The neon brights that peppered the 1980s are back, in fashion and decor. Highlighter hues and glow-in-the-dark tints provide a shot of adrenaline after a few seasons of mellow, mushroom-y color palettes. Of course, these colors aren't for everyone. But if you're ready to play, here are some fun options and expert advice on how to go sassy but stylish.
Tanika Nayak, an interior designer and shelter-show host on HGTV and the Food Network, loves bright hues. She says the key is to make them look up-to-the-minute and not circa 1983.
"Use neon in small doses," she advises. "You don't want to blind anyone. My favorite use of neon is against a crisp white backdrop. In a dining room, start with a glass table, white walls and pop it with bold colorful neon dinnerware, placemats, and vases — affordable and fun. If you dare to go even bolder, use neon print accent chairs."
Nayak says balance is everything when working with these powerhouse hues.
"If you have a big, colorful personality and really want that bedroom or bathroom to glow, then go ahead and paint the entire room with your bold color. But balance it with white, black, gray or even a pastel. For example, a bedroom painted in bold green neon can work if the bedding, rug and window treatments offset it with a calming white and/or a pale soft blue," she suggests.
Take the same tack with a bathroom; add light-colored towels and mat to cool things down.
HomeGoods has some well-priced accessories, like bright orange and green ottomans, a ceramic lamp in citrus, a large selection of colorful kitchen tools and mirrored decorative boxes. homegoods.com.
Brooke Jones offers an array of tangerine-hued home accessories at her online shop. A little elephant and a set of dinosaur-topped jars are part of the collection.
Jones says, "I want to make color accessible to everyone. Painting a wall a bright color might not be realistic, but people can still bring in that fun, bright pop of the unexpected through home accessories. I hope my work inspires people to take chances and not take decorating too seriously." etsy.com/shop/juxtapositionsc.
Los Angeles-based designer Byron Samayoa's laser-cut coasters embossed with elemental information were not initially intended to be neon acrylic. "The coasters found their way to neon via the creative process — my original Idea was to start with a wood set and a clear acrylic set, but every time I went back to my samples, the neon ones always stood out from the rest." shop.bplusshop.com.
Canadian textile artist Christine Skaley Reid works out of her studio in Mission, British Columbia, creating eclectic throw pillows in color-banded and right-on-trend '70s-style floral prints. Fuchsia and pink set the trendy tone. etsy.com/shop/pillowthrowdecor.
At Z Gallerie, find several great pieces in a zingy chrome yellow, including Mariposa candleholders, the Palmer ceramic stool and Pasadena picture frames. zgallerie.com.
Zazzle.com has a great group of photographic rose prints called the Neon Collection, tinted in sapphire, lime and purple. zazzle.com.
And if you're up for outfitting your home office in some pumped-up hues, consider CB2's Go-cart furniture series, which includes a rolling cart, bookcase, task lamp and desk in vibrant yellow or orange powder-coated steel. cb2.com.