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Crystal Halley

Associate Broker

Crystal's Blog Corner

13 Decorations to Pair With Beautiful Dark Walls


Dark walls, from inky blue to charcoal and black, are refined and dramatic - but decorating around them without making your space feel too dark can be tricky. If you've been thinking of painting one or more walls a deep, dark hue, these ideas for color and decor pairings should help.

Natural wood. Natural wood, whether in a mirror frame, rustic tabletop or chair, helps lighten up dark walls while also emphasizing their richness. You can't go wrong with a driftwood or barn wood mirror, a farmhouse table or bentwood chairs.


Sculptural shapes. Place anything colorful or white in front of a dark wall, and your eye will be immediately drawn to its contours. Try placing a group of pottery pieces on a console or mantel. Or highlight the shape of an unusual table or chair by positioning it in front of a deep, dark wall.

Green plants. Potted plants and indoor trees look even lusher when placed in front of a dark wall. The dark color recedes into the background, creating the feeling of having a mini forest in the room instead of a few plants. Bonus style points if your plants have a sculptural shape, like the topiaries shown here.
Large artwork. A single piece of oversize art hung on a dark wall has the most impact - even more than a salon-style grouping. The drama of a deep wall color draws the eye. This works especially well with artwork with a large white mat and a slim black frame.
White. If you feel at all unsure about which direction to go in with the other elements in your dark painted room, choose white — it always works. In this bedroom a charcoal wall is set off by a grouping of wall-mounted plants on white bases, white bedding and white window treatments.
Pale, watery hues. Soft and ethereal, pale aqua, mint, champagne and silvery gray bring lightness to a room with dark walls. Try these watercolor-inspired hues in bedding, a throw or pillows for an elegant feel.
Rich mustard and teal. These hues complement deep blue, gray or even dark chocolate walls by bringing in the colors of fall. Just a small touch of mustard, teal or both hues will do — try a throw, pillow covers or curtains.

Wild card pairing: brights. A flash of hot pink, neon yellow or vibrant turquoise is daring - and exciting! Brights work best with black or charcoal; adding these bold hues to a room painted another dark color (like navy or forest green) is riskier. Test out a fun color pairing with a low-cost addition like hand towels or a cluster of bright vases.

Mirrors. Dark walls in a room without much natural light run the risk of making it feel oppressive. Boost what light you have by adding mirrors - even small, decorative mirrors, like the ones shown here, can help lighten things up. If the room is very dark, add a larger mirror, either on the wall or leaning against it.

Acrylic and glass. Like mirrors, clear materials, like acrylic and glass, can help a dark space feel a bit lighter. Swap out a wood piece, like a console, for a glass or acrylic version. Or add a large glass vase filled with greenery for a quick boost.

Rich texture. Dark walls call out for touchable textures, like velvet, silk, oiled wood and fluffy mohair. Consider a plush velvet sofa, velvet or silk accent pillows, or a mohair throw in a living room with dark walls.

Oriental rugs. Rolling out an Oriental rug is a good way to marry a daringly dark wall color with a traditional home. These carpets tend to include a range of rich, deep colors, lending them well to dark walls in just about any hue.

Antiques. As with using traditional rugs, bringing in an antique piece or two is a wonderful way to take the edge off a strong wall color. In the room shown here, dark walls look refined alongside an eclectic mix of antiques and modern Lucite chairs.




Are homes listed for sale during the Holidays at a disadvantage?


For many families the holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year, filled with family gatherings, parties, travel, and visits from relatives. It’s no wonder that most people view this as a less than ideal time of the year to sell their home. Very few people are willing to endure the stress of having to keep their home spotless for showings, and to be prepared to vacate for showings at a moment’s notice. It would only reason that home buyers suspend their house hunting efforts during the holidays for the exact same set of reasons, right? Most people would probably agree, however the MLS statistics clearly indicate that this simply isn’t the case.  

This doesn’t mean much, since no one is looking for homes during the holidays anyway… right?   Well, not exactly…   The number of families out house hunting during the holidays is higher due to school semester break at mid-term, making the move less disruptive to the school schedule.  The fact that many workers and students have a few weeks off during this time makes the holidays a perfect time to schedule the daunting task of packing up and moving. Additionally, the aggressive nature of the peak Summer market sometimes means that many buyers can’t win bidding wars to buy a home. As a result, many of those buyers resume their home-search once the “back to school” market-lull passes and their schedules return to normal. These factors lead to a tremendous amount of pent-up market demand around the holidays. 

How can sellers work the seasons to their advantage?

