Even for the most experienced decorators, choosing colors can be a time-consuming task. That's why so many pros tend to stick with their favorite shades. Here, we share the combinations we ooh and aah over most--not because they've trickled down from a fashion runway, but because we've seen how well they work in a variety of ways. They are nicely balanced: not too warm or too cold, not too bold or too boring. Pick a palette that suits your style, and find out how to put it into play in your home.
Color Combo #1
Why we love it: There's something cheerful about aqua and yellow. (Pardon the postcard simile, but it is like looking at sunshine and ocean waters.) However, the combo isn't so high-voltage that you'll tire of it quickly. Mix in cool, grayish whites and pale greens for variety.
Where it works: These colors are best for brightening up small spaces, such as a sunroom.
For big impact: Paint or paper walls in yellow, using a grayish white semigloss paint on the trim. Add turquoise accents with lamps or pillows.
For a small dose: Hang turquoise and yellow towels in a neutral bath. Or arrange bright yellow flowers in aqua vases along your mantel.
Color Combo #2
Why we love it: Taupe and blue are soothing colors, yet they also have enough pop to keep a room from looking bland. They work with all kinds of styles too. Add oranges and off-whites in the form of draperies and pillows. Browns would also look pretty with this scheme.
Where it works: Just about anywhere--these are classic colors that create nice visual flow.
For big impact: Paint walls and trim the same taupe color. Use semigloss for the trim and an eggshell finish on walls. This makes rooms look larger.
For a small dose: Consider icy blue on the ceiling. Paint the back of bookcases burnt orange. Switch out mats on artwork for ones in this neutral family.
Color Combo #3
Why we love it: Fresh and pretty describe this salmon pink and spring green combination. Creamy beige and chocolate brown accents will keep the palette sophisticated, not childish.
Where it works: Great for bedrooms and baths. With the addition of brown, this combo will also go in more formal living spaces.
For big impact: These shades are a little strong for the walls, but on a sofa or chair they make quite a statement. You could also use this scheme for window treatments.
For a small dose: Paint a piece of furniture pink to bring spark to a neutral bedroom wall. Add pillows to perk up a dull living room sofa or chair.