From rich emerald green to vibrant ruby red, jewel-toned colors are quite popular in interior design today. When done correctly, adding jewel tones to your home can create an elegant, classy space, with a hint of glamor, that brings your personality to light.
We dropped in on Wendy Doornink of Hirshfield’s to find out how the color specialist and Realtor helps homeowners incorporate these trending pops of color to their homes.
“I see this movement of jewel tones add richness and luxe in places where people just want to embrace a feeling of warmth and intrigue, a little mystery and differentness,” Doornink says.
Of course, popping a paint can to reveal all the glossy (or matte) possibilities can be strikingly satisfying. Doornink weighs in how to go from the paint can to a can-do décor update.
Test two coats of paint on walls, cardboard or tagboard, and review the dried coats during the time of day that you spend the most time in the space. “Every room feels different—a north-facing room feels so different from a sunny
west in the afternoon,” she says.
Choose one jewel-tone color, and accent with the rest. “You’re usually drawn to one or two [hues]. Use one for your main accent walls and bring the rest in with soft décor, like furnishings, chair covers, rugs, pillows ...” she says.
Avoid Using Strong Colors
It’s overwhelming and makes your house feel small, even with good lighting. “There’s usually one star of the show—one color that’s dominant, and the rest of the colors are supporting players,” Doornink says. “You have to let the diva be the diva.”
Don’t go too Bright
Once you get it on the wall, color shines like crazy. “I have a saying: ‘When in doubt, gray it out,’” Doornink says. “Make it more gray than you think, and it’ll still come through with a lot of color.” She also recommends using a matte or eggshell paint instead of a satin or semi-gloss when painting with jewel tones.
Emerald green is having a huge moment and is appearing on cabinetry, wood wainscotting and accent walls and in powder bathrooms. It corresponds to the trend of incorporating natural colors into our environment, and green is healing and calming. It’s the color of growth and renewal, and we’re welcoming its ease into our décor.
Blue, such as cerulean or sapphire, is timeless, and the blue jewel tones are crisper and clearer and can add energy in addition to anchoring the room. Blue cabinets are almost a staple, and bolder colors help us stand out from the norm. A favorite is Benjamin Moore’s Dragonfly, an interesting dark teal that adds life and punch without being too much.
Yellow, like citrine or garnet, is a stronger color personality and should be added with care so as not to overwhelm or to create agitation with bright hues. A great place to start with this tone is in décor like pillows, artwork, bedding, curtains—things that can be added in smaller quantities. A wallpaper with a hint of these colors is another option. Yellow brings a joie de vivre.
Amethyst tones are grayed-down versions of red that lean a bit purple but not too much. We’re looking for natural colors—ones found in nature that feel real to us and the tones that feel like they could have been created naturally, like dying cloth with beets. These colors feel comforting, homey, easy and true.
An Ideal Match
Maximalism styles can incorporate jewel tones and bring many colors together. Wallpaper is embracing this idea, and the options are almost endless as far as color and pattern. Large patterns and big colors bring a homeowner’s personality to the walls. Powder bathrooms are the perfect space to add this drama. And don’t worry about the colors being too dark in rooms without windows. Adequate lighting will keep the space from feeling too dark.
Bohemian styles add woven and natural woods to the palette of brighter colors—these accents help soften the overall effect of the dramatic colors and again leaning toward a natural trend, feel unfussy, easy and true to one’s personality.
White is a perfect accent to jewel tones. It allows the colors to be dominant without competing with them. Crisp white like BM “Chantilly Lace” or a warmer neutral like the popular BM “White Dove” or BM “Swiss Coffee” can be the accenting walls or backdrop to artwork full of color. Black can accent as well but in limited amounts.
Cabinet hardware colors that work with jewel tones vary. There’s currently a curated look when it comes to metals in our homes. For example, the faucet can be a black finish while drawer pulls are an aged brass—with brushed gold currently making appearances on kitchen and bath cabinets. Brushed gold, brass and black are great with bolder jewel tones, while brushed nickel works best with more muted or neutral tones.
Remember the days of peeling and scraping off wallpaper? Ditch that memory because Doornink says the process has improved. Priming and sealing a wall, creating a waterproof barrier, makes it easier to remove wallpaper. Don’t forget about peel-and-stick wallpaper as an option.
“The key to wallpaper is finding that one jewel tone you love and letting the rest of your room coordinate with as much neutral as you can,” she says. “... We’re getting more daring with the strength of the hues.”