Give your home a glow-up with neon signs

The rise of perfectly-crafted interior pictures on social media has encouraged homeowners to up their decorating-game. Everybody is on the hunt for photogenic décor to follow the new craze and emulate design styles. Patterned flooring, luxe velvet furniture and marble countertops are some of the trends to recently emerge, but the latest is neon signs. Gone are the days where neon signs were associated with Vegas and dive bars, as they are now considered stylish works of art.

From Kourtney Kardashian to Elton John, celebrities are using vibrant neon signs to inject personality into their décor. But this trend isn’t just for the stars, as neon is accessible to everybody. Graeme Hoole, head of product development at NeonPlus said: “Homeowners are becoming more experimental and bold with their home design and neon signs provide the opportunity to express creativity and character.” Neon signs might seem like a niche choice of décor but they are actually incredibly versatile. So, what exactly are the benefits of displaying neon in the home?

Add a pop of colour Neon can be made in a variety of colours. While millennial pink is most popular with homeowners, red, blue and even orange have made appearances in homes across social media. However, white neon against a white wall is perfect for creating an understated sign. Elizabeth Parker, interior designer and founder of Parker Interiors, says: “The glow of neon light is quite unlike any other form of lighting. It can be both vibrant and subtle. These days we embrace the mood changing effects of coloured lights.” In a recent survey conducted by NeonPlus, almost 30% of respondents said the best reason to have neon signs in the home is to add a pop of colour.

colour neon frame

Gilly Craft, director at Koubou Interiors, said: “A colourful neon sign can transform a space because it is different and creates a talking point.”

Make a statement

Neon signs are eye-catching and become the focal point of any room. This can be heightened with contrasting colours. A bright and colourful sign against a dark wall instantly grabs people’s attention.

Custom-made neon can create a unique design feature, which almost one-fifth of survey respondents said was the best reason to have neon signs in the home. While just under 16% said it was to add a personal touch. Neon signs can reflect your personality such as by displaying your favourite lyrics or quote.

neon adventure begins sign

Graeme adds: “Some couples choose to have a neon sign on their wedding day, which they can continue to showcase in their home to remind them of their special day.”

Nearly one in twelve said the ability to savour a memory was the top reason to have neon in the home.

Modern yet retro

Although neon is typically associated with the eighties, it is quite a contemporary idea to display it in the home. Just under one in five survey respondents said neon makes a home more modern and trendier.

Elizabeth says: “We’ve slowly come to realise over the last few decades that we don’t have to follow the latest contemporary fashion to be stylish. I think we’ve learned to embrace the unusual and the quirky. We can appreciate good designs from every era and pick and choose which pieces we want in our home and combine them to create something unique.”

Neon emulates both vintage and current styles making the feature suitable for a variety of home styles from 1950s retro to hipster chic.

Neon light can look stunning against the minimal white walls of a Scandi-chic new-build or hung amongst the period features of a Victorian terrace,” Elizabeth continues.

What interiors should be paired with neon?

Surrounding interiors can help neon stand out, such as hanging a vibrant pink sign against a white wall with minimalist décor. It can also complement the sign, for example, by dotting pops of the same colour around the room.

Elizabeth says: “Couple a wall-hung neon sign with an ornate gilt frame to create a real work of art or place it on a mirror-topped sideboard to double the effect. Neon looks great next to contrasting styles. A very elegant stone bust or a traditional ornament will look edgy sat next to neon.”

If neon signs are used to create a cool and quirky visual, this aesthetic can be enhanced with a gallery wall of pop culture posters, upcycled furniture and greenery.

neon skull and statue of liberty

“If your home is minimalist and you would prefer a softer approach, then you can buy purpose-made display boxes which have a slight smokiness to the glass,” Elizabeth adds. “This mutes the neon slightly so that it is not so bright.”

Where can neon be displayed in the home?

Switching on a bright neon light instantly emulates a party atmosphere. This makes a dining room or entertainment area the perfect place for a bright and colourful light.

Gilly adds: “It is all about trends and the places that people go to socialise and bars and restaurants are designed to create a home-feel now.”

If you are hosting guests, neon is guaranteed to impress and liven up the evening.

Graeme says: “While phrases such as ‘Gin o’clock’ or ‘But first, coffee’ can be used in a kitchen to create a social space, a sign that says ‘get out of my kitchen’ forms the perfect place to cook up a storm.”   

Depending on the phrase and colours used neon can also create a cosy vibe.

“A sign that says ‘let’s stay home’ in yellow can form a relaxing ambience, which is ideal for an evening spent curled up on the sofa in the living room. Neon can also be used in the hallway to welcome guests on arrival,” Graeme adds.

“Simple neon signs that say ‘Shhh’ or ‘And breathe’ in white or blue can turn a bathroom into a tranquil and serene haven.”

dream neon sign

Neon can also help create a romantic setting. A pink sign with a playful phrase such as ‘this is where the magic happens’ or ‘I like where this is going…’ above the bed is perfect for intimate evenings. For something more casual and calming, a sign that says ‘it was all a dream’, can make a bedroom feel homey and inviting. 

Elizabeth says: “The addition of a neon sign adds edge and a touch of humour which can update a room immediately.”

Some homeowners might be concerned that neon would break easily and result in sky-high electricity bills. However, LED lighting, known as faux-neon, can be used as an alternative to neon, as it is safer and cheaper to run. Plastic tubing is used instead of glass making it easy to design, quick to build and often more suitable for custom-made signs.

Although neon signs are a fairly new interior design trend, they are extremely versatile as they can be displayed anywhere in a home and suit a variety of home styles.