Interior Design Trends: 8 Ways to Create Impact with Color

Elissa Morgante, AIA

Elissa Morgante, AIA
Founding Partner at Award Winning Chicago Architects, Morgante Wilson

Aug 5, 2022 - 5 min read

Interior Design Trends: 8 Ways to Create Impact with Color

Few tools in a residential interior designer's bag of tricks can equal the power of color. A game-changer for so many reasons, color can transform a space. It can transform your mood. It can make a room feel brighter and more expansive, or it can make a room feel more intimate and cozier. It can make you gasp with wonder. Or it can make you sigh in relaxation. At Morgante Wilson Architects, we’ve spent more than thirty years employing color in our clients’ homes in ways that might surprise you. Here are eight color trends for creating impact in your own home:

1. On the exterior

Have you ever considered painting your brick? It’s a sure-fire way to completely alter the look of your house and give it a new identity. This house went from drab to fab by painting the original brown brick with a fresh and pretty shade of gray. But be warned: this is not a move for the faint of heart. (One of the things we love about paint is that it’s typically a low-commitment way to change things up – but in this case, you’ll want to be all-in.)

2. On the front door

If you’re not up to painting your entire house, consider adding a fun new color to your front door to make your home stand out and give a warm welcome. We chose blue for this beachside home to echo the nearby waters of Lake Michigan. (Adding color to shutters and trim details achieves a similar effect.)

3. On a ceiling

You’ve probably heard us refer to the ceiling as a room’s fifth wall. Too often ignored, ceilings provide a fantastic canvas for color, whether you paint them, apply wallcovering, or coat them in gold or silver leaf. In this case, the burnished ceiling really ties the room together – you see its golden tones repeated in the wallcovering, on the light fixture, on the console’s hardware, and even on the table’s centerpiece.

4. On select architectural elements

Sometimes, showing a bit of restraint makes the biggest impact of all. By using color judiciously, we drew attention to our clients’ wine collection, and our modern take on a wine cellar. Adding color here or there – but not everywhere – is a good trick for highlighting architectural details.

5. On a backsplash

We love a white kitchen as much as everyone else – especially when it includes a few colorful details to make it stand out from every other white kitchen. Here, a quilt-like tile backsplash and navy island base kick this classic white kitchen up a notch and give it a big dose of personality.

6. As an accent

Gray and white all the way, this sophisticated conversation area would be lovely even without the colorful painting on the wall. But tweaking things just a bit by adding that painting suddenly takes the room to a whole new level. It’s still neutral, but now it’s also livelier and more energetic. This is what we mean when we talk about the power of color. On its own, we love this room. With the painting, we love it even more! If art isn’t your thing, you could achieve a similar effect with a few colorful pillows, or even just a small pile of colorful coffee table books.

7. In the shower

This all-white bathroom is a fooler, because your eye is drawn to the colorful tile surrounding the tub. But if you look closely, it’s the only color in the whole space. This is one of our favorite tricks for adding interest to an otherwise-white room. (It’s also one of our favorite tricks when we want to make the most of a budget without sacrificing style. All we did here was order one tile in a few different colors to create our own custom pattern – which looks a lot more expensive than it actually was.)

8. Or not at all

Then again, we’ll be the first to admit that sometimes, the very best way to add color to a space is to let Mother Nature provide it, and leave things at that.

For more ideas on how color can enhance your home, follow us on MWA Instagram Page, where you’ll find plenty of real-life inspiration!

Morgante Wilson Architects provides architectural and interior design services in Chicago, Deerfield, Evanston, Glencoe, Glenview, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Northbrook, Northfield, Ravinia, Wilmette, and Winnetka – along with Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Utah, Wisconsin, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Elissa Morgante, AIA

Elissa Morgante, AIA

Founding Partner at Award Winning Chicago Architects, Morgante Wilson