Learn how to decorate with energetic colors and fun patterns to create dazzling, eye-catching spaces.
Saturated lime green walls create a vibrant backdrop for bold pillows and rugs in this mod-box beach house.
An attention-grabbing, bold-colored sofa adds a jolt of energy and makes it so the rest of the room requires minimal decoration.
Instead of boring storage bins, use patterned cloth baskets to add a pop of color and whimsy to a playroom.
For a hip, Southern California vibe, try this color palette: sunny yellow, natural wood, and sea foam green.
Keep graphic wallpaper from feeling overwhelming with curvy prints on pillows, lampshades, and bedding.
Try something unexpected in the kitchen: a lemon-lime backsplash that lines the entire wall and adds a fun layer to an already eclectic space.
Go ahead; be more daring with outdoor pillows than you would be with indoor ones. These bright coral, blue, and green ones
pack a punch of energy and cheer.
Tip: AstroTurf covers the patio instead of grass, so the bright green will never go dull with dreary weather.
Bold doesn’t always mean bright. Here, soft yellow walls pair with lilac accents and a light blue floor to infuse a soothing, happy feel.
Quirky accents, such as a mounted game fish and a shell chandelier with an antique finish, add personality and casualness to a beach house dining room.
The secret to this room? Vintage furniture, colorful fabrics, and island-inspired decor that recalls a 1970s tropical resort. Metallic accents add just the right amount of glam.
Add color to a neutral bedroom by reupholstering a headboard in a retro island print.
These circus-striped porch curtains were fashioned using inexpensive umbrella fabric that cost only one dollar per yard!
Short on wallspace in the kitchen? Let the cabinets do the color duty, and douse them in a luscious, energetic green.
Get playful in a playroom with artfully painted multicolored stripes that instantly invigorate the space.
Gleaming white accents shine even brighter when paired against a textured grasscloth wallcovering. For extra shimmer, add mirrored accents throughout.
When incorporating a sofa with bold pattern, be sure to anchor the space with solid-colored chairs (even if they are bright orange!).
Bamboo Chippendale chairs, a coral-shaped chandelier, and Green Bounty (16-22) paint by Pratt & Lambert give this dining room a vibrant, elegant-at-the-beach feel.
Make a statement with vertical cabana-style stripes in chartreuse and slate gray. Sleek accents such as a curvy footstool and side tables add formality.
Experiment with vibrant wallpaper in small spaces, such as this powder room, whose petite dimensions keep a bold pattern from overwhelming.
Don’t restrict color to the walls. This Royal Blue Rustoleum paint pops against a sunny-hued pendant chandelier.
Though usually reserved for fabrics and surfaces, color can also come to life through appliances and accessories. A vintage-style cooktop and refrigerator, plus punchy turquoise tiles, stock this beach house kitchen with an ultimate easy-living vibe.
Choose a brightly hued piece of art to inspire your color palette. Then, build your look around it. Even a mix of fabrics will mesh well if you stick with a consistent color scheme.
A vibrant hue such as lemon yellow adds interest and keeps an all-white room from looking washed-out. Keep a high-octane palette in check with streamlined furnishings such as this oversize Lucite coffee table and a pair of deep, squared-off Billy Baldwin sofas.
While warm and inviting, citrusy orange can often be overwhelming when paired with too many other colors. Add only one or two accent hues, such as a cool blue, to tone down a space.
Be bold without going overboard by choosing a vibrant fabric. These chairs provide sharp contrast to the dining room’s glossy white walls and floor.
Bright aqua defines this guest room, where a love seat and palm-shaped bed posters lend South Florida panache. A white backdrop creates restful pauses among intensely colored fabrics, rugs, and accessories.
A whimsical, shell-inspired ceiling fixture and sculptural white furnishings accent the bold aqua furnishings and rug in this sitting area. Such vivid choices add fun to a vacation home.
Strawberry pink takes on a more mature appearance when paired with streamlined furniture and minimal accessories. An Asian-inspired wallpaper and a geometric print on throw pillows keep this master bedroom from looking too girly.
Use colors in unexpected places, such as floors, for a fun twist in a more traditional space. These homeowners opted for leafy green in the kitchen when a stain couldn’t be matched to the rest of the house.
