A Closer Look at Six Enigmatic Colors in Home Decor

We probably all can immediately visualize a specific picture when we hear the word “red” or “blue.” Primary colors are easy to recall, and it’s likely that we’re picturing pretty much the same color. But some colors don’t have that benefit.

Bedroom with ombre touch of colorsView in gallery

Bright yellow dining areaView in gallery

Some colors are bit of a mystery – take aqua, for example. Is it blue-green or green-blue? Or taupe – is it a warm brown-grey or a moody lavender-tan? The consistency of our visualization of certain colors decreases for some reason.

Dramatic dark color for living roomView in gallery

While this article is not meant to point out exactly what each color is and isn’t (variations appear in different surroundings, under different lighting, on different textiles, and even with different sheens), we do want to showcase six specific colors that might be considered enigmatic.

Aqua, Aubergine, Taupe, Chartreuse, Indigo, & Fuchsia

fuchsia office decorView in gallery

So, here’s to a closer look at aqua, aubergine, taupe, chartreuse, indigo, and fuchsia: how they’re used in different settings, and what makes them gorgeous in a variety of home décor styles. Enjoy!

AQUA

Aqua kitchen design with black SMEG fridgeView in gallery

Sometimes called teal or turquoise, aqua is a color that claims a variety of hues between green and blue. Technically defined as “a light bluish-green color,” aqua is short for aquamarine. Just as its name suggests, aqua is closely associated with the color of water – the ocean at times, clear lakes, and even swimming pools. Also like its name suggests, aqua is a completely refreshing, rejuvenating, and relaxing shade…depending on how you use it.

Aqua wichker furniture colorView in gallery

Here are some ideas.

Dining room with aqua turquoise chairsView in gallery

In an otherwise light space, aqua can actually serve as a fresh pop of color. Pair with plenty of white and natural light for a particularly charming effect that’s both soothing and invigorating. This dining room space looks refreshing and welcoming.

Aqua kitchen accessoriesView in gallery

Even a few aqua accessories can pack a punch. A great vintage-inspired colander and mixer, for example, lights up a kitchen wall. Pairing the cool color with some warm wood pieces, like these wooden stirring spoons and other utensils here, helps to create a harmonious and pleasant balance.

Aqua with more greenish for living roomView in gallery

Aqua with more of a greenish tint is calming to the senses, yet it adds so much even in the background of décor. Paint out the backs of your bookshelves, for example, a pale aqua tone to emphasize the shelves’ architecture and content without detracting from either.{found on hoister}.

Large living room with aqua wall designView in gallery


In a larger space, an aqua accent wall brings out the energetic vibe of some slightly darker aqua furniture pieces. The combination of bright aqua with more muted provides this living room with depth and harmony…and plenty of visual appeal.

Painting an aqua accent wallView in gallery

If you’re not convinced that painting an aqua accent wall is the way to go in your space, you can still incorporate this gorgeous color in a larger-scale way by using aqua window treatments. The benefit of having aqua next to a source of natural light is the mere fact that the two representations of nature (sun and sea) always work well together.

Aqua shade couch colorView in gallery

But if you love aqua, don’t hold back! Don’t be afraid of choosing even the larger furnishings in an aqua shade. These pieces will be instant eye-catchers, and you can temper the look for a grown-up space with plenty of other neutrals and patterns. The combination of aqua and yellow metallic (think gold and brass), along with a darker blue for a bit of visual maturity, is simultaneously fun and sophisticated.

Bathroom aqua tilesView in gallery

With a name like aquamarine, it makes absolute sense to incorporate said color into a place with plenty of water…and the bathroom is it! Aqua tiles on a tub and tub surround lend the space an instantly cleansing appeal. It’s kind of like bathing in the luxury of a private (and sterile) swimming pool.

AUBERGINE

Aubergine wall colorView in gallery

If you’re British, French, or German, this one is a no-brainer, because aubergine is actually the word in those areas for “eggplant.” Thus, the color is technically defined as: a dark purple or brownish-purple color that resembles the color of the outer skin of European eggplants. As with many darker tones, aubergine is a gorgeous moody color that can really set a sophisticated tone when used in home décor.

