Cobalt blue and sunny yellow is such a classic combination, but when I want to throw a new twist into this mix, I like to amp it up with aqua. Because aqua is the combination of blue and yellow, it is a natural fit and can come across as feeling somewhat monochromatic.
-- Shazalynn Cavin-Winfrey, designer
The Colors: clockwise from top, Blue Ground, 210, Drawing Room Blue, 253, Dayroom Yellow, 233; all Farrow & Ball.
Note about the paint colors in this slideshow: Actual colors may vary from what is shown on screen. Consult samples or chips for a true representation of the color.
A subtle play of gray and cocoa gets a jolt of energy from infused, bright color. These colors are an evolution of the weathered wood and industrial metal inspiration of recent years. The bright yellow color could be in a high gloss to make it look even juicier.
-- Mark Woodman, owner/principal, Mark Woodman Design+Color
The Colors: Elegance, AR719, Barista, AR328, Light Rail, AR1805; all Valspar.
I love the way dark walls can create a cozy, chic, sophisticated feel. Layer in some caramel-tone leather pieces to bring natural life into the space. Jewel-tone turquoise and sapphire accent chairs and lavender fabrics will help to bring in some lightness to balance the dark walls.
-- Khristian A. Howell, color expert
The Colors: Clockwise from top- Nifty Turquoise, SW6941, Garret Gray, SW6075, Copper Mountain, SW6356, Enchant, SW6555, Sapphire, SW6963; all Sherwin-Williams.
In my bedroom, I chose Pantone's Deep Periwinkle and Oasis as the major colors. I prefer a blue that is more complex, with a tad of purple. It adds warmth and brings in a more sensual undertone. (It is a bedroom, after all!)
-- Leatrice Eiseman, color specialist
The Colors: Oasis, PN11040, Deep Periwinkle, PN7060; both Valspar's Pantone Universe.
Even though it is bold, Jet Black has the ability to warm and ground a room when used strategically. In this palette, bring in black through window moldings, doors, or a dark-stained floor. White walls, a light shade on the ceiling, and two shades of pink throughout the room decor make a statement.
-- Eddie Ross, BHG East Coast design editor
The Colors: clockwise from top- Jet Black ECC-10-2, Warm Apricot, PPL-42, Pinkelicious, T11-15, Foxy Pink, 110B-4; all Behr.
Working in threes allows the room to take on a cohesive look, whatever the palette may be. Here, the blue-black color grounds the room. The pale blue is perfect for the ceiling and lightens the darker tone. Lastly, the red serves as a bold accent and stops the room from being so predictable. Any bright color can be added to give the room an unexpected burst of color -- be it pink, yellow, or even orange.
-- Philippa Radon, designer and color consultant
The Colors: Midnight Oil, 1631, Blue Lace, 1625, Cornwallis Red, CW315; all Benjamin Moore.
The importance of blue shouldn't be dismissed. It is true, friendly, and classic. It translates well to fabrics, walls, and accessories. Blue can also be a background or key color. This palette is derived from the energy of ethnic fabric prints, youthful colors, and coastal living. Used ideally in combination, each of the colors would be an exciting accent and make an interesting ceiling color.
-- Mark Woodman
The Colors: Blue Suede Shoes, 798, Once Upon a Time, 574, Starburst Orange, 2010-30; all Benjamin Moore.
Ready to pick your color scheme? The key to success lies in knowing how to use paint swatches right. Watch and learn how it's done.