Lauren Edith Andersen/Special to the Town Crier
Adding bold colors can be a simple way to reinvent a space.

As 2021 gets underway, it is the perfect time to refresh your space. The new year brings with it a new beginning: an opportunity to make small changes in your home that will have maximum impact. One of the easiest ways to breathe new life into your space is by playing with color.

My friend Juli’s home pops with gorgeous color in unexpected places. Walking through her hallway, I feet enveloped by the bright cobalt blue cabinets saturated in a glossy finish. The right hardware and flush mount lighting make the hallway sing. Using saturated color in small spaces such as hallways, laundry rooms and powder rooms adds interest and glamour to any home.

Neutrals can be a beautiful backdrop for more intense tones. In one client’s sunlit dining room, we selected royal blue velvet chairs around an oak table. The chairs look elegant and rich against a background of cream walls with white trim. A sepia print of a sailboat on the wall creates a modern nautical feel.

Wallpaper or tile can be another easy way to experiment with color in small spaces. A bright blue and white patterned wallpaper is fun but not overwhelming when complemented by gold fixtures, a round mirror and black-and-white prints on the wall for balance. A bathroom for a client in Los Altos Hills features black, blue and white handpainted tiles applied to the wall behind a large round mirror. A cool blue vanity and simple light fixtures finish the look.

Let’s not forget that white is a color, too. I love my all-white kitchen for its clean look, and I make sure to repaint the white cabinets every four years to avoid any dinginess. My white mantel with neutral fixtures and mirror makes a lovely backdrop for a painting gifted to me by close friends while on a trip to Croatia, allowing the deep, varied blues of the ocean, mountains and sky to pop from their silver frame.

Even Pantone’s selection for 2021’s colors of the year is a combination of rich tones and soft neutrals: a bright lemon yellow with a neutral gray. This combination reflects the feeling that many of us are having as we enter 2021 – optimism, resilience and hope as we imagine what the future may hold.

To try this at home, start by painting a closet door, guest bathroom or hallway cabinet in your color of choice. Right now, I love jewel tones such as emerald or forest green, sapphire blue, and raspberry red. Choose a color you love, one that tells a story about you and your home. Then select your space, add color and create a sense of balance with fixtures in gold or silver, prints in sepia or black-and-white, and neutral elements.

Celeste Randolph is an interior designer in Los Altos. For more information, visit