Let’s take a closer look at some cases of aubergine.

aubergine pairs with rich golden tones beautifullyView in gallery

For an uber-sophisticated feel, aubergine pairs with rich golden tones beautifully. We love the contrast of a rich, matte color with a dreamy white porcelain freestanding bathtub here. A few golden neutral pieces help to bridge the contrast gap so the whole place reads as inviting and seamless.

Upholstered walls with aubergine colorView in gallery

Upholstered walls aren’t for everyone, of course, but if you’re going to go that route, aubergine might just be the perfect color choice. Its rich, luxurious shade immediately makes a space feel cozy yet elegant – a nice combination for a room like the dining room or living room.{found on elledecor}.

Major colors in smaller dosesView in gallery

For those of you who prefer major colors in smaller doses, perhaps an aubergine accent wall is the right choice for you. Framing out a focal feature point (such as a fireplace, bay window, or oversized art piece) with this color really sets off the feature. We like the pairing of aubergine with warmer, creamier neutral tones here.

The versatility of aubergineView in gallery

The versatility of aubergine, its level of boldness or subtlety, is a huge benefit when incorporating the color into your home décor. Saturation can be modified to fit your taste and the space itself. This muted, grey living room, for example, uses aubergine throughout, but in such a subtle, soothing way that it almost reads as a neutral.{found on taylorhowes}.

Aubergine and copperView in gallery

Aubergine and copper? Absolutely. This stunning combination showcases two timeless colors and sheens. It’s a hardworking pairing in the kitchen, particularly, where copper pots and cooking-ware are often on display. May as well create a power-packed color duo while you’re at it.

Stategic pop of aubergine for kitchenView in gallery

One strategic pop of this gorgeous color will emphasize other features as well. Paint out your kitchen island, for example, in aubergine, and it’ll show off beautiful countertops and ground the space’s lighter palette. The look is luxe and perfect for the kitchen – is anyone else all of a sudden hungry for eggplant?{found on kedlestoninteriors}.

Dusty aubergine wall colorView in gallery

Although purple shades don’t tend to lean toward the masculine in home décor, aubergine’s deep, warm undertones make it a prime candidate for doing just that. Pair the color with plenty of medium- to dark-toned wood pieces and leather, and you’ve got yourself a deliciously somber (in the best possible way) space.

TAUPE

Taupe brown living with exposed bricksView in gallery

Taupe, pronounced tope, like rhyming with rope, is another stunning enigmatic color. It’s a neutral, by definition a dark tan color residing somewhere between grown and grey. Taupe is actually a fairly vague reference to most light brownish-grey or greyish-brown tones, because the true color is not easy to isolate. Regardless, its warmth and depth has helped taupe reign as one of the most popular neutrals in home décor for quite some time. 

Let’s look at some beautiful taupe spaces.

Dark wood floor for entrywayView in gallery

In a space where dark wood floors and white walls might be a little too harshly contrasting on their own, taupe is a beautiful color mediator. It combines warmth in its brown undertones with cool grey to perfectly marry the dark-and-light combination. The effect is muted yet stunning.

Taupe living room color with touches of blueView in gallery

Taupe is an excellent springboard for many color palettes, because of its warmth and non-dominating presence. Pairing it with another color, like blue in this living room, helps the space feel expanded and energetic without visual distraction or overload.

Playing off the fantastic warm-coolView in gallery

Playing off the fantastic warm-cool yin and yang aspects of the color taupe, it’s not a bad idea to incorporate seemingly opposing warm and cool details into your taupe space, from textures (glass chandelier and wooden stools) to sheens (tufted ottoman and golden bowl). The combined elements are brought together in a lovely way with taupe as the foundation.

Cream, ivory, and taupe harmonize for bathroomView in gallery

Cream, ivory, and taupe harmonize beautifully with warm greys in any space – the entryway, living room, bedroom, or bathroom. The overall effect of this superbowl of neutral love is soothing, refreshing, and inviting. We love how the use of each neutral color highlights the unique architecture of this interesting bathroom.

Taupe kitchen color designView in gallery

Where white kitchens have been the rage for a little bit, there’s something to be said for a warmer kitchen aesthetic. Taupe cabinetry is a lovely and solid choice for something non-white but also clean and airy feeling. The grey and brown undertones in this particular shade are perfectly balanced, helping the kitchen to feel lightly airy and warmly inviting.{found on thecowspot}.

