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Home Glow-Up: How to Decorate with Neon Without Getting a Headache

Neon has the unique quality of somehow looking like there’s a party anywhere near it — and your home can definitely borrow from that vibe, too! One of the most popular trends of the 1980s, neon has been around for a while now. From bold, retro accents to unique, flickering signage, neon can make its way into your interior design scheme and literally brighten up any room.

If you’re ready for your home to experience a glow-up, check out these tips on how to successfully decorate with neon colors and lights — without hurting your eyes:

Light it up

Speaking of party, gone are the days when neon lights were only seen in bars or outside hotels. Nowadays, there’s nothing like light to create whatever ambiance you want to go for. In fact, a bold sign or a glowing written phrase goes great in entertainment rooms or wherever you greet guests.

However, oddly enough, the bedroom somehow suits this practice the most. While neon lights definitely scream “party,” they can also help create a dreamy vibe that suits your sleeping quarters. And, a neon sign placed above the headboard can even create a romantic fantasy land right inside your bedroom.

Pepper with accents

Sprucing up a dull room with neon is easy when you consider that less is more — especially in this case. Neon works best in small quantities, so a little goes a long way because the eye is immediately drawn to it. For instance, bright blue photo frames, orange furniture elements or light fixtures, or even just some effective neon yellow throw pillows will be enough to do the trick.

Plus, the best part about using neon accents is that they don’t even have to match. Neon is a wild card, so just have fun with it and see where your experimenting takes you.

Highlight

Neon is great when you’re in need of a statement piece. For example, you could either make the neon item itself the focal point of the room or make something else stand out even more by using neon near it. This could be something as simple as candle holders, a hot pink vase of flowers or any other unique piece you’d like to draw attention to.

As we mentioned, neon lights are a great element for bold decor. For instance, bright green spotlights around a simple piece of art or even under furniture will surround it like a halo and draw the eye to whatever you want to highlight.

Go all out

In small doses, neon is enough to brighten a room. But, there’s no rule that states you can’t take it a bit further — if your eyes can handle it. However, stacking individual neon pieces is not the best way to go here. Instead, give neon paint a try and cover one of the walls or part of it to add dimension to a room. This works regardless of room size, even if you call a studio apartment home. The best part is you can even leave the wall empty because the color itself is enough.

Alternatively, you could also try a larger piece of neon furniture — such as a vivid-colored couch — especially if the other colors in the room are muted. Keep in mind that this works best in parts of the house that see more activity than others, so it’s better to keep the neon wall away from the bedroom. Note that one color you should avoid is neon green, which can easily overwhelm any space.

Fake it

If you’re not yet ready to go full-on neon with your interior design, start with some other bright elements to see if you like it first. For instance, glow-in-the-dark elements would look great in the kids’ room. Or, consider high-contrast art pieces that not only look cool adorning your walls, but also create a youthful vibe without adding actual neon colors.

Likewise, if you’re seeking retro vibes, but aren’t a fan of neon, find a vintage lava lamp. It’s sure to become the focal point of any room it’s placed in. Meanwhile, if you’re concerned about stepping into tacky territory, choose a brightly colored wallpaper with a simple, clean design in an otherwise neutral room.

For a fun and lighthearted twist to your interior design, look no further than neon colors and lights. Whether you go for bright accents scattered around the house or a daring wall to wow the guests, neon can be the element you were missing in your life — until now.

Alexandra Ciuntu
Alexandra Ciuntu
Alexandra is a creative writer and researcher for RentCafe. With a background in e-learning content writing and a passion for knowledge-sharing platforms, she's covered topics from prop-tech to renters insurance to interior design tips. Very familiar with the renter lifestyle herself, Alexandra enjoys researching and writing about renter demographic shifts and residential real estate market trends as much as she loves writing about how to get along with roommates. You can connect with Alexandra via email. Alexandra’s work includes collaborations with financial and business publications. Her articles have been featured in several national and international online publications, including the New York Times, Barrons, Inman, Forbes, Architectural Digest, Marketwatch, Bisnow, and Curbed. Her educational background includes a B.A. in Japanese and English and an M.A. in Journalism and Cultural Studies.

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