For colour fans, there’s not any pain like the pain of discovering your stay-at-home spouse is beholden to beige. You long for lavender; she insists on ecru. You beg for orange; khaki is as far as he will go. What’s a couple to do?

Fear not — there’s room for compromise. These strategies can help you bring your sweetie about to the joys of extending the spectrum.

Yvonne McFadden LLC

1. Start small. Rome was not built in a day, and the color-averse won’t become colour nuts overnight. Ease them in with little dabs of not-too-bold colors against a neutral background. Muted scarlet and robin’s egg blue add a little spark to the serene beige bedroom without overpowering it.

Montgomery Roth Architecture & Interior Design

In the same way, the twist of yellow cheers up this bathroom but doesn’t dominate it. The distance also incorporates multiple layers of pattern, which can be a fantastic alternate to provide colour enthusiasts more of their visual interest they love.

Rachel Reider Interiors

2. Keep changeable to vibrant pieces. This distance looks grounded in color and energy at first glance. Look closer, however: The orange, orange and other vibrant components are easy to swap out as whims dictate, leaving a background of mainly beiges, grays and whites.

Schippmann Design

This bedroom takes a subtler approach. The soft golden walls and pale tangerine bench are quiet enough to see as neutral, but glowing bedding enlivens the strategy. If the mere hint of chartreuse and poppy red causes a freakout, you could always dial back the linens to plain white or cream.

Martha O’Hara Interiors

3. Go green. Green is perhaps the easiest hue for your own color-shy to take. The motive: It anchors the natural world around us and we’re used to big doses at a time. Lay the groundwork with accents, such as these throw cushions and vase, then gradually tiptoe into a stronger scheme.

Dijeau Poage Construction

The spring-green accent wall in this kitchen blends smoothly with all the landscape foliage that’s visible through the windows, so it doesn’t call attention to itself.


4. Disguise colour as a neutral. Fast, what hue is the kitchen? The walls may appear cream, as a result of its white cabinetry and natural forests, but they are actually butter yellow. When you cloak a space in one shade, it often comes across as a neutral color. Blue and white fabrics and other accents highlight the yellowish here, but switch them out for beige and the space would appear even more neutral.

Sara Tuttle Interiors

Navy walls in this space are discreet enough to not shout “color!” at first glance.

Tracy Stone AIA

5. Use forests. Occasionally a color contrarian just won’t budge, no matter how hard you plead your case. What is a color lover to do? Look to nature. Suggest utilizing wood (that’s neutral, right?) , but pick a species with strong undertones, such as cherry, mahogany or yellow pine. The results will whisper of colour, even if it is not obvious.

Marcus Gleysteen Architects

Pairing yellow forests with purple accents (colour wheel opposites) is a sly way to play their ancestral notes.

Liz Williams Interiors

6. Brighten lesser-used spaces. It can be easier to deal with colour if it is concentrated in rooms which don’t get a good deal of everyday use, such as guest places. This way colorphobes can (mostly) prevent them if the palette is too far to take. Apple and jar greens provide this guestroom a refreshing, joyful face.

Feeling adventuresome? Give a guest bathroom a jolt by painting the exterior of a claw-foot tub and replicating the shade in the wall therapy. If your resident colorphobe panics, keep the door shut, then bask in the compliments in your daring that can pour forth out of traffic.

Dreamy Whites

7. Just add flowers. Who could resist a bouquet of blooming beauties? You get the colour you crave; the significant other has got the comfort of knowing they will wither shortly. Win-win.

If you would like to play it extra safe, bypass the flowers and stick to houseplants with showy green foliage.

Harold Leidner Landscape Architects

8. Take it outside. People frequently find color more palatable outside for some reason. (Maybe the sun puts them in a more relaxed frame of mind.) If you haven’t made as much headway as you need with your indoor palette, try spicing up a porch, deck or terrace instead. Citron and grape pink, lively yet not garish, are a virtually fail-safe combo.


You can also pick a rainbow of backyard plantings to scratch the colour itch … and if you’re lucky, you might get a helping hand from character to top it all off.

What is your best trick for making peace with a colorphobe? Tell us from your Comments!

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