Colourful cushions can transform a space. Photo: Awesome Sauce Creative

Add some colour

By Geraldine Fitzgerald

Colour trends come and go with the seasons, so unless you’re very brave or have unlimited funds, it’s a good idea to keep the main colours neutral so you can add and change different colours with removable pieces as the mood takes you.

A neutral background – main walls, curtains, flooring and cupboards – doesn’t have to be white or beige.

If you have, for example, green walls, you can add colourful accessories by sticking to similar tones or go for a high contrast like yellow to make a splash. Have a peek at Dr. for hints from the painting professionals.

Accessories are the easiest way to change up your rooms.

Throws, cushions, art and lampshades will completely transform a space.

Do it well, and your décor will look coordinated and gorgeous.

You’ll find whole walls of cushions and throws in stores across Cork and most shops tend to coordinate their floor displays so even if you don’t have an eye for colour yourself, you’ll easily find what you need.

Online retailers like sells framed prints at low prices, so you can add single pictures or do a gallery wall on a budget. has loads of ideas for gallery walls and will coordinate for you.

Pretty plants or a vase of convincing silk flowers will finish off the look.

Accent walls in a contrasting paint or wallpaper are a bit more of a commitment but will certainly add colour without costing a fortune.

You can also paint your floor or ceiling but stick to a colour you can live with.

Painting the front door, inside or out, can change the whole look of your entrance space, or you can get creative with architraves and skirting boards as long as they look well with your existing wall colours.

Upcycling furniture is bang on trend, so you can paint an entire piece, like a table or sideboard or accent chair.

If you have bookshelves, paint the inside for a subtle coordinating look.

Recovering living room furniture is very expensive, but you can order couch and chair covers from places like Ikea for a colour switch on a budget.

We spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so a colourful kettle, toaster and cannisters on the counter are a great way to jazz it up.

There are a million online tutorials about painting your kitchen cabinets – don’t be lazy and make sure to sand and prime where indicated for a professional finish.

Treat yourself to fresh flowers once a week – you’ll get a bunch for a few euro in some of our favourite supermarkets or use fresh cut from the garden if you have a green thumb.

Choose flowers that have not bloomed yet and you’ll get a couple of weeks out of them.

Don’t forget the loo! It’s easy to change the look in your lav with new towels, soap dish and dispensers.

Add a plant in a matching ceramic pot on a windowsill or on top of a unit.

Lastly, always stand back and view your masterpiece from the door.

If anything is jarring, take it out – you’ll know when the aesthetic is right as everything will be balanced and please the eye. Voila!