How to Use Accent Colors Effectively: Creative Tips for Designing Your Home

Accent colors are one of the most popular design tools that interior decorators use to make their homes uniquely theirs. Accent colors can be used in various ways, for example, as a way to introduce color into an all-white room, or as a way to add interest and character to an otherwise neutral space. 

The use of accent colors in design is an incredibly powerful tool. They are used to contrast with the dominant color palette, bring out a different texture or reflect light for dramatic effect. Accent colors can be incorporated into any room in your home, and they are certainly not limited to art pieces, cushions, or furniture! 

Read on below to learn more about what an accent color is, how it works, and some top tips for using them effectively when decorating your home!

What Is an Accent Color?

So what is an accent color? An accent color is simply the main focal point of your home’s interior design scheme – it could be something like a piece of furniture or artwork, but it might also be the color on a single feature wall!

An accent color is normally bright and bold and used to draw attention to certain pieces of furniture, wall art, or other design elements. They can be used as the main focus of your home decor, but are often employed in small doses for maximum effect. 

Accent colors can also be used to punch up neutral shades like white and gray, can be used to help unify a space, highlight specific elements in the room, or just give it some personality!

How Do Accent Colors Work?

When used correctly, accent colors can add personality and life to a room. They can also be used to create a sense of unity or cohesion in a space. In general, accent colors are used to brighten up a room, draw attention to certain features or elements, or create a specific mood or feeling.

How Do You Know Which Color to Choose as an Accent?

There are many factors that will help you select the perfect accent color, including personal preference and what mood or feeling you want to create. You can also take into consideration elements such as current trends in interior design, the existing decor of a room (including its furniture, walls, and floors), and complementary colors.

Here are some top tips for using accent colors effectively:

  • Choose a color that contrasts with the dominant color in the room. This will help the accent color stand out and be more noticeable.
  • Consider the size of the room. If the room is large, choose a darker or bolder color as an accent. If the room is small, you can use a lighter or more subtle color, so that the accent doesn’t seem overpowering.
  • Think about the existing decor in the room and try to find a color that will complement it. For example, if there is a lot of green in the room, you might want to choose a blue accent color.
  • Pay attention to current trends in interior design and try to select a color that is on-trend. This can help keep your space looking fresh and up-to-date.
  • Experiment. Be creative with your choices and have fun with them. Trying out new combinations can be exciting and lead to some really unique results.

The bottom line? Accent colors are a great way to add personality and life to any room. With just a little bit of creativity, you can create a unique and beautiful space that is uniquely yours.

How to Use Accent Colors Effectively?

So, how do you use accent colors effectively when designing your home? Here are some tips:

Pick a Small Color Palette

A smaller color palette will ensure that your accent colors stand out and are more noticeable throughout the space. This is especially important in rooms with low ceilings or narrow spaces. Using a smaller selection of colors will also help to keep the look cohesive and consistent.

Choose a Color That Contrasts With the Dominant Color in the Room

This is one of the most important tips for using accent colors effectively. If you want your accent color to be noticeable, it’s important to choose a color that contrasts with the dominant color in the room.

This will help the accent color be more noticeable and make a bigger impact. For example, if the room’s dominant color is deep blue, try using a pale pink as an accent color. If the walls are painted a pale pink, try using a deep green as an accent color. These examples are complete contrasts of color and will work much better than similar shades.

Plus, pay attention to current trends in interior design and try to select a color that is on-trend. This can help keep your space looking fresh and up-to-date.

Find Inspiration From Your Environment.

Look for colors in your environment that might make good accent colors in your home. For example, if you’re outdoors a lot, you might want to try bringing in some of the accent colors you see in nature.

Make Sure the Main Color Appears Enough

When you’re trying to create a room with a solid accent color, you need to make sure the accent isn’t appearing more than the main color of the room. If you don’t do this, then the accent color ends up being the main color and, in many cases, this can look much too bold. So, try to find a good balance between both of them.

Use Analogous Colors

Analogous colors are a group of three similar colors that are located next to each other on the color wheel. This is a great way to create a cohesive and consistent look in your space.

For example, you might want to use three shades of blue as your accent colors. To create a cohesive look, use one blue as the main color of your room and then choose two other colors that are similar to it on opposite sides of the color wheel (e.g., light blue, turquoise).

