Color: We love it, we live it, we want it in our living rooms. But there are right ways to use it and there are very, very wrong ways. Here, the cardinal do’s and don’ts.

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Do use neutrals generously

Think of them as the rice in your paella; they create a warm and totally versatile canvas to build upon.

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Don’t assume neutral = beige

Remember--grays, whites, creams, browns and even soft, dusty pastels all fall under the neutral umbrella. (This all-beige bedroom is a total snooze-fest.)

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Do play favorites

Partial to blue? Nothing wrong with using a lot of it in one space. (Hey, it’s your pad after all.) 

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Don’t be exclusive

That said, using too much of one hue is a big no-no. Stick to the design principle of 60-30-10 (60 percent of your favorite, and 30 and 10 percent of two other colors, respectively).

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Do consider a super-bright accent wall or ceiling

Pop goes the beadboard.

RELATED: 8 Reasons Painting a Ceiling Will Change Your House

 

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But don’t paint all four walls

Unless your goal is to live inside a tangerine.

 

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Do mix masculine and feminine hues

Opposites attract, and mixing the girly with the boyish leads to visually dynamic results.  

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Don’t be gender-discriminatory

There aren’t too many dudes who would feel comfortable in an all-pink living room.

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Do decorate with black

A very dark element or two provides visual depth and contrast.

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Don’t go heavy on it

Hey, queen of darkness.

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Do pull colors from patterns

We love the way the throw pillows and rugs incorporate the blues and browns from that gorgeous ottoman.

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Don’t be matchy-matchy about it

We get it: You like coral and sea-foam green.

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