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    Thinking about choosing a bold wall color? Pair it with white or a neutral shade for maximum contrast.

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Thinking about choosing a bold wall color? Pair it with white or a neutral shade for maximum contrast.


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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: Adventurous Colors

    Use color to create vibrant, dynamic spaces throughout your home.

    by Kate Smith

    Q: I'm ready to go daring with décor. Any color advice?


    Spirited. Spunky. Lively.  

    Maybe someone has used these words to describe you—perhaps you just secretly wish someone would. The fact is, when it comes to interior painting, traditional color schemes might not create the vibe you want your décor to exude. You need color with energy and adventure.


    Bold Tips

    While you can inject vibrancy into any room of the house, it’s an ideal scheme for spaces where you want a “wow” response. This energetic mood can also be used in places where you want to create a stimulating environment, such as a playrooms and living areas. Yes, this style even works well for man caves! Here are tips and tricks for creating bold rooms that convey your adventurous personality:

    • The key to living life on the décor wild side is to incorporate dramatic schemes into your space. This isn’t the place for the gentle violet or daffodil yellow. Instead, think in bright colors that immediately draw the eye. Jewel tones are bold eye-grabbers that add a modern touch to the design.
    • Pair neutral colors with the “in” color featured in the latest fashion and accessory trends. For example, combine an eye-popping purple with a classic black and white—or perhaps a contemporary gray. Other trendy colors to consider include shades of turquoise, coral and violet.
    • Don’t be afraid to limit yourself to the colors that the design gurus love. If you adore that avocado green that was in your Nana’s kitchen, then go with your gut—after all, an adventurous spirit is expected to be a little on the rebellious side.
    • If you’re still working on bringing out your inner spirit, the thought of an energetic burst of color in your main living area might give you the jitters. That’s okay: Take baby steps instead. For example, inject oomph into a bathroom space with funky color combos—or create an exotic corner space in your bedroom or dressing area. Playing with adventurous color on a manageable scale will give you the confidence you need to instill that same spirit into other areas of your home.


    Now that you have the main tips, there's only one piece of advice left: “Go for it"!