Boost your colour confidence: Top 10 tips

Boost your colour confidence: How do you do it? Many of my clients come to me because they know I love using colour. And yet, the first thing they often say is “I’m afraid of colour.” I totally understand. We often avoid using colour in our homes simply because we’re scared that we might choose the wrong shade. We worry about committing and then being stuck with something we don’t like.

I’m here to tell you to embrace colour! It sparks energy. It pulls you into a space. It makes your house — and your world — so much more interesting.

Here are a just a few tips to help you infuse your own home with colour.


1. Use pops of colour

If painting a room feels like too big a commitment, opt for pops of colour. You can choose neutral shades for bigger items like walls and kitchen cabinets, then add personality through hits of colour in the pillows, curtains, small appliances, and lamps.

2. Colour is great for emphasizing details

To boost your colour confidence, you can also use it to draw attention to a detail you love — for instance, colourful pillows can draw attention to a beautiful couch, while patterned curtains draw your eye toward a gorgeous window. If you paint a curved wall in an eye-catching colour, you’ll always notice that feature.

boost your colour confidence


Adding colour to your room doesn’t always mean lots of paint. Here, pillows add a dash of colour — and loads of personality — to this living room.

3. Colour is also great for camouflaging flaws

Using colour can be fun and practical! It’s easy to love that all-white Scandinavian look, but white isn’t practical for people with kids and busy lives. Darker, richer colours on walls and cabinetry hide smudges better, as well as imperfections in older homes.

4. Embrace the accent wall

Accent walls infuse colour into a space without the commitment of painting an entire room. I love using colour to draw attention to a squared-off wall with a distinct feature — for instance, a wall with a centred fireplace or bay window. An accent colour also looks amazing up a stairwell, allowing the staircase to pop out. It’s a space you might not otherwise notice.


5. Don’t be afraid of trends

Trends help to boost your colour confidence if it’s already a colour you love. I think orange is great, so when it was on trend a few years ago I snapped up pillows and knickknacks. A trendy colour won’t look out of date in a few years as long as you don’t let it overtake your house. And if you invest in smaller items like pillows, small rugs, and curtains, you can always move them to the basement, take them to the cottage, or send with your kids to university if you get tired of them.

6. Experiment in the powder room

It’s fun to use bold colours in a powder room or small bathroom. You can really have a lot of fun because it’s its own space with no sightlines. I often use dark colours in a powder room and include the ceiling to really infuse the space with that one colour.

boost your colour confidence


The feature island, patterned backsplash, and brass hardware and lighting add layers of colour to a white kitchen.

7. The art of subtlety

Sometimes people are worried about using colour because they think it has to be bold. That’s not the case at all. For example, you can create a lot of depth with grey by layering it. Choosing grey fabrics with various designs and textures — these techniques all add depth and help boost your colour confidence.

8. Think about how your house feels to you

I don’t always tie colours to the age of a house, but it’s definitely a good starting point. For instance, you probably don’t want a funky neon accent wall in an original Glebe house. I advise clients to look around their house and think about how it feels to them. Does it feel relaxed? Modern? Sunny? What hues fit the mood?


Emma Doucet Grassroots Design design Ottawa

An accent colour looks amazing up a stairwell, allowing the staircase to pop out. It’s a space you might not otherwise notice.

9. Trust a designer

If you’re attracted to colour and you like seeing colour, you’ll probably like it in your home. If you don’t have the confidence to know exactly what you want, trust a designer or decorator to steer you in the right direction.


10. Boost your colour confidence: Just do it

Colour adds personality; it adds a story to your home. If you go into a house and everything is the same, it doesn’t feel like there’s a story there. Choose a colour and try it!

About the Author

Emma Doucet

Grassroots designer Emma Doucet says her passion for design was born in her grandpa’s workshop where she spent many hours wallpapering her dollhouse and changing the finishes. She has transformed a lifelong enthusiasm for good design into a busy 14-member business known for an aesthetic that’s both forward-looking and classical. You can reach her via You can reach her at or on Facebook..



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