In discussing bold colors, interior designers and paint and color experts often use the term "saturated." This means the color is intense and deep. On the walls, a bold color appears opaque, not sheer. Think cranberry over blush, teal over powder blue. The shade doesn't have to be dark, however. A vivid sunshine yellow color is more saturated than its pastel cousin, lemon sorbet. You'll find bold shades on the edges of paint chips, where they indicate the pure, true version of color. Bold hues are assertive, meaning they command attention and can overpower weaker colors in a room. As a result, they are often used as accent hues, applied to just one wall or used only on the sofa, for example, because too much bold color can make a room feel crowded.
Decide how you want to dive in and start with our bold paint color picks to help you create your look. Note: Actual colors may be different than what appears on screen. Consult color chips when selecting a color. Palettes designed by Khristian A. Howell.
Just as statement jewelry is hip, some of-the-moment colors that work well in living rooms come from gems and minerals. These are bold hues like jade, citrine, amethyst, and ruby. They work well together, so you can pick several for throw pillows across a sofa or as the hues in a pattern rug. Pick drapery fabric or an accent chair in these shades, but don't be tempted to splash them across your walls until you're sure you can live with their intensity.
Bold colors make a dining room feel lively and animated -- the perfect backdrop for entertaining. To make a strong statement, pick a deep hue from food, such as chocolate, eggplant, wheatgrass, or pomegranate, and splash it across your walls above a neutral wainscoting. For a smaller dose, use one of these shades to makeover a dull piece of furniture: Coat a buffet in glossy paint, or re-cover the chair seats with bold fabric.
Because of their intensity, bold colors can cozy up a small space or make a large room seem more intimate. In a bedroom, these colors absorb light and make the space conducive to sleep. Try vibrant peacock blue or royal purple across an accent wall. Or, for a cheery bright hue, try zinnia orange or daisy yellow. If painting a wall is too big of a commitment, make your bold color statement with bedding and accessories, such as lamp bases and artwork.
Some of the fun trends in kitchen design make bold colors a natural choice. Two-color cabinets, for example, allow you to pick a statement hue for the island or base cabinets. Try onyx, royal blue, or pickle to make a splash. Or, pick a focal-point appliance, such as the stove or refrigerator, to express bold color, like tomato red or retro turquoise. If you want the choices to be more temporary, have fun with smaller countertop appliances like stand mixers and toasters, which come in a wide range of bold hues.
Bathrooms are ideal spots for bold color, where you can create big impact for little investment. Try vivid coral or seafoam green to make a guest bath pop. In a master bathroom, pick an accent hue from the neighboring bedroom, such as pumpkin or sapphire, and splash it across the walls. And of course, kids love a big statement in their bathroom. Pick a bold hue from their favorite cartoon or storybook, and express it with towels, rugs, a shower curtain, and artwork.
Like bathrooms, entryways are prime candidates for trying out a bold color. Start your scheme with a rug or piece of art and use the hues in the piece to decide what paint color to use in your entryway. Since an entryway is the gateway to the rest of your home, look at adjacent spaces and draw a few of these colors into your entryway. Or retranslate these colors into bolder interpretations. A candlelight yellow from your living room could become saffron in your entryway for example. Bold and saturated wall colors can be a little tricky in two-story or vaulted entryways. The commitment to a color is a big one because there is so much wall space. Examine the architecture of your space and decide if you can go bold on every wall or if it's best to keep bold color to the door or a console table and accessories.