Use a Combination of Clear Colors and Grayed Out Colors

If you want to use a combination of clear colors and grayed-out colors, it’s important to make sure that the ratio is about 50/50. This will help to create a more balanced and cohesive look in the space.

A grayed-out color is a color that has been lightened or muted with white, so it’s not as bright and bold as a clear color. Using these as well as clear colors is a great way to create some visual interest in your space.

Use Tints, Tones, and Shades of the Same Color Family

Using tints, tones, or shades of one color family can help you achieve different looks that are cohesive with each other. This also makes it easier for you if you want to use more than one accent color in your space.

For example, if you’re using blue as your main color, you could use different shades of blue (e.g., navy, royal blue, sky blue) as your accent colors. This will create an organized feel and consistent look throughout the space.

Incorporate Neutrals Into Your Color Scheme

Adding some neutrals into your color scheme is an incredibly easy way to make your space more versatile. Neutrals can go with pretty much any color, so you can use them as a base for your accent colors.

If you’re using navy blue as your main color, you could use beige or gray as one of your accent colors. Or visa versa.  This will create a more consistent color scheme, as well as a space that is versatile enough to work with many different interiors.

Plus, neutral colors are great for making bolder accent tones stand out. They aren’t as strong or dominant as the other colors in your space, so any bright or dark accents will appear more striking when used with them.

Use Bright Colors Sparingly

Using bright colors in accent pieces can be a great way to add some interest into your space if it’s lacking the vibrancy of life. However, using too many of these types of colors can make your space seem too busy and overwhelming.

For example, you might want to use turquoise as an accent color in a room that is primarily neutral (e.g., beige). However, if the turquoise was used on every surface of the room it would create a very striking look that could become somewhat overwhelming. Also if you used the turquoise in conjunction with another bright color, such as red, then this could look a bit gaudy or overwhelming. However, if you paired the beige and turquoise with white, this would look much more subtle and stylish.

Use Accents to Divide a Room

If you want to create the illusion of separate spaces in a room, using accents can be a great way to do this. This is because accents can help to define different areas within a space.

If you have a large open-plan living and dining area, you could use rugs or furniture as accents to divide the space up into different areas. This will help to create a more functional and aesthetically pleasing space that appears much larger than it actually is.

Keep the Balance 

It’s really important to keep your accent color choices balanced with each other and with the rest of your space. This means that you need to make sure that they don’t overpower or clash with any major items in the room, such as furniture pieces, etc.

For example, if you have a bright pink sofa, you might not want to use a bright blue accent color in the room. This would create too much visual noise and would be difficult to balance with the other elements in the space.

Use the 60-30-10 Rule

The 60-30-10 rule is a design principle that can be used when working with accent colors. This rule states that 60% of the space should be your dominant color, 30% should be a secondary color, and then the remaining 10% should be your accent color.

This is a great way to create a well-balanced look in your space. It also makes it easier for you to use multiple accent colors in your design, without them clashing with each other.

White Can Be a Strong Contrast

Using white as an accent color is a great way to brighten up dark spaces that have little natural light. It can also be used for countertops and cabinets to make the space feel more open and airy. If you’re using a dark navy as your main color, using white as an accent color can be a great way to brighten up the space and add some contrast.

Accent Colors Can Be Used to Create Moods

One of the great things about using accent colors is that they can be used to create different moods in a space. For example, if you have a very bright and airy room, it might be best to use deeper and darker tones for your accent colors. On the other hand, if you want to create a warm and inviting environment in your home using lighter accents could work well.

What Should You Consider Before Choosing an Accent Color?

So, now that you know what accent colors are and how they can be used to enhance your home, let’s take a look at some of the things you should consider before choosing an accent color.


The shade of color you choose is really important, as it will have a big impact on the overall look of your space. Lighter shades are great for creating bright and airy spaces, while darker shades can be used to create more intimate and cozy environments.

Room Size

When you pick your accent color, you also need to take into account the size of the room. This is because if you choose a color that’s too bright or bold, it might overwhelm the space and make it feel smaller than it actually is.

Existing Furniture

You should also take into account the existing furniture in your space when choosing an accent color. You won’t want the colors to clash or look out of place.

Decor Style

Your decor style is another important factor to consider when choosing an accent color. If you have a more modern and minimalistic style of decoration, then you might want to choose a color that has more of a modern vibe. Alternatively, if your decor style is more traditional or rustic, then using earthier tones for your accent colors would be a better option.

