If you mastered the blue-and-white palette long ago and are ready for the next crop of bold, fabulous, and truly inspiring color pairings, get excited: We asked our go-to designers which pairs they love the most, when someone's brave enough to take the plunge, that is.
To freshen up the existing kitchen of a client's Palm Beach house, designer Caroline Rafferty painted the cabinets an after-dinner-mint green (Benjamin Moore’s Dewdrop), bleached the dark-red teak countertop on the island, and coated the floors in Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl.
Feeling bold? With its purple ceiling (Delicate Petal by Pratt & Lambert) and red walls (Red Statement, also Pratt & Lambert), the living room of Katie Brown's Connecticut house is a showstopper.
Kristen McCory used a few coats of saturated pink paint—inspired by her client's grandmother's lipstick—to turn a hand-me-down secretary into a showstopping focal point for an upstairs hallway clad in pale blue wallpaper.
The vibrant yellow-and-white Clarence House wallpaper in this breakfast nook designed by Krista Ewart ensures a bright start to the day. "The yellow is so fresh and sunny, and the room goes a little retro with the white Chinese Chippendale chairs and the black painted floor," she says.
“Saturated colors balance the strength of the architecture,” says Janie Molster of this 1700s Virginia study where red curtains hang from walls in Benjamin Moore's Mill Spring Blue.
According to designer , turquoise and marigold are back in a big way. You can use these colors as accents in your room, or pair them with a deeper, more dramatic hue, like the black wall in this New York City bedroom designed by Jamie Drake, to make them seem tame in comparison.
Even though this trendy muted pink might remind you of your grandmother's bathroom from the 1950s, when paired with the right accessories it becomes current. "In modern design, you can play it up with charcoal grey," says designer , as seen with the couch in designer Peter Dunham's Los Angeles apartment.
"I know most prefer to pair soft blush with mint green, but I am a fan of hot pink, as it adds a punch," says the designer behind , Jessica McClendon. "I love the softness of the mint green mixed with the intensity of hot pink, as it creates a dramatic contrast while still feeling soft and inviting."
"I like to pair bold shades from the same family," says Caitlin Murray, the designer behind . "Incorporating color blocking through statement elements creates dimension and contrast." She recommends using artwork that features both hues to tie them together and make the look feel purposeful and polished.
"There are many different shades of the versatile peach color that's so on trend right now," says Kayla Hein, creative director at . If you want to give it a more formal look, try pairing it with black, as seen in this New York City living room designed by Jamie Drake.
"This is a combination most modern interior lovers can appreciate," says designer . "It's best to use this in bedrooms or guest rooms where making the space 'gender-neutral' is more the goal." Here, designer Nina Farmer layered shades of gray in a New England home's master bedroom with an orange throw.
"This combination may be too overtly feminine for some tastes, but it works wonders in brightening a space," says Abbe Fenimore, the designer behind . "They're happy colors individually, but when brought together, they infuse an upbeat energy that can't be denied."
In this Manhattan kitchen designed by Philip Gorrivan, iridescent mosaic tiles and a ceiling lacquered in Benjamin Moore's Oceanic Teal pick up a color from the wallpaper in the hallway.
"The dining chairs and kitchen stools are a typical bamboo Chippendale style, but in high-gloss lacquer they're surprising," designer Jesse Carrier says of this Naples, Florida home. "It's like they're candy-coated." The yellow glaze for the walls was inspired by the backsplash tile by Popham Design.
The velvet-covered banquette serves as plush seating at the dining table, draped in purple burlap from Elegant Fabrics. Designer David Kaihoi's three-year-old daughter sits in the red Tripp Trapp high chair by Stokke in the New York City-based apartment.
In this Brooklyn studio designed by Nick Olsen, a Mexican serape is an unexpected upholstery choice for a Louis XV–style chair. The vintage blanket inspired the apartment's vibrant color scheme. The love seat's white twill slipcover piped in green is echoed in Super White doors trimmed in Amazon Moss.
"It would have been a sad little attic-like space if we didn't make an effort to turn it into a super-groovy teenage girl's room," designer Katie Maine says of the space in a Newport Beach, California, house. She and designer Jason Maine swathed the room in Brunschwig's Bombay wallpaper, custom-printed on Mylar.
Nick Olsen designed a Moorish arched headboard in shiny red leather with lavender piping to contrast with the Manhattan bedroom's matte walls in Fine Paints of Europe Eurolux Interior Matte in Navy Blue.
In this home, designed by Miles Redd, the daughter's room is done in Lyford Trellis wallpaper by China Seas.
Designers Todd Nickey and Amy Kehoe brought a punch of color to the kitchen by painting the island a rich green — Benjamin Moore's Jade Green.
"We wanted the dining room to be a graceful, elegant jewel box that glows in candlelight," Christina Murphy says. She wrapped the room in 's luminous Corean wallpaper, hand-painted on a silk ground. 's Linwood side chairs in silver-leaf finish and mirrored fixtures from enhance the shimmery mood.
Nursery walls are upholstered in Marimekko's playful African Kuningatar in a New York City loft decorated by Steven Sclaroff.
In 12-year-old Cece Bette's Cape Cod bedroom by designer Annie Selke, a Victorian bed from Annie Selke Home collection for is upholstered in Seema from . Pine Cone Hill quilt and pillows. Walls are painted Fresh Cut Grass by . "We started with a happy green base and added pink, orange, and aqua," says Selke.
To bring a feeling of nature into a New York living room, designer Fawn Galli used a custom minty green: "I don't think a color should be too saturated or strong on a wall." Pal + Smith chairs in a cheetah print — Safari by Manuel Canovas — with a Paley sofa from Profiles, a Fiona Curran Palette carpet for the Rug Company and a painting by Anne Siems give the room "a sense of storybook fantasy."
"Mid-century modernism resonates for me," says designer Jonathan Adler, who paired Warren Platner's 1966 dining table from Design Within Reach with his own Chinese Chippendale chairs. The chandelier is from the 1970s.
"We designated an entrance simply by painting a small outlined square just inside the front door," says designer David Kaihoi of his New York City-based apartment.. He made the four collages with glossy paper cut out of magazines.
Lavender, chartreuse and aqua make a happy color combination in a Scarsdale, New York, living room. "They're bold colors," says designer Pat Healing, "so I used them only as punctuation."
Color on the ceilings lift the eye up, making a room seem taller and bigger. Jamie Drake opted for Benjamin Moore's "I Love You Pink" to contrast the Grace Kelly green scheme throughout the two-bedroom Manhattan apartment.
"I love the hard geometry of the chest next to the frilly curtains," Nick Olsen says of this Brooklyn studio. To add a soft touch to the metal Heimdal bed from Ikea, he slipcovered a length of foam in Schumacher's Hong Kong for a headboard. Mercury glass lamps from Circa Lighting make an impact. They're set on vintage end tables — originally brown, Olsen repainted them a bright Chinese red, "because every room needs a touch of red."