How to Add Color Without Painting Walls

It’s winter time and there isn’t much color going on outside, which leaves me wanting some color inside.  For the most part, my house is very neutral with just a few pops of color here and there and I find myself wanting to add more.  I’m about to give my bedroom a full makeover and paint the walls, but in the other rooms, I like the wall color neutral as it is, but the rooms need some color!

In the living room, I just recently painted a dresser a nice blue/green (see that post here) which brought in a little bit of color, but I’m wanting more.

If you don’t know already, I’m a renter.  In this house, I’m allowed to paint, but I know a lot of my fellow renters are not given that option.  So, here are some ways to add some color if you don’t want to change the walls or just want to keep that neutral background.  And of course, ways to do it on a small budget, cause that’s how we do it around here.


Probably the easiest way to gain a lot of color in a room is with drapery.  Let’s face it, some drapery can be very expensive though.  Here are a few ways to get the look without breaking the bank.

Make curtains out of a flat sheet like Meredith at Welcome to Heardmont did in her dining room.  What great color this brings to the room and for very little $$.  She has a great tutorial on how to transform a sheet into curtains, also.  She sewed hers, but I have made them before with just the iron-on tape like Stitch Witchery.

Courtesy BHG

In this picture, notice how everything but the drapes and lamp are very neutral.  Just with those two things, especially the drapes, no one would say that room is boring.

You can also use a tablecloth for great fabric.  I just picked up two 60×102 tablecloths from Target that I’m making into curtains for my living room for $7.98 each!  Stay tuned for that post.

Some great places I like to purchase ready-made drapery for just a little cash are Big Lots, TJMaxx/Marshalls/HomeGoods, Target, Ikea (if you have one near you).


Another great way to add some color is with art.  No, you don’t have to spend a fortune on it.  You can even DIY it.

Courtsey BHG

Now, this room is popping with color!  But look at the bones of the room…all neutral.  The art on wall is just fabric wrapped around a board and a canvas.  How simple is that?  And what a big impact it makes. Do you see some other simple ways to add color in this picture?


Who doesn’t love frames?  You can pick them up in all sizes at a thrift store for almost nothing.  Get out some spray paint in your fav color and go to town!  Then hang them in a collage and you are done.  Easy peasy.


One of my favorite ways to add some color is with painted furniture.  Just like my newly painted tv console, just one piece of painted furniture in a room can give it a new life. You can go more subtle, like I think my console is, or more bold, like Miss Mustard Seed’s Swiss Miss dresser.

via Miss Mustard Seed

What a statement this would make in your room. Love it!


Your lamps and light fixtures not only bring in a lot a light to a room, but can also bring in some great pops of color.


I’ve got a chandelier in my basement right now that I may tackle with an awesome color for my bedroom makeover.


You can also hit an old brass lamp from the GW with a can of spray paint and make it brand new and colorful.

Or add some great fabric like on the yellow lamp or even some yarn to the shade like Mandi at Vintage Revivals did with this one.  Love it!

So, are you inspired to add some color to your rooms?  I know I am.

Linking to: Wild Wednesdays at Chatty Chics

Home Stories A2Z


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5 thoughts on “How to Add Color Without Painting Walls

  1. I love color and as much as I think I'd like to stay with an all neutral palette, I just can't do it. I need my color! Your tv console looks great. That's a wonderful color you chose.

  2. I really like that yellow lamp ad the fabric shade too. Yellow is such a happy color…makes me smile. I had never thought to have a yellow lamps before but now I'm thinking about it,..-KAT-

  3. What fantastic ideas! We rent too and we can paint but we're planning on buying a house soon so I really want to hold off on painting. Would love it if you came by and linked up to my Manic Monday Linky Party!-Melissa

  4. This is a WONDERFUL post!!! Ever since I stumbled upon Pantone's 2012 color of the year (Tangerine Tango) I've been inspired to add more color into our neutral home …. bring on the color!xo,Nicole @ Three 31

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