The Rise and Rise of Neon Art

Neon Lighting Bedroom

I’ve always loved the idea of sticking some neon art on the wall of our place, but never been quite brave enough. I’d seen it done once or twice online, and it looked awesome, but it seemed liked the kind of outlandish decorating idea that only works if you have a very specific, kitschy style. It seems I’m not the only one that’s hooked on glowing squiggly letters, because I’ve spotted absolutely loads of cool neon decorating ideas online lately. Not just in crazy interiors either – in ordinary, white-walled, plainly-decorated ones like most of us live in. And do you know what? It looks brilliant!

[Above: Liisa WhoToby Scott]

sssuppp neon sign


The best colours seem to be pastels, such as blue or pink, or just a plain white to sit nicely on a pale wall. Yellows, oranges and greens are a tad bright and can make the room look a bit commercial. This is the hazard with neon – you don’t want your living room to wind up looking like a dingy American diner! It seems to work best in a room without too much else going on in terms of colour – the art will (quite rightly) be the most prominent thing in the room so you don’t want too many other loud colours/patterns jostling to be seen.

Neon Lighting

[Laurel Woodcock / Nathaniel Rackowe]

Simple words and phrases are nice – I’m a fan of silly ones (sssuppp…?) rather than those twee philosophical quotes that are all over Instagram right now. You know the ones: Live, Laugh, Love or Be True to Yourself or whatever. Alternatively, shapes and symbols look pretty cool. I love this cloud idea, especially because the cabling kinda looks like rain.

Neon Lighting

[Laure Joliet Photography / Apartment Therapy]

It’s a glorious epidemic! Neon art is definitely more accessible now than it was even a few years ago, and if you like how it looks there are plenty of ideas out there to help you make it work with your own decor. You’ll just have to tweak the design or colour slightly to make sure it sits harmoniously with everything else already in the room, rather than becoming an annoying distraction. That’s pretty much the bottom line here – finding a way to make something as bold as an electric sign look nice without being the only thing you can see when you walk in the door…

Lucy Meek
Lucy Meek

Lucy started writing Decorenvy as a scrapbook to record ideas when she began decorating her own place in 2013. Her frustration at the lack of alternatives to high street brands and catalogue decorating has since seen it evolve into a sourcebook for unusual and interesting design, complete with tours of beautiful homes and the occasional ill-advised DIY project.


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