3 Simple Tips to put Jazz in Your Home Decor

Updated: Mar 20


Tip 1. Pay attention to color value to punch up your decor


Put pizzazz in your decorating by paying attention to color-value (the lightness and darkness of a color.)


For example, black is the darkest value while white is the lightest value.

Notice below how the contrast of dark, rich black against clean, crisp white gives you a lot of punch.

The same value contrast impacts the art below. The bright white birch trees stand out in front of the rich evergreen pines.


A snowy winter day with contrast of birch tree forest. Original oil woodland scene
Winter scenes are filled with contrast, along with the bark of birch trees. Click for more birch paintings


If you want LESS punch than above try using different colors but with the SAME value.

Below are three different colors of pillows, all with the SAME value.


An easy way to evaluate if your items have the same value is take a snapshot with your cell phone. Then turn the photo into a black and white image. The colors with the same value will ALL appear the same shade of gray.




To add the WOW and pop to your decor, bring in a color value that is lighter or darker in value.



Tip 2. Punch up your decor with symmetry, and then a bit of variety.

You can also capture a WOW moment in your home or art by using repetition mixed with a touch of discord.


It’s easy to do, just repeat, repeat, repeat, and then add POW!

Notice in the photograph below that the cluster of orange objects are the perfect background to contrast the punch of the dark blue bottle. It's 3:1 ratio of orange to blue.


The same 3:1 ration of repeat, repeat, repeat, POW works in the art below. The yellow leaves against the light blue sky are three times greater than the one corner of yellow leaves against dark contrast giving the art the POW!


Tip 3. Punch up your decor with pattern

Get the drama you crave and punch-up your decor by using large and small patterns. Below the high-contrasting value, big pattern (macro) pillow stands out, adding drama against the two small scale (micro) patterns in your home.

In the art below, the small grid squares of the handmade paper subtly adds texture. The large (macro) blue leaf adds the punch and drama to this mixed media painting.


In summary, value is a great tool to jazz up, or even harmonize, your decor.

Remember it's a personal choice how much value contrast you want to add to your home.

There's no right or wrong amount. Whatever suits you.


Related article, more about color contrast to add pop: 2 lessons from the Color Wheel