The secret to lively (yet livable) rooms: Team a bold paint with robust neutrals
Swatch-test colors before committing. Really. We mean it. Printed pages (even ours) and paint chips can vary from the actual paint color. Happily, you’ll now find
many paints in inexpensive sample sizes.
Choose low- or no-VOC paints. In addition to the formulas available from eco-friendly brands, almost all paint makers now offer one or both of those options in all colors.
Use a tinted primer for dark and bright colors. Testing for this article turned us into believers; it greatly improves coverage. Ask the paint retailer for a custom mix compatible with your surfaces and paint.
Orange-kissed red paints are the newest way to show off your wild side. Here's one inspired by San Francisco's Golden Gate
Tone down a lipstick-worthy hue (in a good way) with a cool taupe and a warm off-white.
This jade color has us dreaming of classic cars and vintage kitchenware. Give it an updated spin with inky blue-black accents
and cool white trim.
We checked out several free online paint tools and found Benjamin Moore’s Personal Color Viewer (benjaminmoore.com) the easiest to use.
The site allows you to preview paint colors in its sample rooms (lots of style choices) or in photos of rooms that you’ve uploaded. It’s great for trying out color combinations before paying for paint. (But you’ll still need to swatch-test!)