60+ Bright, Bold Rooms
Learn how to decorate with energetic colors and fun patterns to create dazzling, eye-catching spaces.
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.
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 accent pillows.
Get the look: The walls are painted Spring Iris by Benjamin Moore.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
Airy blue walls provide a serene backdrop for pops of coral and charcoal in this Kiawah Island, South Carolina, sitting room.
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.
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.
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.
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.”