A brighter shade of exuberance

The right mix of colours can bring life to any dull space —whether it is on your walls, flooring, ceiling, upholstery, curtains, blinds or even furniture. The use of contrast colours can instantly change a room and make it more refreshing.

Décor themes that use contrasting colours reflect the confidence and openness of the decorator; and, offbeat contrast combinations are the most sought-after décor trend this year.


Combinations like pairing grey with flaming orange or teal with haute pink can be a great way to express a unique outlook. Niharika Saraf of Arrivae Design suggests some interesting colours to try out this season. She says, “Think burnt orange with a stoic grey, deep purple with a teal blue or deep green with a pop of mustard. You need to set a theme and then pick contrasting yet complimenting colours. Ensure that you use the contrasting colours in a clever manner of patterns, prints, and textures to get the desired effect. A contrasting theme makes the space more vibrant and adds edginess. One can totally transform a child’s bedroom, games room, study and living room by applying these colour schemes.”

There’s a great change brewing in the design world, and according to experts, grey has become the new favourite along with shades like taupe, khaki, and other hues of beige. Manjari Sharma, principal architect at Wagma Designs feels that grey is a versatile colour and goes very well with traditional spaces as well as modern spaces. She says, “It can be combined with the calmness of blue, warmth of tan, the subtlety of a cream hue. While choosing the combination with grey, always consider the temperature — there are blue greys, brown-grey, cool greys, and warm greys. The wrong temperature can throw off the entire colour combination. Blueberry shades of blue with blue-grey, burgundy or rust with brown-grey, metallic rust or gold with warm gray and soft pink or light blue shades with cool grey are the best combinations.”

Contrasting looks work best in living rooms, public spaces, TV lounges, lobby, living rooms, dining area, and even bedrooms. Akshita Sekhri of Cavalry Lane, says, “A lot of people are now experimenting with grey as it has become a great canvas to colour block with other shades. Grey also seamlessly fits in any home and goes with teak brown, Tiffany blue or marmalade orange to spruce up space. An additional accent of a third bright colour serves as a lining and can be used to play up dark spaces in the room with splashes of bold shades. Let the neutral colour serve as a canvas, and splash the bright colour in controlled amounts all around the room.”

When we think of contrast, the most classic combination of black and white comes to mind. However, painting one wall black and the other wall white does not work — but at the same time, black and white stripes work wonders. Sarabjit Singh, architectural designer at Villa Ortiga Design Studio, says, “Bold and offbeat are trending this season with combinations like black and white or beige and blue. Mostly, bold colours with muted colours work best, and if you are using monotones in the room, then add an accent piece in a bold/ bright contrast colour to make it a striking combo.”

An important point to note while using combination is the play of light in your rooms as it affects the undertones of the colours you pick. Rajee Sood, an interior designer, mentions that even minimalist styling and accenting with pieces is enough to achieve the contrast effect. “An easy way to deal with the colour concept is to understand that there is no right or wrong colour. Don’t shy away from putting your bold choices out there on the wall. I find black an amazingly warm colour it is an absolutely and undeniably classy shade. The effect of light changes immediately when black is used to accent walls or combined with other neutral colours,” points out Sood.

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