Decorating with Color
Color is back! Discover how to use bright hues to transform any room—and have a little fun while you're at it.
Hits of bright yellow are like seratonin supplements for a room—a little goes a long way. A few fun accents, such as leather dining chair upholstery, large-scale graphic artwork, and stems in a similar shade, are all it takes to cast a happy mood throughout your space.
To make a cramped room feel larger, douse walls in a vivid yellow. For a whimsical, big-top effect, paint wide stripes that continue onto the ceiling. First, mark off stripes onto white walls with painters' tape. Then just paint between the lines, remove the tape, and voilà!
Pair yellow with citrusy greens that take the edge off the brighter shade without stealing its thunder. "Colors in the same family have a complimentary, rather than competitive, effect," says designer Amy Lau.
Smaller, but frequently used appliances are a great way to introduce color into your kitchen. Give your morning routine a colorful jolt with a sunny yellow espresso maker.
Buy it: Delonghi kMix 15 Bars Pump Espresso Maker, $302.68; wayfair.com.
Who says the flowers have to be the center of attention? This bright and geometric vase will house your plants in ultimate style.
Buy it: IMAX Chantal Ceramic Vase, $49.99; wayfair.com.
Get all the perks of modern technology with cool, nostalgic aesthetic in this yellow and white AM/FM table radio.
Buy it: Tivoli Audio LLC Model One Radio, $179.99; wayfair.com.
–Designer Amy Lau
Mango Gold, Ralph Lauren VM242
Pure Joy, Benjamin Moore 327
Lemon Freeze, Benjamin Moore 2025-50
Combine palm green with sandy taupes and rich browns for a fresh-feeling palette that brings the outside in. Natural textures, such as bamboo shades and grasscloth wallpaper, complement the earthy scheme. Dark wood elements complete the organic look.
In grassy greens, classic prints such as plaids, stripes, or the gingham wallpaper on this kitchen ceiling add pep to any room. You can get the same look for less with paint.
For a bold but not too bright look, paint your walls dark green in a lacquered finish. Adding a high-gloss sheen to this subdued hue makes a room feel rich and sophisticated, not garish.
Use colorful throw pillows throughout your house so you can easily mix and match. This indoor-outdoor safe accent pillow brings the vibrant colors and patterns of nature into your home.
Buy it: Jiti Pillows Coral Polyester Pillow, $78.99; wayfair.com.
One elegant item, like this light olive green vase, makes for a beautiful and understated centerpiece.
Buy it: Ren-Wil Smith II Vase, $45.99; wayfair.com.
Green can still be neutral in a really beautiful way. The Jerry Ottoman's classic birchwood legs and olive linen/cotton blend are sure to give any décor a retro feel.
Buy it: Safavieh Jerry Ottoman, $185.36; wayfair.com.
Don't let the rest of your house have all the fun. Spruce up something like your outdoor grill with an eye-catching color.
Buy it: Minden Master Grill, $459.01; wayfair.com.
Bright Lime, Benjamin Moore 2025-10
Little Apples, Pratt & Lambert 20-25
Cicada, Martin Senour 1092-A
Choose an orangey red for a smart complement to a blue-and-white room without a Fourth of July feel. Richly textured fabric—like these velvet chairs and leather ottoman—up the cozy factor even more.
Want to spice up a dull kitchen? Paint your cabinets a vivacious hot pink that will resuscitate a tired space without the headache, time, or expense of an all-out renovation. Go ahead and get bold: The brighter shade you choose, the fewer additional upgrades you'll need to make.
Make a soft pink room feel more refined by mixing in a few red accents. Thanks to bright coral fabric and a bold magenta rug, this ballet pink girl's bedroom is elegant enough to grow up as she does. The geometric pattern and squared-off furnishings make it strong enough to stand the test of time.
Introduce color in a big way by applying it to couches or chairs. This way, the rest of the room can keep quiet.
Buy it: Hekman Lena Microfiber Sofa, $1,250; wayfair.com.
Give your room a subtle, colorful glow. This adjustable five light chandelier exudes soft, warm light in a sleek design.
Buy it: ET2 Passion 5 Light Chandelier, $578; wayfair.com.
Give a room a small, yet impactful pop of color with a statement piece like this gorgeous coral statue.
Buy it: Sterling Industries Fire Island Coral Statue, $46; wayfair.com
Infuse color into a room with a bright blanket, like this Alpaca Stripe Throw that was woven using the finest luxury fiber in the Peruvian Andes.
Buy it: Koko Company Alpaca Baby Alpaca Stripe Throw, $280; wayfair.com.
–Interior designer Angie Hranowsky
Lusty Red, Sherwin-Williams 6863
Blushing Red, Benjamin Moore 2079-20
Chinese Orange, Pratt & Lambert 4-10
Cover nearly everything, from upholstery to walls to accessories, in various tones of the same watery aqua for a super soothing vibe. Add dimension to a monochromatic scheme with texture.
Make typically tranquil blues feel more lively by combining a range of light to dark hues in the same space. This layered approach works for color-blocked upholstered headboard or a patterend rug. Another idea: Paint tone-on-tone stripes.
To give your kitchen a water view regardless of where you live, pop this sea shade in unexpected places, like the backs of glass-front cabinets or even the floors. Choose a countertop material like the turquoise glazed lavastone, which comes in custom colors. For an island that really shines, opt for powder-coated steel or lacquered cabinets.
You've got a ready-made statement piece when you repurpose elements from the sea into artful decoration. This large natural coral sea fan is finished in silver lacquer, floated on a moody blue linen and finished in an antiqued silver frame
Buy it: Mirror Image Home Large Sea Fan Art, $429; wayfair.com.
Surprise your eye by mixing classic pieces with contemporary colors. This charming model is perfect for any bookshelf or desk with the juxtaposition of classic design and cool blue colors and finishes.
Buy it: Authentic Models Biscay Fishing Boat, $69; wayfair.com.
Use a colored container for candles, like these sea glass hurricanes, for a gorgeous glow you can scatter throughout a room.
Buy it: Jamie Young Company Sea Glass Hurricanes (Set of 3), $184; wayfair.com.
Turquoise Bay, Ace Paint A37-4
Summer Splash, Valspar 5002-9C
Capri, Sherwin-Williams 6788