Count on the pros for valuable smooth-move tips
In Small Spaces
Highlight a small space for intimacy. "Using bold colors in your living space can serve as an accent to any room in your house or apartment," says decorative painter Robin Sacks. 'A powder room is always a fun place to start because it can be easier for people to commit to. Bold color can also act as the backdrop for highlighting a favorite piece of art or accessories in a small intimate place."
Try: Farrow & Ball's St Giles Blue
Contrast and Proportion
Ace design expert Katie Reynolds says, "Consider proportion. Bright colors can be overwhelming if they're not balanced with softer tones. Your new bright hue will stand out best against white, gray, black or navy, which allow it to shine."
Try: Clark + Kensington x OPI's Suzi Says Feng Shui
Your entire home doesn’t need to be one giant crayon box of color. Farrow & Ball creative director Sarah Cole says, "Accenting with a bright color is a great way to add interest. Try painting the underside of a bathtub to add a luxurious touch to an otherwise traditional bathroom." Or, paint that vintage oak chair a sunny shade of yellow in a full gloss to give it a breath of new life.
Try: Farrow & Ball’s Yellowcake, Arsenic, or Rectory Red
Unexpected Is Best
Your home may be traditional, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add something surprising. Keep your guests guessing, says Reynolds. "Paint an unexpected item in your home a fun bright color. Try an interior door, powder room vanity or breakfast room chairs for a bold accent."
Try: Clark + Kensington x OPI I Eat Mainely Lobster
One Side Only
"Stand-out colors can also be added to a space where you want to accent one side of a room while keeping the other side airy," Sacks says. There will be no limit to where bold colors can go if you balance the space with furniture and accessories. The new hue will draw you in, whether it’s a large space or an intimate one."
Try: Farrow & Ball’s Borrowed Light
Mix in Texture
You can do an entire room in a wow-worthy color, but Benjamin Moore paint expert Sharon Grech says decorating "a brightly colored room with natural textures of heavy linen, sisal, sea grass and driftwood brings the outdoors in and adds dimension."
Try: Benjamin Moore’s Lavender Mist 2070-60 Natura Flat
In the Garden
Whether indoor or outdoor, you can change the scape of your garden by adding a little paint. Paint terra-cotta pots an out-of-the-ordinary hue or liven up a plant stand with a shade of orange. "Bold colors are great for use outside to add to gardens, balconies and other outdoor spaces for a lively pick-me-up, even on a rainy day," Cole says.
Try: Farrow & Ball’s Churlish Green
Go For Gray
While you may think bright walls can only be toned down with black or white, if you’re seeking a more cohesive look, Grech says to "balance livelier colors with complex grey and soft white as opposed to the strong contrast of black and white."
Try: Benjamin Moore’s Peach Parfait 2175-70 Regal Select Flat
On the Front Door
Looking to up your curb appeal? "Create a striking front door with bright tones that will command attention from passersby," Cole says.
Try: Farrow & Ball’s Yellowcake or Incarnadine