Add Color to White

In this home, color comes in smart doses and builds on a neutral canvas, creating a look that's a just-right mix of bright and subdued.

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  • 1 of 14

    Perfect Backdrop

    In a house that utilizes the color white on walls, cornflower blue and tangerine come together through throw pillows, ottomans, and an area rug to add a powerful punch of color. Neutral sofas mean throw pillows can be swapped out easily and the whole color palette of the room can change as well.

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    Rules of Pattern

    On a neutral linen sofa, loud colors and patterns fit in perfectly. When dealing with multiple patterns, scale is important. The pattern on the area rug is much larger than the throw pillow patterns, so the three patterns don't compete.

    Color Tip: Pair a conservative color with a bolder hue that complements the first, like the classic cornflower blue and bright tangerine duo in this living room.

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    Blue Hues

    In the family room, shades of blue lend a natural feel that has both energy and vibrance. Navy blue, turquoise, and cobalt can all be found in this scene. Variations of the hue help the space feel more dynamic. Plenty of natural light from the room's three sets of French doors furthers the sunny look of the space.

  • 4 of 14

    Create a Base

    Classic, white cabinetry and walls allow for strategic pops of color in the kitchen. A multicolored striped rug brings in a variety of colors. Turquoise and orange in the rug influenced the addition of a vase and patterned window shade that tie in perfectly with the rug. The graphic patterns introduce loads of personality, too.

    Color Tip: Color trends come and go. If you're making a big investment, such as cabinets or upholstered furniture, and aren't sure you'll love a certain color in five years or fear you may tire of it, stick with neutrals for the big pieces. Add color via easy-to-change, lower cost items, such as window treatments, rugs, and accessories.

  • kitchen with built in office, glass door cabinets with orange and blue and white accessories 5 of 14

    Double-Duty Space

    This small office space just off the kitchen doubles as workspace and a place to store additional dishware. Glass-front cabinets and open shelves display orange and blue dishes that reinforce the kitchen's color scheme. A marble backsplash connects the space to the rest of the kitchen.

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    Efficient Entryway

    A custom bench and corner storage unit keep family clutter at bay in the entryway. White walls and furniture are warmed up by honey-hued floors and yellow in the fabric on the bench, pillows, and window treatment. 

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    Keep the Focus

    White cane chairs are paired with a clean-lined, modern table in an interesting juxtaposition of styles. Pops of color come from tabletop accessories and a blue throw pillow. The dining room's simple palette makes the view outside the French doors the main focus.

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    Discrete Details

    The formal living room feels breezy and light thanks to natural light and the expert use of white. A white-painted coffered ceiling and built-ins emphasize the home's traditional style. Jungle green accessories and fabric introduce exotic color in small doses that fits right in to the existing style of this room.

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    Serenely Colorful

    A dark wood bed warms up this mostly white master bedroom and anchors the breezy space. By utilizing simple, white bedding as a foundation, throw pillows can be changed seasonally or when the mood strikes. Combining a discrete foundation with pillows in large graphic patterns creates a look that's vibrant, not overbearing.

    Color Tip: If you don't want white walls, but you're not wild about colored walls, paint your walls a white that's tinted to a hue used in your room. Often, paint companies have a collection of whites that aren't just white but contain subtle variations of white that lean toward a color, like this barely blue hue.

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    Relaxed Reading Spot

    Blue trim crisps up simple Roman shades. A patterned blue chair and rope side table make the perfect reading spot in the master bedroom, and a rug helps to add additional texture to the space.

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    Kid-Friendly Color

    While the homeowner preferred white walls in the larger rooms, she likes to use color in small rooms, such as kid's rooms. Here, a soft gray pairs beautifully with sky blue. A woven rug, bamboo shades, and a woven light fixture all add texture to the space to make it more dynamic. 

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    Balancing Wall Color

    A teenage daughter's room gets a splash of color with bright green walls. The white bed paired with simple bedding helps the room feel open and bright even with painted walls. Turquoise accents and hints of coral blend color throughout the space and help the bold walls to feel more at home. Like in the other spaces, pattern is used in moderation, including a black-and-white rug, which grounds the space.

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    BONUS: Livable Color

    This home takes an approach to color that's fun, bold, but oh-so-liveable. Watch and learn how you can achieve this balance in your home.

  • Next Slideshow Nature-Inspired Color Palettes

    Nature-Inspired Color Palettes

    Bring the great outdoors inside! Take your hue cues from Mother Nature and build decorating themes and color schemes that are sure to please through every season.
    Begin Slideshow »
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