Beige begone – DIY SOS designer has five budget ways to embrace colour in your home

Grey has had its day, according to interior designer and TV presenter Sophie Robinson, and with people spending more time than ever at home since lockdown, she says "people now understand how their interior space can affect their mood."

Sophie, who is best known for featuring on BBC’s The Great Interior Design Challenge and DIY SOS, admits we’re “so done with grey.”

"It’s not uplifting, it’s not positive, so I’ve never really loved it.

For people who love a neutral colour though, we’ve gone warmer. So, think caramels and oats. Neutrals are popular because people think they’re easy, but they’re not – creating an interest and not just a bland look is hard.”

And according to Sophie, colour-cautious Brits need a boost.

"Colour is a joy, it’s a real mood booster. My biggest piece of advice is to go with your gut.

"The Sarah Beeny people of the world have conditioned people into ‘don't put your personality on your property, it will only devalue it, paint it beige.’

"If you’re flipping property then that makes sense but people are moving less now though so we should start to add personality."

And it might seem daunting, but she believes it’s the key to happiness and harmony in the home.

"We all have a relationship with colour; ones we love, ones we don’t, you have to start listening to that voice.

"It’s time to come over to the colourful side, put your stamp on your home and do it your way."

Sophie has shared her ideas with OK! on how best to embrace colour in your home, with the best budget-friendly ways to do so.

Say it with paint

A fresh coat of paint is undoubtedly the way to give a room the biggest transformation for the least amount of money. Splashing out with a new hue across all the walls is thrilling, but don’t overlook the details. Using a small tin of paint to pick out window frames in a vibrant shade, or give a lick of fresh colour to a tired piece of furniture, is another quick and easy way to instantly update a space.

Go with your favourite shade

When it comes to making confident colour choices for your décor, it’s worth thinking about the colours you love and that make you feel happy. It might be a tone you wear often, which helps you feel confident, or perhaps the hue of a favourite gemstone. I love to look to nature; a special flower or landscape is a great place to look for colour inspiration.

Choose accessories that make a splash

You don’t have to drench all the walls in bold choices to get a positive effect. Adding in some colourful cushions, rolling out an eye-catching new rug, or switching beige lampshades for brighter ones are effective ways to punctuate your room with colour. Better still, you can do this slowly over time, so you can enjoy collecting your favourite colourful pieces.

Dress the walls

Artists are masters of the use of colour and I’m often inspired by the combinations they choose. Hanging art is an integral part of a successful room scheme, so pick a picture that enhances your overall look or the mood you are trying to create. I’d advise investing in one statement piece or building up a gallery wall of graphic images for the most impact.

Think in threes

I find three is a magic number when pulling together a colour scheme, with the hero colour being around 60-70% of the scheme (think walls, floors or large furniture items). The secondary colour should be around 20-30% (for example, soft furnishings), and the final accent colour around 10% (that’s cushions, artwork and vases). You can add neutrals in with this – I call them a free colour – and can be found in wood flooring and furniture.

For a limited time only, Sophie Robinson is bookable as a Tasker on the Taskrabbit platform, for anyone needing a helping hand introducing colour into their home. To book a colour consultation with her, visit

Sessions are £15, with proceeds going to Sophie’s charity of choice, Furnishing Futures.

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