Top 10 Summer Colors and How to Use Them

Interior designer Tobi Fairley is known for her fearless, colorful takes on traditional spaces. Get her picks for the top shades of the summer, plus how to use each hue for maximum impact in your home.

  • The Color: Sunny Yellow

    Where to Use It: Hello, yellow! This bright, happy color can't help but bring a smile to your face. Artwork and accent pillows are two simple ways to let the \"sunshine\" in to your room. To make the color pop even more, pair it with a soft neutral, such as gray or white.

  • The Color: Sky Blue

    Where to Use It: Just like the sky itself, this shade of blue has a serene, calming presence. \"I like to use it in healthy doses on furniture, drapery panels and large accessories,\" Fairley says. It can bring the same quieting effect to a bedroom, sitting room or any space where you like to relax and unwind.

  • The Color: Flirty Pink

    Where to Use It: We all know pink is the ultimate girl color — nothing else can give a room a feminine touch like this blushing hue. That's what makes it the perfect choice for a girl's bedroom. Highlighting different shades in a floral fabric and pairing it with purple only intensifies its playful appeal.

  • The Color: Refreshing Lime

    Where to Use It: You know how a hint of lime makes everything – from salsa to a cocktail – just a bit better? The color can have the same effect on a room. Use it as a highlight accent, like the bookcase backdrop shown here, then bring in smaller accessories in the same color to complete the look.

  • The Color: Seaworthy Coral

    Where to Use It: As one of the sea's most vibrant hues, coral is a standout shade no matter where you use it. Accessories are a natural fit for this accent color, whether it's a pillow sham or a throw for the foot of the bed. For a bigger statement, why not add an unexpected twist by pairing this punchy color with white for a striped ceiling?

  • The Color: Nail Polish Red

    Where to Use It: What better place to make a statement than your entry? Not only does this room set the tone for the rest of the home, it entices guests to want to see every room of your home. A cheerful red is inviting and happy, like the smile of the friend who welcomes you.

  • The Color: Nautical Navy

    Where to Use It: If you follow fashion trends, you may have noticed navy is one of the hottest \"new neutrals.\" Just like black, white and gray, navy can create a statement without overpowering a room. Pair it with bold colors, such as red or pink, to create style-setting combos. Want to follow the nautical trend? Consider using it in a striped pattern like the rug shown here.

  • The Color: Crisp White

    Where to Use It: Like laundry draped across a clothesline, a brilliant white can give any space a fresh, clean look. Use white as a neutral backdrop, and then accessorize with accent pieces in your favorite colors, or create a monochromatic design by enveloping the room in an all-white palette.

  • The Color: Fresh-Squeezed Orange

    Where to Use It: Whether it's juice from a roadside stand or cool sherbet on a hot day, orange has long been the color of summer. For a quick spruce-up, add orange or tangerine throw pillows to a neutral couch. If you're a true fan of the juicy color, add statement pieces such as painted side tables or a sideboard.

  • The Color: Water's Edge Blue

    Where to Use It: No matter where you live, nothing is as inviting as a cool body of water on a summer day. Get the same feeling in your living areas by immersing the room in this cool shade. For a dramatic effect, use the color on upholstered pieces, drapery panels and accessories.

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