Get The Look: Level Up Your Decor By Adding An Accent Color

Decorating with neutral base elements makes it simple to add color to you decor with easy-to-swap accent pieces. But often examples of this are pretty in-your-face; they highlight a single color in a very intense way that might not be the look you’re going for. So today, I want to take a look at this living room by Interiors by Popov. It draws from the same theory, but with a twist. Instead of choosing accents all in a single color or color family, this space takes a three-tiered approach: with a primary accent color, a secondary accent color, and an accent metal.

An image of a living room decorated with blue, mustart yellow, and gold accents against a cream-and-gray backdrop.
Decorating entirely with a single accent color can feel heavy-handed, but adding in a second color and a metallic element can even out the look (by Interiors by Popov)

Why It Works:

Decorating with a single accent color can be a great way to pack a major punch. This is doubly true in a small space, or if you like to change up your interiors frequently. But if “a major punch” isn’t what you’re looking for, a neutral backdrop is still a good space to start; you just need to diversify your color palette. That can be a little scary the first time trying your hand at interior design. But this recipe is an effective one. The majority of the elements in this living room are neutral: gray, cream, black, and blonde wood. And the most prominent accent color – blue – is one that’s super easy to work with.

A level 1 look would stop there (with blue pillows, curtains, lamps, etc.). But today, we’re incorporating a second color: mustard yellow. A little goes a long way. An all-blue color scheme can be overwhelming, but a dab of a warmer color can balance the cool-tones out nicely; at the very least, it’ll add enough variety to distract from the big, bold, blue accent pieces. The third step, though, is key. Gold and brass are often used as accents in their own right, and can run into the same too-much-of-a-good-thing problem. But here, hints of polished gold grab attention, lending warmth and pulling the gaze away from the blue area rug.

Get The Look:

I still stand firm: when decorating your living room, you want to start with a neutral base. In this case, that means a cream-colored leather sectional, pale wood floors, and a warm-neutral stone tile fireplace surround. The slate gray pop-in accent walls are a nice touch, complementing the modern fireplace and wall-mount TV. The hexagonal accent tables (a fun, flexible alternative to a coffee table) act as a neutral anchor in the center of the room. Then, we go blue with a big, bright area rug and distinctive matching accent chair. Then, pull back: opt for warm-toned linens like a blanket and throw pillows. A gold side table and some shiny brass figurines will add a little sparkle to your space. Finally, the abstract wall art serves as a bridge between all the elements, combining sea blue and mustard yellow on a cream canvas with a gold frame. Perfection!

While the change itself is a small one, adding in extra layers of accent colors is an effective way to get a look that has a big impact, but that doesn’t overwhelm. Striking the right balance between light and dark, warm and cool, and neutral and colorful is key to creating a harmonious, inviting space.

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