Go Boldly (But Wisely)

While using bold colors on your walls can be a delightful decorating choice, it requires a great deal of consideration for space, surroundings, and moods. Before you throw a coat of paint on the walls, keep these key rules in mind. After all, you want your color choices to speak to you, not scream at you.


  1. Don’t rely on paint chips. Paint chips can be deceiving, so make sure to test the paint on your walls before jumping all the way in. That way you’ll get the true effect.
  2. All whites are not created equal. Each shade of white has a different undertone. Make sure to choose the appropriate white undertones to match your bold color (warms with warms, cools with cools).
  3. Less is more. Only use the bold color on one aspect in the room. You want your bold color to stand out, not overpower the room. Splash some color on the walls, then decorate with neutrals (or vice versa).
  4. Test it in different lighting. Remember, color is affected by figures of light, whether natural or artificial. Test your bold color in the morning sun and the electric evening light. Ensure the color isn’t too dark at night or too overpowering in the daylight before diving in.
  5. Choose something with depth and secondary shades intermixed. When your eyes fall upon a bold color, you want them to rest and take in the complexities of that color, not to be attacked by its flat, harsh one-dimensionality.

Color is complex, so remember to go boldly, but wisely. Your home is your sanctuary; you don’t want a bold color that kills your vibe. So, before you reach for that paint brush, stop and think about these five rules.