Incorporating Ombre: A Little or A Lot

Ombre is everywhere lately. Have you noticed this? And with good reason. It’s a beautiful pattern. There’s something simultaneously soothing and also exhilarating about a lighter to darker color gradient. Or darker to lighter. Or, while we’re at it, lighter to darker to lighter again. See how exciting this is?! We never know which way it’ll go!

Exclamation point frenzy aside, ombre really is a lovely way to incorporate subtle pattern and emphasize a color (either single or a whole scheme) within a space. Consider the following scenarios, where ombre is used on a variety of scales to produce an interesting and lovely detail to its space.


The overall room incorporates a moody subdued palette, complete with partially ombre-painted walls. From dark navy at the top (including the ceiling itself and mouldings) blended down to white, the walls resemble the magical night sky. Because the blue ombre only comes down about one-quarter of the wall, the main white sightlines (eye level and down) remain clean and clear, which allows us to take in the beautiful details throughout the space. What a perfectly lovely mix of styles and simple patterns here.

Most people might not be comfortable dedicating a whole wall to an homage to ombre. That’s okay, because there are many smaller scale options. They might consider incorporating ombre into accessories for an eye-catching twist. This throw pillow, for example, brings beautiful color and dimension to this neutral space, but it does so subtly and with maturity. It also doesn’t detract from the linked lamp frame or the circular side table, which are both furniture standouts.


Or you could hang ombre-inspired artwork. This contemporary DIY chevron version can be modified to fit any color scheme, and it adds a fantastic graphical and colorful punch to this nook in particular. The contrast of the white chevron between the brown gradients helps to emphasize the ombre itself – you could choose this look or a more subtle, melded version (sans white lines) if that would fit your space and style better.

Ombre stairs

Ombre rugs are another fabulous (and temporary, if you tend to be fickle about things like this) way to infuse color into a space. The subtleties of an ombre pattern are a gentle transition, tricking our eye into thinking there’s a pattern there without actually drawing attention to the pattern itself. I like this bright, bold color in this otherwise white-neutral kitchen. It adds drama and interest and movement…and personality!

Ombre stairs

If you’re looking for a way to spruce up your home’s exterior and set it apart from the neighbors’, consider this idea: ombre-painted steps! Absolutely creative. Vertical ombre on an otherwise horizontally lined space (such as stairs) adds an unexpected element of whimsy and character. I don’t know about you, but if I were to see steps like this, I’d be eager to see what the interior held.

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.