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    A recognized authority on all things color-related, Kate Smith is a professional color strategist and the creator of

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    While red is the 'go-to' color for drama and romance, an evocative mood can also be created with shades of purple, gold and even deep neutrals.

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While red is the 'go-to' color for drama and romance, an evocative mood can also be created with shades of purple, gold and even deep neutrals.


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Have a color challenge you need help with? Our color expert, Kate Smith, will be selecting questions from readers each month and answering them in upcoming articles. E-mail your color question to

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  • Ask Kate: Evocative Colors

    Turn any room into a vibrant oasis with the right shade of paint.

    by Kate Smith

    Q: My bedroom is decorated in bland colors. Do you have any advice on how I can spice it up?

    A: You can create a sensuous space without making the room resemble an old-school bordello. In fact, bringing out your inner diva is all about having the confidence to choose bold colors that evoke a feeling of luxuriousness and opulence. Here are four tips for bringing color to your space in a big way:


    1.     While rich red, cranberry and burgundy are colors that might come to mind for creating this mood, don’t limit yourself to just the red color family. Imagine, for example, plum or deep purple accented with bits of warm orange and gold. Hot pink can also be a good choice for creating an engaging mood, especially if it’s paired with an unexpected shade like orange or deep aqua.


    2.     Choose colors you can live with. So if painting each wall in a deep, rich color is a bit too flashy for you, go with subtler alternatives, such as deep amethyst or warm gold. Warm neutrals are also a perfect paint color choice. Then, add eye-catching accent colors like pomegranate—a rich, shade that’s long been associated with passion.


    3.     Boost the opulence factor of your room by accenting it with decadent fabrics that feature rich textures or bold patterns. This might be the perfect opportunity to use that oh-so-touchable leopard print blanket you just can’t bring yourself to use in the living room. Don’t limit yourself to lavish bed coverings and throw pillows, either. Patterned window dressings are an ideal way to add a dose of sensuality to the setting.


    4.     Even if you’re normally a vanilla kind of person, you can still add an exotic element to your life. For instance, start with a small space, like a bathroom. Simply paint the walls a sensuous color and splurge on luxurious bath towels and mats.


    Creating an evocative and engaging mood befitting a true diva is all about indulging your senses and making yourself feel like you are surrounded in luxury. So don’t be afraid—embrace a dynamic color palette and enjoy the mood it creates!