Designers share advice on incorporating bolder colors in the home

Paint is a fun and impactful way to experiment with color in your home, but picking the right hue can feel intimidating and overwhelming, especially if you want to explore outside your comfort zone. We asked top interior designers to share their tips for experimenting with bolder colors and finding color inspiration. For more images or commentary from these experts, reach out to Sherwin-Williams@clynch.com.

Photography: Mike Van Tassell
Design: Beth Diana Smith
Color: Evergreen Fog SW 9130 (walls), Rosemary SW 6187 (ceiling)

What advice do you have for someone trying to be more adventurous when it comes to paint colors?

Think it through: “Map out how and why you want to use the color, and then map out what wall(s) and/or ceiling you want to see it on in your home. Then, sample the color at home during the day and night before actually painting the space, as lighting in a home can drastically change how the color will look.” — Beth Diana Smith, Beth Diana Smith Interior Design

Photography: Mike Van Tassell
Design: Beth Diana Smith
Color: Evergreen Fog SW 9130 (walls),
Rosemary SW 6187 (ceiling)

Experience and observe: “Whether a bit more subdued or wildly adventurous, we always suggest testing paint swatches before committing to a color. Experience the proposed colors in areas of shadow and direct light, and observe the selections during morning, noon and night. This process provides a real sense of the color in natural and in artificial light so it is easy to understand whether the color is truly the right hue. In fact, we encourage our clients to live with the colors for a couple of days as the best option always reveals itself.” — Kerrie Kelly, Kerrie Kelly Design Lab

(Take Beth and Kerrie’s advice and visit Sherwin-Williams most popular color sampling options here.)

Lean into hues you’ve always loved: “I suggest selecting colors that don’t feel so temporary! Color trends will always be here, but we tend to be drawn to the same hues over and over again. If you’ve always loved pink, chances are you’ll continue loving it for years to come. We encourage our clients to choose calm colors that feel personal to their own style.” — Eneia White, Eneia White Interiors

Credit: Eneia White Interiors, Color: Chelsea Mauve SW 0002

Where do you find color inspiration for the home?

“Everything and everywhere,” says Beth Diana Smith. “Visiting museums, reading coffee-table books, fashion and while scrolling social media, which is so incredibly visual.”

California-based designer Kerrie Kelly collects inspiration from her travels. “Traveling to incredible cities and soaking in the architecture, food and culture is my biggest inspiration for bold, unexpected paint color. The saturation of color in the textiles of Morocco, the beach-side umbrellas of the French Riviera and the culinary delights of our California farmers markets serve as pure inspiration for our projects, resulting in unique ideas for our client spaces,” says Kelly.

New York-based designer Eneia White tends to draw inspiration from within. ”I’m inspired by feelings and stages of life,” says White. “I personally keep a very full and hectic schedule here in New York, so I turn to my personal spaces for a bit of relaxation. I need a dose of color that still feels like a warm hug. My main entertaining space is painted in Chelsea Mauve SW 0002, a hue that makes me smile at the end of a long day.”

Credit: Eneia White Interiors, Color: Chelsea Mauve SW 0002 6187