Decorating with color can be a scary thing. Should you go light or bright? Should you mix or should you match? Should you go all out or be conservative? There are so many questions and an endless number of answers. But the truth is that if you follow your instincts decorating with color isn't really that scary. And when it comes to colorful living rooms, there's no shortage of design inspiration.
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Make a statement by placing a boldly colored sofa in front of a crisp, white wall. In this room from design duo Taylor & Taylor, the sofa, with its saturated blue upholstery and electric throw pillows, attracts the eye and becomes the room's main focal point.Continue to 2 of 21 below.
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A dose of unexpected color and pattern can take a traditional living room and give it an exciting new life. This eclectic room, decorated by designer John Favreau, mixes period architectural details, traditional antiques, and a playful combination of color and pattern to create a joyful space with a hint of history.Continue to 3 of 21 below.
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Color blocking is the technique of combining a few different colors together in large, solid chunks, or "blocks." And it can be used to great effect in interior design, as this colorful living room from Eileen Kathryn Boyd demonstrates. The bright, citrus colors are fun and playful, yet the color blocking technique lends an air of sophistication.Continue to 4 of 21 below.
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People tend to default to white--and occasionally black--when it comes to trim color. But if you really want to shake things up, consider a totally different color, as designer Heidi Pribell did here. It's a great way to grab people's attention and create an unforgettable space.Continue to 5 of 21 below.
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Designer Tobi Fairley knows a thing or two about decorating with color, and one of the safest ways to do it is to create a neutral backdrop and then layer with colorful accessories. In this colorful living room she used rich red and blue accents to add a healthy dose of color, but should the homeowners ever want a change they can simply switch out the pillows and window treatments and create a whole new look.Continue to 6 of 21 below.
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Color is a powerful decorating tool, and sometimes a little goes a long way. This living room by designer Meghan Shadrick is largely neutral, but a large piece of art and a few colorful pillows make the space feel lively and playful.Continue to 7 of 21 below.
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Contemporary design is often associated with neutral color palettes, but in this modern living room, designer Kristen Rivoli used color to great effect. The red mid-century chairs, bold artwork, and Persian-style rug all contribute to the warm, comfortable atmosphere.Continue to 8 of 21 below.
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Modern Traditional With Colorful Accessories
Want to liven up a living room without redecorating? Colorful accessories, like these used by designer Leslie Harris Keane, are the perfect way to change a room's tone. What could have been a serious, neutral space, is made playful with pops of colors in citrus tones.Continue to 9 of 21 below.
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A colorful mural is a great way to add a sense of fun to a living room. A simple design like this one, courtesy of Set Visions makes a huge statement and is pretty easy to create. Simply choose the colors you want to use and then tape off the sections using painter's tape. Keep in mind that a bold mural like this is most effective when it's limited to only one wall in the room. Any more and the space will start to look cluttered.Continue to 10 of 21 below.
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Wrapped in Color
A room wrapped in a rich, saturated color is like the interior design version of a warm hug. To get that warm, cozy feeling, like designer Erin Williamson has done here, make sure to use a really deep, rich color that has a lot of intensity.Continue to 11 of 21 below.
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Mix, Don't Match
Sometimes the key to creating a colorful living room is not to overthink it. This room from Corynne Pless showcases a stunning mix of pieces that don't go together in any traditional way, yet the final result is beautiful. This is what they mean when they say "eye candy."Continue to 12 of 21 below.
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Bright and Cheerful
Bright colors can't help but lend a sense of cheer to this living room from designer Andrea Schumacher. Although the main pieces are very simple in shape and neutral in color, the rug, window treatments, art, and accessories add a sense of fun and buoyancy to the space. The brighter the colors, the more cheerful the space.Continue to 13 of 21 below.
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Some people like to stick to the rule of threes when decorating with color, but as designer Katie Curtis demonstrates here, as long as you stick with colors that have the same tonal value you can include as many as you want! In this room, the colors in the furnishings and accessories are primarily jewel tones which blend together almost seamlessly.Continue to 14 of 21 below.
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When One Is Enough
While conventional decorating wisdom says go with a neutral sofa and add color elsewhere, designer Sally Wheat has demonstrated that the opposite can work just as well. This yellow sofa makes just the right statement in a room full of otherwise (almost) neutral pieces. Sometimes all you need is one or two colorful pieces to really make a room sing.Continue to 15 of 21 below.
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More Is More
When it comes to color, sometimes more is more. In this colorful living room from design duo Tilton Fenwick, the wall isn't just painted blue; it's actually lacquered to create a shiny, slightly reflective surface. It adds incredible depth to the space and when combined with the other colors and patterns, makes for a vibrant and exciting interior.Continue to 16 of 21 below.
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The right colors can bring a very distinct flavor to a room. In this case, vibrant aqua and bright orange bring a sense of the tropics to this colorful living room designed by Olive Interiors. The feeling is enhanced by the use of painted bamboo furniture and a coral-inspired light fixture.Continue to 17 of 21 below.
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Color can be used in a variety of ways to accomplish different things. In this room by Nicole White Designs, it has been used to create a youthful and carefree environment. The mix of both light and bright colors, playful art, and eclectic accessories make you want to relax and have fun. This is a playful and colorful living room that doesn't take itself too seriously--and is all the better for it.Continue to 18 of 21 below.
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Make a room feel more robust than it really is by using colorful furnishings. This living room is actually quite minimal, but the considered use of color makes it feel full and complete.Continue to 19 of 21 below.
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Color in home decor can be used to elevate one's mood. Red is filled with energy and stimulation, yellow can make you feel happy and cheerful, and orange is a fantastic combination of the two. It's hard to feel blue in a living room like this one designed by Mandeville Canyon that's filled with all three.Continue to 20 of 21 below.
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Play With Tradition
Update traditional decor with bright and playful colors. A classically tufted chesterfield can sometimes be seen as a bit stodgy, but in the case of this room from Interior Desires the mix of bright upholstery and throw pillows is anything but.Continue to 21 of 21 below.
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Make a Splash
Nothing brightens a space like a splash of color, and it's a great way to express one's personality. So don't be afraid to use it liberally as you see fit. In this room designed by Laroya & Co, colorful pieces are dotted throughout the space to reflect the personalities of the people living there.