colorinterior design

Our Favorite Interiors in Rainbow Colors

by Grace Bonney

In a time when the political climate feels more divisive than ever, I find myself drawn toward moments and celebrations that celebrate the best of humankind and people who have contributed positively to society. For me, Harvey Milk is one of those people, and I will forever be grateful for the work he did to support LGBT rights in America. This Sunday is Harvey Milk Day and in honor of his work and the LGBT community at large, I thought I’d embrace our community’s rainbow symbolism and share some of my favorite rooms from Design*Sponge history that celebrate color with unabashed enthusiasm. From deep red dining rooms and violet bedrooms to electric green living rooms and orange stairways, these houses are a colorful alternative to the all-white trend and a great reminder of how harmonious colors can be when they work together well. xo, grace

A red door is one of my favorite design statements ever. Beautiful and striking from the outside and warm and rich on the inside. Lynne's red door is a classic beauty.
Red as an accent color can be such a great way to wake up a room. Catherine Hammerton's kitchen has a great dose of red against blue-and-white tiles that give the room a slightly retro vibe.
A red with a little hint of pink can be a nice way to warm up a space that doesn't get a ton of light. This London stairway uses a polka-dotted runner in the same color to amp up the red factor.
Red often gets a bad rap as being too strong or too "fire engine" hued, but in the right tone (especially with a blue undertone) it can feel cool and modern. *Click here to see more red interiors!
This orange-y staircase, designed by Anishka and Niya of Ishka Designs, is one of my favorite examples of how orange can work well in a modern exterior. It's a color I typically shy away from (despite once painting my kitchen electric orange), but this is a great reminder that it can look thoroughly sophisticated and modern.
Speaking of that bright orange kitchen, here's my old kitchen in Brooklyn. I believe the paint color was technically called "Tomato Soup Red," but it was actually a very bright orange.
I love orange as an accent color, too. Fiyel Levent’s kitchen uses tiny pops of orange against blue walls to make everyday kitchen cabinets feel a little more special. Click here to check out more orange rooms!
Last but not least, Amy Osaba's orange dining room is one of my all-time favorites.
Bright yellow is one of my favorite colors to use in a home, especially when you can add a little shine. Katie Graham’s Australian kitchen is a great example.
Angela Hardison’s yellow lamp and bedding detail is a nice way to work with one of my favorite yellow combos ever: yellow and grey.
I grew up in a home that really embraced butter yellow (like this one that belongs to Lucy Allen Gillis). We had a lot of butter yellow walls and the exterior of our brick home was painted sort of a lemon-chiffon yellow. (When my uncle, then a housepainter, started to paint it, he famously ran inside to ask my mom to rethink the decision. But she ended up loving it.) *Click here to see more yellow interiors!
Raina Kattelson's neon green living room is one of my favorite color moments in Sneak Peek history. This color would normally scare me, but seeing it done so well in this space (especially in a home with so many heritage details) makes me feel braver.
Betsy's green patterned wallpaper is another example of how fresh and verdant green can feel at home. If you don't have a backyard or access to nature, this color can really bring a sense of the outdoors in.
Juliet's green buffet is a nice reminder that green doesn't have to take up the whole wall to still have a strong color impact. *Click here to see more green interiors!
Gemma Ahern's London home is on my list of top 5 home tours of all time. Talk about the power of a deep, rich blue! Sure it can be cloudy and rainy in London, but this color embraces the moody blue vibe.
Fiona Douglas’ Glasgow, Scotland home uses a rich blue with accents of green and pink to create an inviting living room.
Anna Potter's UK home utilizes watery pastel hues -- like this grey-blue -- to create a soft but inviting space. *Click here to see more blue and here for more navy interiors!
Jenny Brandt’s kitchen has my favorite purple table ever, accented by an amazing world map with plenty of purple shades to tie into the table.
This soft lavender paint color in Molly and Robert Josiah Bingaman’s bathroom reminds me of my teenage bedroom. I love all those soft floral colors that feel sophisticated and childlike at the same time.
Is there anything more beautiful than these deep polished purple walls in Bellocq’s tea house in Brooklyn? I think not.
Megan Price's home closes out our rainbow room tour with a great example of why purple shouldn't be overlooked when it comes to wall color. *Click here to see more purple interiors!

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  • Happy Harvey Milk Day!

    I was just thinking about your kitchen last week! One of my all time favorites!

    And thanks for this color post. I am SO TIRED of the current white design trend. It no longer feels fresh and simple – it is too ubiquitous for that now. Granted, due to all of my inherited mid century furniture and kilim rugs (my parents lived in Turkey for a time and my dad fell in love with their rugs) I feel like I’m just another lemming. I’ve literally been fantasizing about the colors I’m going to paint our home once we move out of our current rental. Until then…

  • Yes to all of the colors and Harvey Milk! Thanks for sharing. PS. That green buffet is a photo that I pinned on Pinterest years ago and it’s still one of my favorite home inspiration pics.

  • Yes to Harvey Milk Day! Last year my school’s LGBTQ+ group handed out rainbow-colored candy like Skittles with notes & quotes on Harvey Milk. They were sweet little conversation starters and a great chance to raise awareness with the general school population. This year we’re eating a rainbow cake & talking about queer role models such as Harvey Milk. This will also include watching and discussing the powerful NYT video: ‘Caitlyn Jenner Meets Her Critics.’ I’m sure you’ve seen it but, in case you haven’t, I absolutely recommend it. As for next year, maybe we’ll explore celebrations that feature plenty of rainbows but much less sugar!

    It’s neat seeing Jenny Brandt’s eye-popping purple kitchen table on the front page of Design Sponge again this morning because DosFamily and Design Sponge are my two favorite design blogs!

  • Grace, last week your thoughtful piece about the all-white aesthetic made me start considering white. But this beautiful roundup reminds me what I’m all about – color and more color. Gorgeous pictures, gorgeous colors. Thanks for always having such diversity and variation.

  • Beautiful ideas, thank you! I find it so easy to decorate in rainbow colours for children’s spaces, but I’m a total wimp when it comes to the rest of the house!

  • After reading this post, I can’t decide what my next action should be: painting a table purple, or making cookies and watching “Milk”.


    Milk and cookies?


    Thanks for a very inspirational post, in many ways. :)