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Expert Advice: How to Embrace Colour in the Home

Interior designer Tiffany Pratt shares her easy tips and tricks for incorporating bright, bold, beautiful colours.

For Tiffany Pratt, host of HGTV’s Buy It, Fix It, Sell It and Home to Win, adding colour to the home is about more than aesthetics…it’s a lifestyle: “Living spaces are supposed to be for the person,” she says. “If a person really wants to go for broke and live in a rainbow dream, they should live in a rainbow dream.”

The designer, known for her bright interiors (and vibrant hair to match!), is a colour advocate. But she also understands that each individual has a different comfort zone. “Everyone’s version of beauty is very different and everyone’s version of colour is very different,” she says. “Some people really respond to and need lots of colour and some people really don’t want it and feel like subtle hits are all they can handle.” Ahead of her appearance at the BC Home and Garden Show, we chatted with Pratt to get her tips on how to inject colour in the home—in both small and large amounts—and learned that, more than anything, it’s about embracing your own personal style.

10 Tips to Help You Add Colour to Your Home

1. Grab a Bucket of Paint
“The most accessible, transformational tool that anyone of any budget can use to change their space and add colour is paint. You can paint furniture, you can paint walls, anything is paintable.”

2. Accessorize
“[Find] things you can put in a room to add splashes of colour, but that won’t necessarily inform the space: lamps, throw pillows, items for the coffee table, carpeting.”

For a subtle pop of colour, add a fresh bouquet of flowers to an otherwise neutral room—or paint the door.

3. Love is All You Need
“When you’re going big (e.g. if you’re spending the extra money to import an orange Smeg refrigerator or if you’re going for those really interesting green armchairs), I always talk about love. You want to really love what you’re picking. Regardless of style, regardless of trends, regardless of anything, you have to love it.”

4. Find a Colour Buddy
“Everything in a room should have a buddy. If you have a cobalt blue velvet sofa there needs to be a few other things in that space that are (not necessarily the exact same cobalt blue) also some sort of blue.”

The oars hanging on the wall in this vibrant (and patterned!) bedroom add colour without overwhelming the space.

5. Add a Fresh Bouquet
“People don’t always buy colourful flowers. They are super inexpensive and you can easily transform a space by adding very bright, colourful flowers.”

6. Do It Yourself
“Don’t be afraid to try fabric dyes and paints. You may have a white sofa with a slip-cover or a white lampshade. Stick the dye in the washing machine with your slip-cover and you can have a pink chair by the afternoon.”

7. More is More
“I would never subscribe to something being ‘too much.’ I think that’s just me. [Laughs.] Colour is therapy and colour is life—the more you want, the better you’ll feel. Pack it on!”

Pink and orange hues are repeated throughout this space in the throw pillows, artwork and drapes.

8. Stay Within Range
“I call them colour stories or colourways, but the idea is that you have certain shades in mind and you stick within a range of those shades. Even if it’s not an exact match, you’ll have things in a room that are speaking the same colour language. I think people find that when they have their own colourway intact when they go shopping or when they look for something online, they’ll go, ‘Oh yeah, that will totally match!’ or ‘You know what, those aren’t my colours.’ It’s very intuitive.”

9. Broad Spectrum
“Another thing I’ve started to do, which is a little bit quirky, is adding colour tints with lightbulbs and window films. [This] brings a whole new hue to a room without it being something super permanent, which is really cool.”

10. Follow Your Guts
“Colour is personal. [We] should stop listening to what other people have to say and start listening to [our] guts. Your guts know the answers—follow that all the way down the rainbow.”


Get More Designer Tips from Tiffany Pratt

Pratt will be making her Home and Garden show debut in Vancouver (February 22 to 26), Calgary (March 2 to 5) and Winnipeg (April 6 to 9).

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