London is a vibrant and exciting place to live. Culturally, it’s a playground of art, music and fashion, which is reflected everywhere across the city – in architecture, design, and even the food we eat. In recent years, minimalism has been perfected time and time again, and while the less-is-more approach is still going strong, the latest trends suggest that sticking solely to neutrals is no longer the way forward.

Draw inspiration from the visual feast that London offers daily by adding unexpected and delightful bursts of colour to your apartment. Here are our favourite ways to transform your living space by injecting colour.

Be brave with decor

If you really want to make a statement, don’t be afraid to be bold and grab a paintbrush. You won’t need to paint a whole room to bring it to life. It’s important to remember that warm colours are stimulating and thereby complementary to living spaces, dining rooms, kitchens and areas where you might be entertaining. Cool colours, in turn, are calming and suited to bedrooms, bathrooms and offices, where you want to promote peaceful atmospheres.

Painting a single wall can totally change the feel of a room. Try choosing colours that are mirrored in patterns and accessories you already have, in order to really make them pop. Another option is to change the colour of the floor or ceiling, which is a great tool for manipulating awkward spaces. For more help on choosing colours, take advice from the experts at Farrow & Ball, who know exactly how to make the most of space and light in your home through strategic use of colour.

If redecorating isn’t for you, paying attention to smaller details will allow you to add a surprising touch to an otherwise plain room. Doors, woodwork and hidden nooks and crannies are great places to accentuate with splashes of colour.

Accent with fabrics

Committing to painting may be something you aren’t able or willing to do. To easily and quickly brighten up your apartment in this case, add colour by bringing in new fabrics.

Fabrics are versatile and provide the perfect fix if you’re worried about permanently changing your apartment. Block-colour pillows and throws work well on neutral furniture, while using patterns with colours that are complementary to the general decor will maximise impact by creating flow throughout your home.

For a stronger statement, curtains and rugs are great accessories that will immediately impact the aesthetics of your home. With soft-furnishings, it’s useful to concentrate on one colour in particular, which you want to draw out and build upon. Don’t be afraid of trying something new though, the best thing about accessorising? If it doesn’t work, it’s easy to try again until you get it right.

Practically perfect appliances

Making a statement doesn’t have to be dramatic. Kitchen appliances and gadgets are a necessity in every modern home, and thanks to the internet, it’s not difficult to source electronics in a wide range of colours.

Last year brought us rose gold, and with that, the rise of other metallics fighting for some of the limelight, which is great news for our bathrooms and kitchens – where chrome no longer needs to be the standard. Copper, steel and golden tones are holding their own against rose in the homeware departments, and this is a great opportunity for you to add surprisingly luxurious colourful accents to practical elements like taps, showers and hooks.

Fanciful furniture

Furniture takes up around 30% of the visual space in a room. This gives you plenty of opportunity to play around adding colour, and is perfect if you want to make a statement without it being too overpowering.

You may be surprised at the effect different coloured furniture will have on the overall space, so to add new hues through your furniture, make sure you work with a colour wheel. The best colour schemes are made up of complementary colours, which oppose one another on the colour wheel. Or you could go with analogous colours, which can be found adjacent to one another. Create extreme contrast with complementary colours, or a more serene environment with analogous colours.

To work colour into the whole room’s decor, add sofas and chairs in your chosen shades; to create accents, opt for key pieces that will stand out alone, such as side tables or a feature cabinet.

Your own urban jungle

Overwhelmed? Don’t worry if you don’t want to match your soft-furnishings to your wallpaper and your sofa to your coffee maker. Possibly the easiest way you can add a little colour to your home is with plants and flowers.

Flowers will never go out of style; they add instant elegance to any room. Houseplants can really freshen up the appearance of a plain space, and if you’re not so good at keeping houseplants alive, succulents are really having a moment right now. The great thing about succulents is that they require next to no TLC, so they come guilt-free.

Making yourself a home

Making your apartment feel like home shouldn’t be restricted to homeowners. Essential Living apartments have been created by leading designers and architects to create homes that are as individual as you are.

Take a look at our residences across London, all of which are located in bustling areas that have excellent transport links.

Josh Sebastian


Josh is an experienced London resident and stellar local guide. With his finger on the pulse of things to do in London, he's constantly sharing lesser-known tips and recommendations with readers.