Great space kitchenView in gallery

As a kitchen backsplash color, taupe is both beautiful and functional – able to hide a variety of spills or splatters as needed. Not that you want your kitchen to be a filthy place, of course, but splashes of this and that are going to happen, and it’s nice to have a forgiving color around to buy you a cleaning minute or two. (Plus, this glossy taupe subway tile is just plain gorgeous.){found on mygreatspaces}.

Small bedroom with taupe color designView in gallery

A bedroom ensconced in taupe is a bedroom in which pleasant conversations, enlightened thoughts, and sweet dreams are had. A few glamorous details bring a bit of necessary bling to this bedroom, and softer touches on the textiles (quilted cream duvet, for example) make it an absolute haven.

CHARTREUSE

chartreuse wall paint colorView in gallery

chartreuse living room day bedView in gallery

Named after a French liquor, chartreuse is a color that resides halfway between green and yellow. There are many variations of the color, including but not limited to pear, lemon lime, spring green, pistachio, camouflage green, avocado, or olive…but the main point is that the color is electric, modern, and typically best when served in small doses.

Here are some examples of chartreuse in home décor done right.

Apartment chartreuse rugView in gallery

A chartreuse rug looks great on a wood floor especially, largely because the color isn’t so different from the wood tones that it becomes a focal point, but it’s just enough different from the wood that it isn’t invisible, either. This color has a decided place in mid century modern décor, if you love that vibe.

Open space kitchen with Chartreuse funiture accentsView in gallery

With the incorporation of an unusual furniture piece in your home or of a typical piece in an unusual setting (such as a lounger in the open concept dining room), using a stand-out color like chartreuse makes a definite statement. Mirroring the color elsewhere in the space as well, such as in the tinted acrylic dining chairs here, really carries home the chartreuse spirit.

Unique and enigmatic color like chartreuseView in gallery

A unique and enigmatic color like chartreuse looks absolutely stunning against a dark background. This tuxedo sofa in chartreuse tweed is a decided style statement, mid century modern-style. Plenty of clean yet visually interesting lines in the space bring a contemporary, fresh vibe.

Chartreuse upholstered dining chairsView in gallery

Continue the earthy theme of your dining space with chartreuse upholstered dining chairs. Their warm undertones work perfectly with other wood pieces (such as a large dining table), but their electric propensity amps up the space’s energy and positive chi.

Dramatic high-gloss chartreuseView in gallery

Dramatic high-gloss chartreuse walls accentuate beautiful high ceilings in this elegant dining room. The acid tone of the chartreuse is tempered nicely with rich charcoal drapes and accessories and dark wood. The result? A vibrant, stunning place to dine.

Guest bedroom with chartreuse accentsView in gallery

Due to its versatile nature (let’s face it, chartreuse can just as easily look like rancid garbage as it can look chic and en pointe), chartreuse does best when paired with other solidly beautiful tones. We love the textural appeal of linen and classic cotton as the foundation of this bedroom, with chartreuse coming in strategic doses for a fresh, yet earthy, aesthetic.

White bedding with chartreuse accentsView in gallery

For a crisp, cool accent, chartreuse trim on white bedding looks positively fresh and inviting. It’s not too sweet, not too sour, but it’s just right. We love the inclusion of a kelly green plant vase on the nightstand here, which helps the overall palette read as more lively.

INDIGO

Navy blue bedroom designView in gallery

Indigo is an oft-overlooked but real part of the seven colors of the rainbow, hanging out gorgeously between blue and violet. The color is bright and deep, closer in hue to blue than anything else. Interestingly, wavelengths of hues between blue and violet are not readily differentiated by the human eye, which makes some experts de-claim indigo as a valid individual part of the rainbow. Regardless, the boldly enigmatic hue is enveloping and at once soft and hard, and utterly gorgeous.

Here are some examples of indigo in home décor.

Indigo entryway credenzaView in gallery

Welcome guests with style by painting out an entryway table, credenza, or even dresser in a smooth indigo. The look is of course enhanced by some brass hardware (what isn’t?). This simple colorful statement shows refinement without being stuffy, friendliness without tedious small talk.{found on sawnailandpaint}.

