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Inspiring Colourful Homes from the House & Garden SA Archives

If you’re looking to add more colour to your home, let these homes guide you to a more vibrant setting

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By House & Garden South Africa | February 29, 2024 | Design

In a world of minimalist design, making your home more colourful may seem daunting. But, colour can have a powerful impact on mood and even wellbeing. With people increasingly seeing their home as their sanctuary, we consider which are the most calming, exciting, or impactful on both mood and design.

When we curated our 2024 Vision Board, colour was a huge idea for creating a warmer home filled with fun and whimsical touches. Let colour be your guide to adding whimsy and charm to your home this year through upholstery, wallpaper, and paint colours.

Take this Cape Town home for example: Quietly set at the foot of Table Mountain, tucked away behind greenery, this pastel pink heritage home (the colour choice, a tribute to the iconic Belmond Mount Nelson hotel nearby) offers a stylish escape in the heart of the Mother City.

Accesorise with Colourful Books

Few things are as satisfying as organising your bookshelf by colour. If you have a collection of books large enough to fill a small library, the colourful spines are more than enough to paint the walls of your shelves with vibrant hues. Gather orange Penguin classics for a wash of warmth, or gather and stack according to height like Beata Heuman’s home library, which contrasts her green arm chair and blinds.

Beata Heuman’s colourful home library. Photography by Simon Brown.

Go Bold in the Bathroom

A simple lick of paint or playful tiles have the power to totally transform your entire bathroom experience. Even the sleekest of modern bathrooms can use an injection of colour as seen in this funky, yet brutalist bathroom. The colourful tiles and sleek finishes create a dark yet enchanting atmosphere in the bathroom. These dark tones offset the spa area beautifully, where white marble was used in the steam bath, along with handmade mosaics designed by Braginskaya & Architects.

A mix and match of materials were used throughout the home, like the bathroom. Photography by Sergey Krasyuk.

Play with Prestigious Purple

For a long time, purple has felt like a risky colour for anyone who isn’t designing a young girl’s bedroom. Plus, picking the wrong shade of purple can be too bold or too dark, too rich and also too overwhelming in a space. But we’re here to say (with a little bit of homework), that just because something seems risky, doesn’t mean it’s not worth testing and eventually taking a chance on.

This lilac coloured guest room in a film director’s Cape Town home feels cooling with an escapist-like feel. Besides the uniquely centred bed, the lilac walls are the highlight of the room without clashing with the floral curtains and matching rails.

The light lilac guest bedroom in a Cape Town home. Photography by Greg Cox.

Don’t Be Afraid of Clashing Prints

Throughout your home, look for areas where print can be a breath of fresh air through wallpaper, cushions, decor, or reupholstering aged furniture. To take things further, don’t be afraid to turn up the heat with more than one patterned piece in a room. Under the surface of seemingly clashing prints, there will be a well-thought out structure of a printed rhythm, very much like a good piece of writing. You have the feeling that a critical eye is travelling over the arrangement of each element within the busy room.

A mix of oriental and bohemian floral prints make this living area vibrant and exciting. Image: Supplied.

Green is the Warmest Colour

Green is a much warmer colour than one might think. Dark green especially is a much more versatile colour than other shades due to its power as a sophisticated shade that works beautifully in both contemporary and traditional interiors. Easy complementary colours that pair well with this rich, jewel-toned emerald green include yellow and pink, which can be seen in brass accessories and pink coffee table books in this stately living room.

Easy complementary colours that pair well with this rich, jewel-toned emerald green include yellow and pink in this stately living room. Image: Supplied.