How to Give Neutral Paint Colors a Subtle Jolt

Don’t compete with your neutral hues — complement them!

 

I have to admit: As much as I love big, bold color, I like it best when it is used with restraint — and used strategically. After all, a little bold color goes a long way, and it’s all too easy to go from “wow!” to “ouch.” For the color-shy out there who are looking to spice up their neutral interiors but want to steer clear of anything too intense, here’s how to add small to moderate splashes of vivacious hues to a mostly neutral interior palette.

 

 

Bedroom Color Scheme Taupe Gray Coral Reef

Bedroom Color Scheme Taupe Gray Coral Reef Paint ChipsThis sophisticated bedroom gets a nice punch of color via furniture and decorative accessories in happy shades of coral. Because the coral elements are spread throughout the room, it doesn’t feel overly colorful, and your eye is able to move about the space, taking it all in. Additionally, the white elements in the room keep the taupey-tan hues from looking too muddy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bedroom Color Scheme Gray-Blues and Cranberry

 

 

Bedroom Color Scheme Gray-Blues and Cranberry Paint Chips

 

If you favor cooler hues, try a palette of blue-grays, then spice it up with hints of hot red. This is a terrific palette for an office or a kid’s or teen’s bedroom. The grays have a soothing vibe, but the heart-racing red injects some energy into the space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bedroom Color Scheme Moss Cream Gold

Bedroom Color Scheme Moss Cream Gold Paint Chips

For those who prefer light neutral walls but are on the hunt for an alternative to white, beige or gray, think about going with a pale green or soft yellow as your main neutral. If the hue has a bit of gray or brown, it will work as a neutral. Then add a small hit of bold yellow to really spice up the space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kitchen Color Scheme Silver Coal and Gold

 

Kitchen Color Scheme Silver Coal and Gold Paint Chips

This fantastic open kitchen has several shades of warm and cool neutrals with just a small strip of gold. When you use just a tiny amount of a bold color in an otherwise neutral space, be sure to put the color on something that you want to draw the eye to, such as the quartz countertop here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kitchen Color Scheme Fern Fog and Charcoal

Kitchen Color Scheme Fern Fog and Charcoal Paint Chips

Kick up the drama in a mostly white kitchen by adding small bits of a warm, dark gray. Use the gray to highlight interesting architectural elements. Then make the look fun and fresh with an accent color in a leafy shade of green.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kitchen Color Scheme Turquoise Maple White

 

Kitchen Color Scheme Turquoise Maple White Paint Chips

Here’s another green-accented kitchen, but this hue has more blue in it and creates a nice midcentury modern vibe. You can’t go wrong pairing this pretty hue with white and light-toned woods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Living Room Blues and White

 

Living Room Blues and White Paint Chips

A medium watery blue accent wall looks fantastic when grounded with a deep navy. Add warmth to the palette with light, warm whites.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tell us: What’s your go-to neutral? And what bold colors do you like to pair with it?

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