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Popular in Decorating

Experts' No-Fail Color Schemes

Take your home beyond beige with these color tips from a few of our favorite designers.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • Golden Yellow: Multiple Shades

      Designer Barry Dixon's favorite hue to use in the home is golden yellow. "Golden yellow is the color I use when want a room to radiate warmth and energy. Its untold shades -- from lemon to honey -- always lift the spirits." In this country-chic kitchen two shades of golden yellow set the fresh vintage feel.

      Designer Barry Dixon's Color Tip: "Pair organic yellow colors with stony grays or sandy beiges rather than citrus hues."

    • Golden Yellow: Classic Combo

      Greet guests with a cheery welcome by splashing your entryway in warm golden tones. The subtle wall color paired with the traditional bench creates a timeless look.

      Designer Barry Dixon's Color Tip: "Be wary of the strongest yellow. It's going to intensify when it's in a room, especially when the sun shines on it. If you're leaning toward the brightest yellow on a paint chip, go one shade down. For less impact, try an autumnal shade, such as wheat, honey, or amber."

    • Golden Yellow: Chic Approach

      With white walls and furniture, this room's yellow tones highlight the shapes and textures of furnishings, fabrics, and art.

      Designer Barry Dixon's Color Tip: Yellows look different depending on the light and the colors around them.

    • Peacock Blue: Bold Look

      Designer Celerie Kemble raves over the deep tones of peacock blue. "The blue hues, from teal to sapphire, are reviving jewel tones and offer a fresh take on navy. If you're after mood, drama, or intimacy, the concentrated color delivers."

      Designer Celerie Kemble's Color Tip: Peacock blue looks great with a bevy of modern colors -- apricot, orange, pink, red, and yellow loosen up its regalness. For a more subdued look pair it with grays and browns.

    • Peacock Blue: Pattern Perfect

      The vibrant hues in this peacock blue wallpaper are toned down with a tonal floral pattern.

      Designer Celerie Kemble's Color Tip: "Peacock blue carries a sort of majesty. It's dark but not dreary. It's vivid without being electric."

    • Peacock Blue: Accessory Pretty

      This bold peacock blue hutch adds the perfect pop of color to a dining room or kitchen.

      Designer Celerie Kemble's Color Tip: Although peacock blues can convey luxury they also work in a casual setting.

    • Chocolate Brown: Traditional Chic

      "Chocolate brown may well be the breakout color of the decade. Once daring, it has emerged as a favorite neutral that's rich and welcoming," says designer Laurie Smith. Here, soft blue and crisp white furniture give this room a classic look.

      Designer Laurie Smith's Color Tip: Consider high-contrast combinations, such as brown with whites and creams. It creates a graphic quality and allows furniture to really strike a silhouette.

    • Chocolate Brown: One-Wall Wonder

      The minimalist approach to this dining room keeps the rich brown wall the center of attention.

      Designer Laurie Smith's Color Tip: Less is more. Brown on all four walls can make a room look cavernous. Unless the room gets a lot of natural light or has high ceilings, use the color only as an accent wall.

    • Chocolate Brown: Pairing Pink

      With brown as the foundation of this living room, pops of pink give it an ultra-playful vibe.

      Designer Laurie Smith's Color Tip: Brown has an anchoring effect. It can calm a room that's full of color, and it holds weight in a room. It's also a less-harsh alternative to black.

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      Gray-Blue: Classic Shade

      Blue is a popular decorating color but the many facets of gray-blue keep this shade at the top of designer David Bromstad's go-to list. "Gray-blue is hitting its decorating stride. This hue strikes a balance between masculine and feminine," says David. In this casual living room, the gray-blue walls and ceiling allow the pretty patterns and textures on the furniture to be featured.

      Designer David Bromstad's Color Tip: To find the right shade of gray-blue, place paint or fabric swatches side-by-side. When you look at different shades together you get a better idea of the true color. You'll be able to see that some are grayer, some are bluer, and some may even look green or purple.

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      Gray-Blue: Traditional Appeal

      Soft gray-blue paired with dark mahogany furniture and chocolate brown bedding give this room a refined elegance.

      Designer David Bromstad's Color Tip: Gray-blue is tranquil and versatile and it doesn't look juvenile like more vibrant blues can.

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      Gray-Blue: Beachy Keen

      In this modern beach house, soft gray-blue walls are paired with neutral furniture to create an elegant space. To highlight the pretty blue walls, a driftwood mirror hangs over the fireplace.

      Designer David Bromstad's Color Tip: Consider pairing gray-blue with accent colors such as turquoise and orange. It's unexpected and jazzes things up.

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      Warm Red: Go-To Color

      Red has been a classic decorating color for many years, but it's often tricky to pick the best shade of red to use in your home. "Warm red is bold and glowing. This shade is the perfect 'true-blue' red -- it doesn't go pink on walls as some reds do," says designer Elaine Griffin.

      Designer Elaine Griffin's Color Tip: Warm red makes spaces feel cozy. It's also super adaptable with most any color and style.

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      Warm Red: Furniture Boost

      If you want to add a dose of color to your living room, consider bold red furniture such as these sofas. It adds a pop of color to this neutral room and complements the navy drapes and armchair beautifully.

      Designer Elaine Griffin's Color Tip: If you want to ease into red, introduce it in doses. Try an accent wall behind your sofa or on the back of a bookcase or add a dash with a pillow or throw.

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      Warm Reds: Dining Room Perfection

      The dining room is the perfect place to show off cozy red hues.

      Designer Elaine Griffin's Color Tip: With mahogany furniture, it goes very traditional. With streamlined modern pieces, it's 20th-century modern. I'm crazy about crisp white trim with red walls.

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      Next Slideshow 9 Designer Color Palettes

      9 Designer Color Palettes

      Are you craving a colorful new look but are stumped about where to start? We asked a handful of designers to share the color palettes they're using now to give rooms a refresh. (We've given the paint match for each color so you can use the paint chips to coordinate fabric, furniture, and more.)
      Begin Slideshow »

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