Help find focus by choosing a favorite piece of furniture or accessory and designing your room around it. An antique bamboo desk with pink trim inspired this room’s feminine twist on traditional island style.
Closed, these curtains lend privacy and offer respite from the sun. Open, they frame the space and soften the scene. When choosing fabrics, avoid natural weaves, which are prone to fading and mildew. Look for bright, synthetic blends that will weather the elements.
Nothing says sea-inspired quite like sandy hues paired with ocean blues. A neutral sofa and linen-covered poufs provide a calming influence when matched with a vibrant rug and throw pillows.
This room combines light blues with turquoise hues for an under-the-sea feel. Sleek details such as the pottery overhead complement the updated version of French toile on pillows and draperies.
Wake up a sleepy bedroom with a coat of bold orange paint. White linens and draperies will balance the bright color, providing a simple, soothing contrast.
The weathered dining room credenza and wooden dining table add warmth to this beautiful blue space. The graphic print fabric on the chair backs incorporates a touch of modern to this traditional space.
Tame a vibrant palette with woven furniture and rugs made from natural materials such as sisal, sea grass, or jute.
This bedroom uses hues of the sea, with a turquoise wallcovering and intricate shell-covered side table. The bedding plays nicely with the coastal shell picture framed on the wall.
This sunny kitchen is colorful without feeling overwhelming. “My decorating sense was influenced more by Crayola than anything else,” says homeowner Sue Hoffman.
Exotic and functional, these hanging beds have fun written all over them. Punchy striped fabric on the walls and a Roman shade create a seamless backdrop, while an orange rug and throw pillows pop.
Increase the charm by veering away from the traditional color wheel. Welcoming corals and golds pair nicely with calming blues and teals. Walls covered with burlap add warmth and texture.
For a quieter citrus scheme, try a buttery yellow on upholstery. It radiates warmth without the shock factor of a neon hue.
Simple island elegance is the key to this guest room. Bamboo-inspired furniture and bedding pair with sugar white walls to provide the ultimate atmosphere for peaceful snoozing.
Floor-to-ceiling built-in shelves take accessories to new heights. Nautical fishing floats in emerald hues pop when placed next to antique-finished basins and pottery.
Rattan furniture, pretty blues, and a burst of pink give this outdoor living room a modern yet retro feel. The organic outdoor fabric allows the space to withstand island heat, wind, and rainstorms.
Add a twist of lime to your color scheme. Fabrics in the cheerful hue punch up wood or wicker furnishings.
Lavender is known to be a calming shade, and this homeowner used it to good effect in the master bedroom of her Long Island
home. Pale lavender appears in the lampshade and sheet set, while a deeper amethyst hue adds kick to the bed upholstery and
Get the look: The walls are painted Spring Iris by Benjamin Moore.
This Key Biscayne, Florida, deck is outfitted in hot reds, pinks, and oranges, making the water view even bluer: "These complementary colors intensify each other because they're opposites on the color wheel," says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.
A bold application of color, like the Key lime green that defines the entrance of this Key West cottage, is a great way to
announce that there is more fun to come. The designer had the original pine floors cleaned, scrubbed, and polished to provide
a more neutral complement to the attention-grabbing walls.
Get the look: The jute runner is from Pottery Barn. The designer purchased the pendant light on a trip to Mexico.
In this Nantucket kitchen, red metal cabinets made by St. Charles Cabinetry (the preferred cabinetry fabricator of celebrated midcentury architects Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright), white
Formica countertops, a turquoise retro-style Big Chill refrigerator, and a TurboChef oven complete a peppy throwback look.
Get the Look: The metal kitchen cabinets are from St. Charles Cabinetry, and the refrigerator is by Big Chill. Schoolhouse Electric carries similar pendant fixtures
“Green is the color of nature, so it makes sense that the shade would look most at home in outdoor spaces, which is why we
used it here,” says L.A.-based designer Daniel Torres of this porch. “By repeating the very dramatic, graphic stripes on
the walls, ceiling, and pillows, we were able to channel a certain kind of bygone Hollywood glamour while also creating an
environment that really allows the green to pop.”
Get the look: The striped outdoor fabric is from Perennials; the green sofa and chairs are by McKinnon & Harris. The chandeliers are from Charles Edwards Antiques.