Wall and Floor Colors

When choosing your accent color, you should also take into account the colors on the walls and floor. Whilst your accent color might look fantastic with your furniture, if it clashed with your floorboard, your room will still look rather bizarre.

The Top Accent Colors of 2022

The top accent colors of 2022 according are as follows:

Mustard Yellow

This color is making a comeback in a big way this year, thanks to its warm and inviting vibes. It’s perfect for injecting some brightness into darker spaces and can be used as an accent color in a variety of different decor styles.


This color is perfect for creating a cool and refreshing atmosphere in your home. It’s great for adding some personality to a space and can be used in both modern and traditional decors.


This color is perfect for creating a relaxing and zen-like environment in your home. It’s also great for adding some depth to a space, making it perfect for use in both modern and traditional decors. The earthy shade is also perfect for those who want to add a touch of nature to their home.

Eggplant Purple

This is a color that has been trending for the past few years. It’s a great option for creating both bright and warm spaces, but it can also be used to create more intimate and cozy environments.

Earthy Tones

Browns, beige, and other earthy tones are always popular when it comes to accent colors. They can be used to create spaces that feel both warm and cozy, while also being timeless, stylish, and almost royal.

Dusky Pink

This soft pink hue is popular, thanks to its feminine and romantic vibe. It’s perfect for adding a touch of glamor to your home and can be used in both modern and traditional decors. It can also be great for pairing with florals.

Soft Peach

This soft color is perfect for creating a bright and airy space. It’s also great if you want to create an elegant or luxurious home, as it has more of a classic vibe than some other colors on this list.


Orange is a warm color that has been trending for the past few years. This warm hue is perfect as an accent color if you want to create an inviting or fun atmosphere in your home, as well as add some personality to a traditional space. It goes really well with greens or grays for a warm, inviting atmosphere.

Top Tips for Using Accent Colors Q and A: 

How Do You Use Accent Colors in Design?

An accent color is a smaller and brighter hue that’s used to add some personality or drama to your home. This can be done by adding an accent wall, painting furniture pieces in bright colors, adding colorful artwork, cushions, and throws on the sofa, etc.

What Does It Mean When You Say “Accent”?

It’s a small or secondary color used to draw attention, add some depth, and make the main colors pop. It can be any hue that compliments your design scheme but is not as dominant as the other hues in the room

What Are Accent Pieces? What Do They Include?

Accent pieces are smaller objects that have been painted or decorated in a bright and colorful hue. This could be something as simple as a small vase, an ornament, or a piece of furniture.

How Many Accent Colors Should You Use?

It’s usually best to stick with one or two accent colors for a single room. This will help to avoid creating a cluttered and overwhelming look in your home.

How Do You Match Accent Colors?

Accent colors should always be complementary to your main color scheme. This means that they should contrast with each other and not be too similar. For example, you might want to use a dark blue tone as an accent color in a room that has warmer hues like reds and oranges.

How Many Accent Walls Should Be in a House?

There’s no right or wrong answer to this question, it all depends on your personal preference and the look you’re trying to achieve. Some people prefer to have one accent wall while others like to use several. It’s up to you! However, you can only really use one accent color in one room.

What Is the 60-30-10 Decorating Rule?

This classic decorating rule states that you should use the main color for 60% of your decor, a neutral color (such as white or cream) for 30%, and the accent colors in smaller amounts for just 10% of the room. For example, if you’re using three different hues in your design scheme then one will be used as the accent hue and two others would serve as neutrals. This is a great rule of thumb for those who are unsure about how to use accent colors effectively in their home.

Does the Accent Wall Have to Be Behind the Bed?

No, the accent wall doesn’t have to be behind the bed. It could be positioned anywhere in the room that you prefer. Maybe you want to create an interesting focal point by having it opposite the door or in a corner. The possibilities are endless!


As you can see, there are lots of different ways to use accent colors in your home. When it comes to using accent colors in your home, there are really no rules. As long as you keep the balance of colors in mind and use them sparingly, you can create looks that are unique to your style and taste. 

By following the tips and advice in this article, you’ll be able to create spaces that are both stylish and unique. So don’t be afraid to experiment with different hues and combinations until you find the perfect look for your home. Happy decorating!

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