7 Times Designers Took Bold Color Risks and Didn't Regret It

bathroom features a pink vanity

Photo by Vanessa Lentine / Mindy Gayer

In an era where neutrals often take center stage, it’s important to remember that colorful rooms can truly shine, too! And it’s key to note that choosing to commit to a bold hue doesn’t mean that one will feel instant regret after a short period of time. Here, designers share their favorite projects in which bold hues not only captured their attention from the getgo but have continued to please clients and make a lasting impression over time.

  • 01 of 07

    In the Library

    a colorful library

    Maydan Architects

    Mary Maydan, founder and principal of Maydan Architects, began designing one of her client’s homes using a neutral color palette, using whites, grays, and walls of glass. “Then, our client said she was ready for some color,” Maydan explained. “We thought at first that she meant pops of color, in the form of pillows or throws—that are reversible—but she wanted to go all the way.” And Maydan was thrilled with that choice. “The house needed color to make it their own, and it truly matches her vivid and warm personality,” she said of her client. “Being French and very chic, she did it with a lot of style.” 

    First up was transforming the library at the top of the stairs. “We chose bold colors for different shelves—it became a focal point,” she said. “She also matched it with a stark artwork that repeats the same colors.” And Maydan couldn’t be happier with the results of the project. “We love the use of color in the house,” she shared. “It makes the house unique, interesting, and befitting a large family with four girls that loves to host. The use of color makes guests feel instantly at home, not in a museum.” 

  • 02 of 07

    In the Sitting Room

    a colorful sitting area

    Photo by Kip Dawkns / Lizzie Cox

    When Lizzie Cox’s client wanted to brighten up her sitting room, Cox was armed and ready for the project. “I had just the paper in mind to achieve this goal,” she noted. “This particular client loves color and nature, and so the Caitlin McGauley floral grasscloth was the perfect selection.  We had so much fun embracing both color and pattern in this space and the outcome was a true success.” And original artwork took the space a step further. “We brought in my talented friend, artist Kiki Slaughter to paint a piece that hangs above the Hickory Chair sofa,” Cox explained. “Kiki totally got our goal for this room, and her piece is the icing on the cake! What was once a dark study is now a cheerful sitting room.” 

  • 03 of 07

    In the Bathroom

    a bathroom features a melon-colored clawfoot tub and exposed brick

    Siren Betty

    Who can resist an antique clawfoot bathtub? Not Nicole Alexander, who knew she wanted to incorporate it into a project—and went at it with a twist. “It was pretty beat up and needed to be completely refinished,” Alexander said of the piece. “Now, we could have gone the traditional route and painted it white or black, but, no. We went coral pink!” What may seem like an off the beaten path choice was actually extremely well received. “It ended up being the client’s favorite thing in the room, and it’s the feature every guest comments on,” Alexander noted. “We love how it looks with the blue-gray wainscoting and the building’s original timber floors.” 

    Mindy Gayer also went peppy in a child’s bathroom. “With [the clients’] youngest child being a little girl, they really wanted to play up the sweetness of their daughter's room and bathroom by opting for a bright pink paint color,” Gayer reflected. “This peachy pink hue on the cabinetry is just that—sweet!”

  • 04 of 07

    In the Bedroom

    a bedroom with red paneled wall behind the bed

    Siren Betty

    A sunny bedroom with an artful gallery wall and pale green accent chairs got a pop of red when Alexander gave it a makeover using Benjamin Moore Fire Dance. “When we set out to design this room, we knew that the gallery wall–several charcoal sketches with black or gold frames— would be fairly neutral in color,” Alexander stated. “This gave us the freedom to go big with the red accent wall!” The room’s existing architectural features were also inspiring to Alexander. “The custom millwork on this wall is so gorgeous that it would be a travesty to let it fade into the background with a coat of plain white paint.” 

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    In the Kitchen

    a kitchen features white upper cabinets and green lowers

    Shannan Leigh Photography for Rebecca Rollins

    Designer Rebecca Rollins saw an opportunity to think outside the box in a client’s kitchen by opting for forest green cabinets paired with brass hardware. “Bold kitchen cabinets set your kitchen apart from all the others,” she reflected. “This client was not afraid of color and we were so excited to bring some life to this sterile builder kitchen.” Rollins also appreciated how nicely the cabinet color paired with the kitchen backsplash. She said, “The pattern tile behind the stove so effortlessly adds to the eclectic modern vibe!” 

    In one client’s kitchen, which boasted a stunning Pacific Ocean view, Gayer chose to bring the outside in. “Our clients really wanted to bring that California indoor/outdoor living feel inside,” she explained. “They loved the idea of taking a risk and going with a bold, bright, and happy color for the kitchen cabinets. It's such a unique hue that really speaks to California coastal living!” 

  • 06 of 07

    In the Home Gym

    a home gym features a hot pink locker and colorful wallpaper with pink and teal birds

    ML Interiors / Photo by Emery Davis Photography 

    Who says that a workout space has to be boring? “Our clients love vibrant, slightly unconventional decor and invited us to help add a room to their house to use as a home gym,” designer Megan Fornes explained. “⁣To help make the space seem as if it had been there all along we painted the exterior brick black and added extra stucco and texture to the wall to give a more industrial vibe.” But that wasn’t all—the spunky space features a neon sign, a bright pink locker, and wow-worthy wallpaper. “When we met them, we loved their energy and the creativity they'd allow me to explore on their project,” Fornes added. 

  • 07 of 07

    In the Reading Nook

    a reading nook features dark paneled walls, cabinets, and under-bench storage

    Photo by Lane Dittoe / Mindy Gayer

    Even the smallest of spaces can benefit from a bit of pizzazz. “Our clients really wanted a fun pop of color and contrast in this family room space,” Gayer said. Playing to the Pacific Northwest environment was important to her—”we wanted to make sure we found a hue that would fit in well with all of the beautiful greenery that surrounds the property,” she explained. “We landed on this beautiful blue/green hue that we (and our clients!) just love!”