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Living-Room Color Schemes: How to Rock an Alternative Palette

Don’t be afraid to go for the goldenrod! Here’s how to create a colorful space that feels both fresh and familiar.

Executive Editorial Director Decorating, Home, and Style
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It’s all well and good when the living room is gray or beige. It’s what’s expected! But introduce a nontraditional palette, and you’re playing with fire in a space that’s all about making people feel comfortable. I love color, and I believe it can be a delight rather than an affront to the eye. You just have to be smart about how you use it.

 

My favorite trick is to redefine the “accent color.” Pairing blue with gray or green with beige helps keep things from feeling too crazy -- but why not make the color your base and the neutral your accent? You’ll be surprised at how much color you can get away with when you pair it with a tone that’s more understated, even if the ratios are reversed (think: sky blue couch with dove gray pillows).

 

It’s worth noting that not every color is best for the living room. I like blues, greens, and yellows best for this space -- they tend to be soothing colors in a room that's all about relaxing. But the next time you consider redecorating, don’t be afraid to go for the brightest (or most vibrant) yellow and create a space that feels 100 percent you.

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