Color Guide: How to Work With Neon Brights

Call them what you may: neon, Day-Glo, fluorescent. Whatever they are, they should force you to think about a highlighter. Neon colors are so called because they seem to throw their own light, to glow from within such as their elemental namesake. They are the colors of psychedelics and black light posters.

We do not see a lot of true fluorescents in home decoration (though we do see some). Much more frequent are approximations of fluorescent colors, bright brights which don’t quite achieve that highlighter glow.

Despite their psychedelic past and unfortunate 1980s Wham! Associations, neon colors could be stylish and lovely. They look fantastic with neutrals from the ivory to beige family. They look fantastic with grays of all hues and with light natural wood tones (see neutrals).

They are a shocking but gorgeous comparison to organic materials and also look beautiful with matters such as burlap, natural sheets, wood, clay and concrete. Mostly they’re used quite sparingly, as small zings of colour. A vase. A print there. But there are some courageous souls that go for neons in a large way.

Have a look. There’s nothing to be fearful of.

FORMA Design

Bold Sweeps

An whole accent wall of glowing chartreuse is about as much neon as you are ever likely to see in 1 spot. And this is not even fuzzy, but it is bright.

Adeeni Design Group

Small windows of highlighter yellow add pizzazz to the bare, Japanese-esque space. It’s all neutrals, then pow!

MN Builders

Vibrant lime-green walls brighten up a tiny bathroom.

Cara Woodhouse Interiors LLC

I love this; it is contemporary, fresh and unexpected.

Erika Bierman Photography

Slashes of fluorescent pink highlight (do it?) The design and pull together what’s basically a large, neutral space.

Caitlin Wilson Design

The pink sofa doesn’t qualify as neon, however that stripe in the border of the window therapy does. You can add a bit of neon with more muted versions of the same colour to get a little extra oomph. And doesn’t it seem splendid with the beige leather chesterfield?

Danny Broe Architect

This kitchen is beautiful, but it looks like every other sleek, contemporary wood and white kitchen on the market. Oh, but for the strikes of highlighter orange.


This children’ room features a variety pack of neons. If everything is spare and neutral, this functions. I love it as an alternative to the usual children’ colors.

R Brant Design

This painting appears like a neon sign from the rain, and it totally excels in this slick, neutral living room.

John David Edison Interior Design Inc..

A blend of blue pink, yellow and blue works here because the space is formal and unbiased, and nothing competes for attention.

Causa Design Group

White, diverse and neon. Again, a lot of different bright colors and patterns can work whether the background is neutral and easy.

Jeni Lee

It’s like a colour field painting come to existence in the form of a kitchen.

Tiny Little Touches

Most neon appears in miniature little touches, like from the prints over this bed. Nice against a satin black wall, no?

Alex Amend Photography

Small winks of blue pink at the pillows and around the ceiling.

Wind and Willow Home

Two miniature stripes of blue pink at a area of neutral.

Amy Lau Design

Now, this luminous print really is neon coloured. It seems to make its own light, and it pops into this subdued dining room.

Lindsey Adelman Studio

Small neon links in a easy and industrial series.

Acrylic is a superb method to mimic neon. It’s both translucent and reflective, providing it that glow.

Harper Design from HarperCollins Publishers

This isn’t merely a bright, courageous color combo, but it is also a nifty notion — clamp jacket hangers; why didn’t I think of that?

Imagine Living

Neon Outdoor

More acrylic neon impersonators. I love these flashes of bright color against the rest of the understated deck.

SquallCo Development

Just a small spoonful of neon chartreuse gives this regular wooden facade a glowing facelift.

Great Oaks Landscape Associates Inc..

Even the natural universe can proceed evolves. These pink annuals pop against the green.

Neopolitan 9-Drawer Sideboard Chest, Black and Green – GBP 699.99

Neon meets traditional design. You could do a similar DIY spruce-up on a tired piece of furniture for under $50.


Tube Top Color Lamp | 2Modern – $110

These acrylic lamps have got the glow.


Wooden Salad Bowl, Neon Pink and Neon Yellow, by Wind & Willow Home – $64

Neon paint adds a lot of design savvy to these easy wooden bowls.

Acapulco Chair

Acapulco Chair, Neon Yellow on Black Frame – $495

The iconic Acapulco chair in blue yellow. This might look good with other brights or on a plain, weathered wood deck.

Moisés Hernández

Gota Dining Table

A simple wood table becomes a design statement with the inclusion of an aqua stripe.

Benjamin Moore

Lime Green 2026-10 Paint

The colors below aren’t technically fluorescent, however they’re bright. Really bright. And they’ve got a certain glow about them.

Krylon makes true fluorescent spray paint in several colors.

Benjamin Moore

Lucky Charm Green 2030-30 Paint


Nervy Hue SW6917 Paint

Benjamin Moore Ben Paint, Sun Kissed Yellow 2022-20 – $35.95

Benjamin Moore

Bahaman Sea Blue 2055-40 Paint

Benjamin Moore

Utah Sky 2065-40 Paint

Benjamin Moore

Rosy Blush 2086-30 Paint

Benjamin Moore

Razzle Dazzle Paint

Benjamin Moore

Startling Orange 2016-10 Paint

Light Red Fluorescent Brushable Paint – GBP 30

Has anybody attempted this? Does it glow under black light?

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