HGTV's Hilary Farr Shows Us How To Use Color In Home Design Without Overdoing It

If you're a fan of "Tough Love With Hilary Farr," you know that she doesn't hesitate to push back when homeowners she's working with get overzealous with ideas outside her design vision. That's exactly what happened in a Season 2 episode of her show called "Color Clash." The couple renovating a kitchen and dining area dug their heels in and insisted on incorporating much more color — specifically orange — than Farr initially suggested. At the end of the day, though, she added white to offset the bright splashes of color they selected for the kitchen and breakfast nook.

"I have to say I am a fan of lots of color," Farr remarked. "I am a fan of orange. I'm not a fan of too much color or too much orange. This falls into the latter," she said of the homeowner's suggestion for an orange island. She went with a white kitchen island instead.

"So your island is your canvas," Farr told her clients. "You will set it up when you're having people sitting around it with plates and settings and napkins and flowers and pots and whatever you like that are every color of the rainbow. That's what that is. It is not the star of the show." The homeowners still wanted orange, but Farr's suggestion won out to contrast with the bright blue cabinets and a lime green backsplash. Pendant light fixtures installed over the white island add just enough orange to the colorful kitchen without being overwhelming.

Adding more white to a colorful home

A cozy breakfast nook in the home is another area where Hilary Farr was tasked with toning down the homeowner's penchant for decorating with too much orange. Her compromise? Adding an orange paint shade to an accent wall surrounded by white walls. Additionally, a white tulip table with dark chairs draws the eye away from the bright orange wall without totally negating it. Farr also installed a built-in banquette in bright blue behind the table to carry over the color of the kitchen cabinets and pull the look together while adding additional seating to the small space.

"This has been one of the most difficult experiences in design that I've ever, ever encountered," Farr concluded at the end of the episode. "But I'm absolutely thrilled. I think we have really, really nailed this. We have just enough quirky." So, Farr teaches us that you don't have to eliminate your personality or a penchant for color when decorating. Adding some white elements to a room, however, can mitigate some of the colorful quirks for a well-balanced look.