Living Rooms That Pop With Color

See what a few colorful additions — whether through paint, fabric or accessories — can do.

Photo By: Helen Norman

Photo By: Dacian Groza

Pink, fuchsia, red and green are grounded by the honeyed tones of hardwoods and a caramel sofa. Designer Andrea Brooks says she prefers to wrap the room in one color and bring in bursts of punchy accents through art and accessories. "This look can translate in both modern and traditional spaces," she says. Photography by Nancy Nolan Photography

In a tailored chocolate-brown room, a futuristic light fixture lightens the bold tones and solid lines. "I like using bold color all over in small spaces," says designer Ann Lowengart, "with high-gloss walls and trim and the same color repeated in the upholstery. Then layer in a couple more complementary colors, but keep your focus on the main hue," she advises. Photography by David Duncan Livingston

Evoking a fern glade or a woodland retreat, a room rich in greens takes its cues from a fresh green velvet sofa. "I love a comfy sofa to sink into, so that's my go-to living room piece," says designer Lauren Liess. "I start planning the room by selecting the major upholstered pieces and then add in vintage and one-of-a-kind smaller pieces, like lighting and end tables." Photography by Helen Norman

Balance, texture and proportion play a large role in making a small space work. For a cozy room that includes seating for 10, careful consideration was given to selecting the just-right sofas. Pillows and draperies bring in punches of color. It's a sophisticated palette that could be changed on a whim. Design by Ann Lowengart; photography by David Duncan Livingston

Teal and yellow accents bring a lighthearted vibe to a room where deep, dark browns and burgundies anchor the space. Design by Ann Lowengart; photography by David Duncan Livingston

For a small room with narrow proportions, designer Lisa Teague painted the ceiling, trim and walls one shade of white while adding a midtone color to the wall behind the sofa. "It brings the wall a bit closer, making the room look less narrow," she says. "The circular architectural detail visually helps to push the side walls out.” The paint colors, Sea Glass and Whisper, are from her collection of colors. Photography by James Salomon

Never underestimate the impact of fabric. A space defined by green and blue — given depth by the clusters of deep, dark floral arrangements — is anchored in soft, weathered tones on walls, wood and stone. Design by Ann Lowengart; photography by David Duncan Livingston

Cobalt blue and acid green bring interest to a room otherwise outfitted in white, gray and black designed by Jennifer Reynolds. "I chose this particular style of window treatments to elongate the very small, odd windows," she says. "The drapery panel color was chosen as the accent color in the room to add the most impact."

Balance — not only in the arrangement of furnishings, but also in the use of dark and light tones and patterns — makes a space by designer Rachel Cannon Lewis of Sohaus Interior Design work. "Knowing where to position color and pattern in order to get the most drama requires planning," she says, "but will yield the most alluring result." Lime green, brown and white bring color to the forefront without exhausting the eye. Photography by Rachel Cannon Lewis

Simple, elegant and serene: Neutral walls, ceiling and floors provide the backdrop for a charcoal velvet sofa, dusty mauve chairs and a punchy raspberry bench. “We add color with smaller accents such as upholstered benches or ottomans and custom accent pillows,” says designer Jennifer Jones. A glass coffee table keeps the small space airy and light. Design by Jennifer Jones, Niche Interiors

Shop This Look