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Design ideas
Decor Basics: Add Color Without Going Overboard
Homeowner Jaime Saunders tried something new with her cottage decor and got bold with color. In her beach cottage, she managed to incorporate vivid shades of red, blue and yellow while keeping the look sophisticated, fresh and classic. How did she find balance?
Written by Jickie Torres
Photography by Bret Gum

Start with a white slate that provides the best backdrop. “Think about your rooms as having one key color,” Jaime says. “It’s an easy start to make the room pop.” Add accents of that color throughout the room and use every other color minimally.

In controlled doses, even bright oranges, reds and yellows can look sophisticated. Just be sure to vary textures to add dimension and stick to simple two-color patterns so the hue doesn’t overwhelm and your design doesn’t get too complicated.

Be sure to balance the room with traditional elements. Natural wood tones, raw fiber fabrics like hemp or linen and cozy metal finishes like iron or silver will all provide easy classic contrasts to vibrant accent colors.

“Pillows are a great way to do color: It’s a safe way to test the water with different color ideas, it’s easily changeable and can instantly change the look of a room,” she says.