With a view like this, these homeowners wanted their home to pay homage to nature. Designer Laura Motley took her cues—and
hues—from the Pacific to help them create a fresh look.
Get the look: The coffee table and chairs are from Rooms & Gardens. The China Seas Kazak chair fabric and Java Java stool fabric in New Blue on White are from Quadrille Fabrics. The sea grass rug is from Merida.
“People tend to shy away from yellow, but I think it’s great,” says Toronto-based designer Sarah Richardson. “It’s both bold
and contemporary while conveying a happy outlook. The key to making strong colors work is to make sure you balance your space
with a serious, heaping helping of white, like I did in this bedroom. It allows some breathing room so your yellow will feel
like a complement and a lovely accent, not like it’s hitting you over the head.”
Get the look: Richardson designed the upholstered headboard. The bedside table and lamp are by Rich Brilliant Willing.
This South Carolina cottage is outfitted with lovely apple green chairs and patterned drapes. The white beaded board and sea grass rug help ground the space.
The happy-hued sectional in this Sag Harbor sunroom brightens up the otherwise all-white space. The floral throw pillows add
a touch of whimsy, as does the woven stool.
Get the look: The rug is from Calypso St. Barth.
It's hard to compete with an ocean view, but the glass subway tile backsplash in this kitchen does a great job of mirroring
the water and laid-back-cool indoors. Try a similar bold, blue backsplash in either marble, quartz, or glass to help create
the illusion of movement and openness, especially in smaller spaces.
Get the look: Walker Zanger Skyline 2 × 2 Sheet-Mounted Staggered Joint Glass Tile in Blue Sky, $43 per square foot. Silestone Life! Series Quartz in Blue Enjoy, from $44 per square foot.
Airy blue walls provide a serene backdrop for pops of coral and charcoal in this Kiawah Island, South Carolina, sitting room.
Get the look: The slipcovers were crafted from Schumacher’s Zimba fabric. The walls are painted Palladian Blue and the beaded board is painted Decorators White, both by Benjamin Moore.
Shades of blue and white create serenity in the master bedroom of this Amagansett, New York, beach house. The cotton shirting
drapes were made by piecing together panels into long stripes of navy, ultramarine, and white.
Get the look: The master bedroom’s bed, pillows, curtains, and bedside lamps are custom items by interior designer Jarlath Mellett. The light fixture is from Suite New York.
The family room of this Lake Michigan cottage features almost every shade on the color spectrum.
Get the look: The custom curtains and pillows are in Heritage Floral fabric by Lilly Pulitzer. The sofa is from Crate & Barrel; the custom coffee table is by Bruno Olechowicz. The floor cushions are from Pottery Barn. The shades are by Smith + Noble.
A light-blue shade on the cabinets and island complements the sea-inspired backsplash and softens stainless steel appliances
and dark countertops and floors of this seaside kitchen, The designer started wih the tiles, and the color inspired the palette
for the entire house. A hint of iridescent shimmer sets off the blue cabinetry and sandy trim and ceiling.
In the TV room of her Long Island retreat, this homeowner painted the walls a vibrant green to match the custom-upholstered
sectional, but softened the look with white piping, a pair of white pod chairs, and a nubby carpet. The result: a surprisingly
comfortable venue for nighttime lounging and movie watching. The domed spotlights can be rotated to direct light as needed.
Get the look: The walls are painted Tequila Lime by Benjamin Moore.
The homeowner’s daughter selected hot pink wallpaper for her bedroom in the family's Stuart, Florida, home.
Get the Look: The headboard was designed by the homeowner and accessorized with PBteen bedding and custom pillows.
Midcentury modern furniture covered in kicky colors—bright orange and leaf green—pops against the white walls and floor of
this Nantucket sitting room.
Get the look: The club chairs, from Metro Retro in Houston, are covered in ultrasuede by Weiman. The Noguchi table, by Knoll, is from Design Within Reach.
The exterior color of this dreamy Abaco Island cottage sparked a color revolution in the home. “When they chose yellow [for
the exterior], we just loved it,” says interior designer Amanda Lindroth. “It’s so happy and looks striking against the blue
of the sky. It inspired us to bounce color all throughout the house.”
Get the look: The exterior’s marigold hue is custom; for some thing similar, try Farrow & Ball’s Dayroom Yellow. The chairs are from Amazon.com.