You can shake up your home and wardrobe with color even without leaving your comfort zone, say the experts.

By Real Simple
Updated September 07, 2010
Yunhee Kim

• “Color in your home is like jewelry, you can add just a bit and still make a statement,” says Polly Lewis, the co-owner of Lewis Interiors in Boston. Kassie Rempel, founder of the Washington, D.C.–based accessories site, agrees it’s easy to add subtle-yet-confident hits of color to your home or your wardrobe. “You can always find color without pushing the envelope,” she says. “For example, you can wear purple flats without causing a stir.”

• Jackie Jordan, the director of color marketing for Sherwin Williams Paints, says to look in unexpected places—like travel magazines and art galleries—for tips on fresh-looking ways to update your home’s interior. “It’s great to come home to a bright pop of color, even if your overall design is fairly conservative,” she says. “Look at the art world to see what influences will be coming next—Chinese culture and graffiti art are definitely on the forefront of design right now, and we’ll see them trickling down into mainstream decor very soon.”

• “I tell clients to make an Environmental Family Tree. Look for colors that you associate with happy childhood, look for things that are very meaningful to you, that bring back joyous feelings, and surround yourself with them,” says Toby Israel, Ph.D., the author of Some Place Like Home: Using Design Psychology to Create Ideal Places ($60,