Indigo is associated with navy colorView in gallery

Indigo is often associated with the color navy, which in most circles is deemed a neutral. It follows, then, that when it’s played correctly in a room’s design scheme, indigo can pretty much be a neutral color as well, making it a great candidate for large furniture items (e.g., sofa, armoire, dining table, etc.).{found on tomstringer}.

High gloss indigo paint for living roomView in gallery

A high gloss indigo paint choice adds a greater variety of shades to this already rich, complex color. Pair that same glossy paint in a corner with a large window, and you’ll enjoy a smorgasbord of changing color throughout the day as the angle of the sun changes. This is lovely.

View in gallery

One lovely way to utilize indigo, and even make its tones benefit your entire space, is to incorporate it with other rich blues. Vibrant jewel tones are particularly stunning as a complement to and also contrast with indigo’s depths. The result is an inviting space that is visually stimulating and mentally relaxing.

Bedroom with a architectural indigo headboardView in gallery

Make an architectural feature get the emphasis it deserves by using this rich, beautiful color to accent it. This woven-style headboard wall is stunning and is already framed out by large vertical windows. Indigo keeps the room in harmony with the natural light while still showcasing this feature.{found on romaninteriordesignllc}.

Diye indigo livingView in gallery

Because the color itself is named after a plant dye, indigo has an inherent earthy feel to it. Take advantage of this characteristic by incorporating the color into your rustic, organic style – linen and cotton textiles, whitewashed walls, vintage metals, and wildflowers. They all come together to create a gorgeous space.

Bathroom with half white and indigo wallsView in gallery

Bathroom half-walls (such as above a white wainscot, as is shown here) house the color indigo beautifully. You get the refreshing sensation of water from the blue and a soothing sensation from the violet/purple tones. Overall, the deep color brings in a look that is chic and crisp.{found on artisticreno}.

FUCHSIA

Fuchsia Sofa DecorView in gallery

Another Fuchsia couchView in gallery

Named after a flowering shrub that’s native to America and New Zealand, fuchsia is a vivid purple-red color. Its namesake flower generally has two contrasting colors, red and violet. Fuchsia is also associated with magenta, although technically magenta is more red-toned and fuchsia more purple. As a blend of deep pink and blue, fuchsia is used to inspire confidence, assurance, and maturity – all wonderful traits to have exhibited in one’s home décor and style.

Here are some inspiring examples of fuchsia.

Dining in style with fuchsia colorView in gallery

Not a morning person? Create instant energy, in a non-obnoxious way of course, by surrounding your breakfast nook with fuchsia walls. The color simultaneously envelopes and invigorates, giving you just the right amount of motivation to make today great.{found on amandanisbetdesign}.

A little fuchsia can go a long wayView in gallery

A little fuchsia can go a long way, as is evident in this otherwise natural/neutral dining room. The room without these comfortable fuchsia dining chairs would read fairly flat, despite the benefit of natural light and architectural features (e.g., arch). Fuchsia amps up the energy level to the perfect degree here.{found on jhinteriordesign}.

Striped fuchsia teenage roomView in gallery

Turn a teen’s ho-hum bedroom into a hip, modern retreat with some chunky fuchsia striped walls. One wall is all that’s needed for major effect. We like the plentiful use of whites here, as well, to balance out the other enigmatic but bold colors used in this fun bedroom (chartreuse and aqua).

Cool feminine living decor with touches of pinkView in gallery

Break from the idea that neutral sofas are the only way to go…and go fuchsia! When paired with oversized abstract modern artwork, the color maintains its femininity, but with an enviable edginess. We’d recommend keeping the rest of the space fairly neutral, with such a color being the visual heavyweight champion.

Play around bold colorsView in gallery

Play around with enigmatic colors by themselves AND in combination with other bold colors – you just might strike a combination that you adore. Orange and fuchsia, for example, create an invigorating and luxurious space. The pair is tempered with plenty of white pieces, of course, which is important for balance.

Rustic decor with Fuchsia ottomanView in gallery

Fuchsia is an important color for home décor because it packs such a visual punch, but in a mature way. If one were to use an electric pink in a grownup space like this living room corner, the effect would be grating and dissonant. As a slightly less saturated color, fuchsia brings all the vibrancy without the discord of other similar colors.

Modern fuchsia wall artView in gallery

Don’t forget the classic appeal of fuchsia paired with black and white. It’s timeless.