Tips to decorate with jewel tones

If colour’s your thing, you’re in luck.

What kind of tones exactly? Think emerald green, sapphire blue, cobalt blue, ruby red and amethyst. And here’s the fun bit: You can mix and match to be as bold as you dare.

“Jewel tones are perhaps at their best when at least two colours are used together – like turquoise with red, bright orange with bright blue, or emerald green with hot pink,” shares Camilla Molders who runs her own boutique interior design and decoration studio.

Try contrasting two jewel tones against one another to make a bold statement. Styling: Camilla Molders Design. Picture: Martina Gemmola.

A good example of when contrasting colours are used well, says Molders, is the bar at the Garden State Hotel in Melbourne.

“The bar is painted a beautiful shade of turquoise with a green tiled wall behind and pops of red in the shelf and in the bottles. The colours are combined in a way that creates an instant atmosphere and gives personality to the space.”

The bar at Garden State Hotel. Picture: Garden State Hotel.

Start with cushions

The thought of embracing bold, out-there colours can be daunting. If you’re seeking a softer way to try the trend, look to your cushions as a starting point.

“Colourful scatter cushions in beautiful fabrics can completely change the feel and design of a room,” says Molders. “Match some accessories to the colours in the cushions, or perhaps some artwork.

“The colour pops will work with your current style while giving it a more energised and refreshed feel.”

Feature jewel tones in artwork for a less daring pop of colour. Styling: Emma Blomfield. Picture: Lisa Zhu.

Think big

On the other hand, if you’re quite comfortable with colour and have been lingering for a new tone other than grey to be in vogue, then go all out.

In the words of Sydney-based stylist, interior decorator and buyer, Emma Blomfield: “Don’t be afraid to go big with jewel tones.”

“Commit to painting your walls these moody tones,” she suggests. “You might be surprised how much you like the drama they bring.”

“Or try reupholstering an armchair or bedhead – I’m loving the idea of sapphire-toned velvet on a quirky armchair.”

Reimagine your armchair in sapphire blue. Styling: Emma Blomfield. Picture: Lisa Zhu.

Plan carefully

While jewel colours are easy to live with in any room in the house, Molders says it’s important to take the room’s purpose into consideration when choosing which tones you’ll use.

“For example, in a bedroom I prefer more relaxing colours like blues and greens, rather than bold reds and oranges,” she says.

Originally published as 5 trends over 5 days: Decorate with jewel tones by Kristy Barratt. Author at