrant living spaces to jewel-toned bedrooms and surprisingly colorful bathrooms, we can't get enough of the different hues people are vying for this season.

Having said that, we understand that building a vibrant color palette that caters to your home can be very tricky. First, you need to choose tones that feel liveable and comfortable, and then there's the task of making those colors feel dynamic. Common problems are overloading with color or blanketing the space in one shade that lacks dimension, neither of which results in a visually aesthetic space.

However, it's not all bad news. We found this clever TikTok trick from a designer and she has a simple rule that works for all homes and aesthetics. And since we would never steer you wrong, we double-checked with the experts and they happen to love this hack too. So if you're planning to decorate with color and aren't sure of where to begin, follow this trick for a formulaic method that guarantees a dynamic and dimensional room.

How to create a vibrant color palette

yellow and pink living room

(Image credit: Studio Proba)

Since it's summer revamp season, we've been deep in 'InteriorTok', which is how we came across Julie Sousa's (@the_avantgarde) brilliant trick on how to create a color palette. In her video, Julie explains that one of the most common mistakes people make is using similar colors repeatedly, thereby resulting in a monotonous and flat space. Instead, she recommends building a more complex color palette by including varied shades of each color for a more visually interesting space.

Julie's video also showcases a mock-up of the difference in using the same colors versus using a range of shades and there is definitely a notable glow-up between the before and after. We find that the inclusion of different hues injects the room with more personality and gives space for a layer of definition that was otherwise missing. And we aren't alone in our opinion.

Elana Mendelson, the founder of Elana Designs, tells us that the TikTok design trick to create the perfect color palette is spot on. 'When incorporating colors into a space it’s important to keep them consistent but that doesn’t mean that they have to be the exact same shade or tone throughout the space,' says Elana. 'They simply need to coordinate and/or complement each other.'

Over and above a blend of colors, Elana also points out that she enjoys mixing textures, accessories, and simple design elements in varying shades of colors. She finds that this adds interest, depth, and an overall beautifully curated look to a home.

red and pink living room

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

According to interior designer Nina Lichtenstein, this color palette trick underscores a fundamental principle of design - balance. 'By thoughtfully varying shades and tints, you avoid the pitfalls of monotony without sacrificing harmony,' notes Nina. 'The result is a space that feels both cohesive and complex, inviting and intriguing.' She tells us that his approach allows for greater personal expression and creativity, enabling homeowners to craft spaces that truly reflect their personalities and lifestyles.

Aside from being a great way to fix an off-balance palette, Nina also recommends using this trick to create a paint palette for your walls. And like Elana, she also suggests layering textures and accessories for a chic contemporary finish to your space. 'Layering textiles like rugs, curtains, and pillows in varied hues can significantly elevate a room's aesthetic,' says Nina. 'Accessories like vases, lamps, and picture frames can also adhere to this principle, contributing to a more cohesive yet dynamic look.'

If you're trying to figure out which colors work best for your space but you're feeling stumped, try giving this TikTok trick a go. The experts swear by it and it seems to be quite foolproof so you truly can't go wrong. The best part about this hack is that it allows you to use any set of colors you wish to and doesn't tie you down creatively. So follow Julie's advice and we have a feeling that you'll find yourself with a welcoming color scheme that'll sweep your guests off their feet.


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News Writer

Amiya is the News Writer at Livingetc. She recently graduated with a Masters Degree in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London and has lent her words to beauty, fashion and health sections of lifestyle publications including Harper’s Bazaar and Women’s Health. Her experience as a research analyst has equipped her with an eye for emerging trends. When she’s off the clock, she can be found reading, listening to music or overanalysing her latest Co-Star update.