With mornings (and evenings) becoming darker, and the Tate Modern's new Pop Art exhibition, we've been inspired to add ‘pops’ of colour to our lives. It’s a really easy way to cheer yourself up and make your home look even more beautiful. Elaine, our designer, has lots of easy ideas – even if you naturally migrate to all that’s neutral. Over to Elaine… “I’m a lover of all things natural, neutral and understated, but as beautiful as that can be, I know I’m going to need a few sunny ‘pops’ of colour this winter. Here are a few ways for colour-commitment-phobes like myself to try, without costing the earth... 1. As well as plants and flowers, fruit and veg make great colourful displays. A bowl of fruit will instantly add a splash of colour to your kitchen, and with it on display; you’re more likely to eat it too. Mix together with flowers for some real wow (of course, only eat the flowers if they're edible!). 2. Arrange your books and magazines by colour. My boyfriend is always telling me off for having too many “messy” books around, and this way they look tidier, as well as making a statement. 3. Be inspired by leader of the Advanced Style movement, Iris Apfel, and go for eclectically mixed, bold jewellery. When you’re not wearing it, try displaying it on pretty hooks, or create a still life of your treasures in a beautiful bowl. 4. Second hand furniture, picked up for a song in charity shops, can be painted in your favourite colours. Look beyond the varnished wood, and pick them purely on the basis of their shape or function. Sand down any varnish, and paint with an eco-friendly paint. Try mixing and matching shapes and colour – you can always update them again and again. 5. Make your own cushions by upcycling your worn out clothes or vintage fabrics. Check out this tutorial from Victoria, one of our BThoughtful contributors. 6. This is one of my favourite ideas, which I’m currently experimenting with. Paint the edges of your doors – the bit you don’t see when the door is shut. When the door is open, it gives a surprise flash of colour. You can also experiment with Washi tape, and change it as often as you like. Be sure to buy a good quality tape made from rice paper or sustainably farmed wood pulp, to keep it planet friendly. 7. Art is another solution, but it can be expensive. Try framing your own or your children’s masterpieces, for an ever-changing, inexpensive gallery feel to your walls. Here at Braintree we have a wall of clipboards where we change the images seasonally. 8. If you’re brave enough, try a mural on a wall, instead of wallpaper. It’s easy to paint over it – maybe with a statement colour! That’s just a little taster of some simple ways to brighten up your life. Bring on the grey days!” – Elaine. Thanks Elaine! If you have some ideas too, let us know right here or on Facebook or Twitter. Image source, Image source, Image source, Image source, Image source, Image source, Image source, Image source.