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when should you use bold colors?

A living area with a neutral sofa/Photography: Gross & Daley Photography/A neutral-painted living space designed by Gilles features bright pops of color.

Using bold color is all about restraint—and what you truly want to accomplish in a room. Or, as Greenwich, Connecticut-based, Paris-born designer and art dealer Gilles Clement, of the self-named firm, puts it: "Be careful of strong colors as people tend to get tired of them faster. Only go with bold colors if you absolutely love them!"  

A deep blue living room with window/Photography: Gross & Daley Photography/A moody blue living room sets the tone in one of Gilles's bold designs.

Still, there are no true absolutes. "Don't play it safe either," says Gilles. "Take risks." 

But how to take the right risks with color? "Try large wall samples first, live with them for at least 24 hours," says Gilles. Take notes on your experience with the samples within your own space, instead of replicating a certain look spotted online or in a magazine. "Observe the samples' relationship to the room as the light changes, and then make a decision," says Gilles.

A pink sitting area/Photography: Richard Yaus/A deeply hued seating area designed by Gilles proves pink can be powerful.

Let your intuition take the lead. "It's an observation of mine that people like to conform themselves to room colors they noticed in magazines. Of course, inspiration is always commendable but remember that first and foremost, your home should represent who you are, so should its colors. Let them represent your aesthetic identity." 

go bold!

Ready to play with color? Get started by sampling! Shop some of our favorite colors and see what they look like on your wall.

ArsenicFarrow & Ball

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