Create Visual Interest with This Interior Design Tip

Jeanette Lockmiller
Updated August 9, 2016
contrasting industrial building materials and modern light fixture
The industrial exposed beams and steel girders paired with a modern light fixture creates an interesting contrast. (Photo by Frank Espich)

Learn how creating contrast transforms a room.

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Stumped on how to make your plain vanilla room brighter or more interesting? I’ve faced this same dilemma many times as I updated my builder-grade home. Check out this simple decorating tip that has helped me create more drama and interest in my home's interior (and made choosing furniture for a room much easier).

Creating contrast

My sunroom stumped me for a while. When I started working on this space, I opted for a basic, neutral, vanilla-looking wall color. It was the safest route, which I thought would blend well with the rest of my house. 

sunroom with neutral wall color
Even after upgrades, the sunroom felt bland. (Photo courtesy of Jeanette Lockmiller/Snazzy Little Things)

But once I updated the walls, the sunroom became the most dramatic room in the house. To create even more visual interest, I started to lose my inhibitions and added some surprise elements, like the stag head, which is perfectly juxtaposed against dainty white curtains. Not typically two things you'd see paired together, right? So if a room gets boring, don't be afraid to create contrast, interesting pairings and surprise elements in your decor! (And you don't necessarily need a stag's head to do it.)

Think, "Where there is dark, add light. Where there is something dainty, add drama." 

sunroom with dark walls
Creating contrast gives your space personality and makes it more exciting. (Photo courtesy of Jeanette Lockmiller/Snazzy Little Things)

Doors are a perfect opportunity to create drama and visual interest using contrasting colors or shades of gray. Avoid sticking with just white. It’s just paint after all! 

black door with white trim
The bright-white-dark contrast treatment on the door works with the rest of my decor. (Photo courtesy of Jeanette Lockmiller/Snazzy Little Things)

Your trim is fair game, too. Nothing says that has to stay plain white!

Balancing your interior design

Maybe you think you went too bold with your wall color. That's okay! Before you repaint it, try toning it down with colors that are opposite on the color wheel. This will help you balance out your space.

If there is a dark wall, add a light piece of furniture. I don't have a lot of colors yet, but my neutral palette enables me to introduce almost any color I want!

This simple strategy has helped me balance out my interior spaces, giving each room a pop and making the space more interesting. By thinking contrast in each space, choosing colors and furniture for each room has become much easier.

What decorating strategies have you adopted that work for you? Share your ideas in the comments section below. 

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