Pink and BrownFrom the sophisticated aqua and chocolate to tart lime and lemon, strong color pairings are all the rage, and one of the easiest ways to freshen and lend drama to your decor. "People are taking more risks with color and combining colors in more unique ways," confirms Joann Eckstut, author of The Color Palette Primer: A Guide to Choosing Ideal Color Combinations for Your Home. "Once they see how well strong hues can work, they're willing to try them, and often love the result."
Read on to learn about the hottest pairings around, to pick up simple tips for using these delectable duos at home, and to see some of our favorite new products that sing with color.
Why it works: At the deeper end of the spectrum, intense raspberry creates a dramatic foil for rich, dark chocolate. Both are yummy — and deliciously playful. "The pink pops against that soft, warm background, and the brown brings out pink's own warmth," Eckstut says.
Variations: Lavender and brown is another candy-hued combo, while brown with rust or red are distinctly autumnal alternatives.
Easy idea: Edge a set of brown throw pillows with a band of pink ribbon, braided rope or fringe, or give them a graphic look with iron-on designs from a craft store, suggests Toronto color consultant Jane Lockhart, host of HGTV's Get Color! and the author of Room Recipes: Cooking Up Style With Color.
Blue and GreenWhy it works: "The popularity of blue and green—colors that symbolize nature—reflects our renewed interest in the environment," Eckstut says. And while just about any blue-green duo works well, today's pairings tend toward brights—lime or grass green coupled with robin's egg blue or aqua, for instance. Can you say sharp?
Variations: Delft blue with lemon yellow, or light blue with a darker tone like turquoise and navy.
Easy idea: Soft blues and greens bring serenity to a bedroom, so introduce these hues into your boudoir with fabrics: Create a customized headboard—and a luxurious focal point—by hanging a swath of patterned silk or other dreamy fabric at the head of your bed, running it up the wall and a couple of feet onto the ceiling before letting the edge of the fabric cascade down. Finish the look with a mix of blue and green accent pillows and a crisp throw folded at the foot of your bed.