Artist Monica Ahanonu's secret to using a bright color combinations in the home

Illustrator and model Monica Ahanonu knows how to use daring color to energize a room, and her new rug collection reveals all the secrets...

Ruggable x monica collection in living room with open window and cow print throw on sofa
(Image credit: Ruggable)

Using bright color combinations in the home may seem scary. But with color making a comeback, it's time to face your fears. Besides, decorating with rich hues, such as orange, pink or green may be easier than you think. In fact, you don’t have to reach for the paintbrush and plaster the walls with the brightest shades you can find, nor do you need to go full-blown maximalist in your front room. Not that these options are off the cards, mind. Instead, for the color-shy and those looking for a failsafe solution to incorporating color, there are certain secrets to be known about how your decor can make all the difference. 

Artist, illustrator and model Monica Ahanonu, is an expert on using bright colors, whether it be in her work or her home, and her recent collaboration with rug brand Ruggable has all you need to inject some vibrancy into a colorful living room. The Ruggable x Monica Ahanonu collection aims to break the mould of traditional home decor by bringing optimism, light and energy into a space through color. 

1. Don't get hung up on cohesiveness 

Ruggable x monica collection dining room

The collection consists of 8 rug designs, with some suitable for outdoor use, so you can bring color and style to your alfresco area too. 

(Image credit: Ruggable)

If you're worried about introducing bright colors into your interior design, it might be because  you're worried how to design a color palette that will hang together well. 

‘Many people are hesitant to bring colors into their homes due to the lack of cohesiveness,' the experts at Ruggable say, but for Monica, there's a beauty in the trial and error of experimenting with color. 'For me the idea that shapes and color compositions are imperfect gives them more of a story and gives room for the viewer to create their own world around whatever design they choose,' the illustrator says.

And, you guessed it, the secret to introducing color might just be through a rug. 'Bright colored area rugs are a great starting point to target this problem and achieve a bright, lifted, yet still sophisticated color palette,' the Ruggable experts suggest. 'Not only is it an easy way to incorporate the shades into the rest of your decor, but it’s also less commitment in the long run should you choose to switch up the mood of your space.'

2. Use a furnishing's color story to pick out your room's palette 

Ruggable x Monica Ahanonu collection outdoor rug on terrace of house with chairs and pillows

(Image credit: Ruggable)

A rug will, more often than not, be the largest pieces of decor in the room. Even the plainest of rugs are noticed. And since it’s something so large, it’s the perfect way to pick out a color palette for the rest of your space. Ruggable suggests thinking about ‘which tones or shades you usually prefer and enjoy’. Does the brightness of yellow bring you joy? Or perhaps you find pink to be calm and comforting? Whatever your mood booster (it’s okay to disagree with the color psychology in interior design here), it’s best to go with what you’re drawn to. 

‘After choosing the bold rug that calls to you, you can tie your home decor to those same colors to pull the look together. Flowers, for example, are an easy way to bring colors from your rug into your home while still keeping it subtle. Matching colors from your rug with accent pillows or wall decor is also a great option.' 

3. Think about the energy color creates

Ruggable x Monica yellow coloured rug with white chair and pillow

(Image credit: Ruggable)

Bright colors can create a positive mood and energizing atmosphere, perfect for people who spend more time at home. Monica describes how she is 'inspired by how color affects your energy throughout the day' when curating a palette. 

‘A brightly colored rug can be a great statement piece that adds a pop of color to neutral spaces in your home,' our Ruggable expert suggests. 'And if you want the rug to be the star of the show, consider keeping the rest of the room minimal and neutral to avoid a cluttered, chaotic feel. Otherwise, if you want to continue the use of color, pay attention to how your decor items will compliment and contrast with your rug to make sure it really stands out.’ 

Though it's also worth knowing the dos and don'ts of rug placement. Be it a small rug tucked underneath a coffee table or a large one used to centralize a space, a bright-colored rug will be the center of attention when you enter any room. In other words, let your rug do the talking.  

Ecommerce Writer

Louise is the Ecommerce Writer for Livingetc, specializing in sleep content, so you can wind-down well, in style and luxury. Aside from buying guides and reviews to help get essential shut eye, Louise also writes shopping content for homeware items that’ll add a decorative edge to your space. Think contemporary kitchenware and organizers that are both practical and pretty. With an eye for design that won’t snooze on style, Louise searches for the best homeware pieces so you don’t have to.