A seller sitting on a highly desirable home, will always be able to get a relatively fast sale, regardless of seasonal timing. However, a bit more strategy is required if that same seller also wants to set a record high sales number.  Simply selling an unusually nice house fast is typically easy.  However, also commanding a record high price generally won’t happen without a bidding war.   When bidding wars break out, competing sellers are often forced to bid above the amount the home will likely appraise for.  They’re usually required to back those stratospheric bids with a guarantee of additional cash, to make up for any appraisal deficiency. The key component required to maximize the odds of a bidding war is an agent’s ability to drive lots of buyer’s through the home during the first weekend the home comes to market. It’s obviously easiest to do this, during the early Spring, or the peak Summer season when the absolute highest volume of buyers is active in the market. Therefore, Summer is still the season of choice, for selling a truly incredible home.  If you have a house that’s capable of standing out in an inventory-rich market, it makes the most sense to offer it up when the absolute highest exposure to buyers is possible.

The strategy for selling a mediocre or distressed home, takes an entirely different approach.  When a home’s lack of upgrades, poor lot, or layout puts it at a competitive disadvantage… the best strategy for getting it sold is to avoid as much direct competition as possible. The key to selling a lackluster home lies in finding the point in the market with the best ratio of “high demand to low inventory”. When inventory choices are limited and people need to move, they are the most likely to compromise their standards and take what’s available.  



Benjamin Moore's 2018 Color Of The Year: A Modern Guide To Using Red In Your Home


Neutrals, be gone! If Benjamin Moore has its way, interiors will be going from soft and soothing to red hot next year. The paint company's Color of the Year for 2018 is Caliente, and the name is appropriate. The fiery red is "hot, passionate, and sexy," said Benjamin Moore. With a hint of orange, caliente has lots of personality and is the perfect hue for you if you are drawn to the warmer tones of red.

The company's Director of Strategic Design Intelligence, Ellen O'Neill, weighed in by adding, "Strong, radiant and full of energy, Caliente AF-290 is total confidence. It is pleasing, passionate and makes people feel special, like 'red carpet treatment'. "Whether used as one note or on four walls, the spirited personality of red turns heads signaling surprise and adventure. The eye can't help but follow its bold strokes."

Indeed. Architectural Digest believes that, "This year's choice will stop you in your tracks." Whether or not you're a fan of red, you're bound to notice it. Red can be a polarizing color, with some loving the energy it brings and others finding it a tad too bold for their space. The key to making it sing in your home is knowing where to use it, and how much.

Feng Shui


If the principles of feng shui are important to you, consider that red conjures fire and, "Fire represents the energy of sun and life," said The Spruce. "A balanced feng shui fire element in your home will bring joy, excitement, and strong sexual desire. An imbalance of the same element will bring either fiery arguments, restlessness and even aggression (too much Fire) or a lack of energy and enthusiasm for life (too little Fire)."

When it comes to the home, red "signifies richness, luck and luxury," they said. "If used too much, though, it can bring bursts of anger and over stimulation." That means a cautious hand may be best. Covering the walls in every room and oversaturating the spaces with furniture and décor pieces could just be a bit too caliente.

Color Theory

We know from the study of color theory that different colors can affect moods. If you apply that to the home, it makes sense that some spaces would be a better fit than others for a color called caliente.

"Red raises a room's energy level. The most intense color, it pumps the adrenaline like no other hue," said Freshome. "It is a good choice when you want to stir up excitement, particularly at night. In the living room or dining room, red draws people together and stimulates conversation. In an entryway, it creates a strong first impression." In the bedroom, it could mean a fiery sex life…but trying to sleep might be an issue.

You may not be ready to take the bold hue through your whole kitchen, but careful placement can make a huge impact.

Juxtaposed against bright white, Caliente is a standout on the walls - especially in a room that flooded with natural light.



How's that for a warm welcome?! The rich, red door is a beautiful complement to the neutral décor and adds another element of interest in a space with a wealth of architectural detail.

Don't want to splash this color on your walls? One standout piece in the electric hue can energize the whole room.



Simple Guide to Buying Your Dream Home


moyland germany castle

A house, for most people, is one of the biggest buy they make, which is why getting one requires all your attention. The “perfect home” is different things to various people. For one person, it may be a living room with large windows overlooking a private backyard while for someone else it’s property in the right school district. Finding the ideal piece of real estate to call home can be frustrating especially because there are so many options to consider. The excitement of purchasing a home can also overshadow some of the other elements you have to consider. A home buying checklist will offer guidance to keep you focused during your search.

Have a List of Features

Before you start browsing through real estate listings, have a clue what your dream home should provide. What do you, and anyone else who will be living in the house, want? Don’t just settle for what you need, aim for what you wish for. Do you want front and backyards? Should the home have a swimming pool or would you rather install a customized one? How much closet space should the master bedroom have? Maybe you have always wanted a large kitchen to open up to a garden. This list can include anything you think makes a dream house.

Have a Reasonable Budget

Even as you search for the property that fulfills most of your desires, know in advance what you are willing to spend. No one number defines the right budget when acquiring a home because buying power varies among individuals. Find out about the financing available to you first. The mortgage you can get will determine how to set the budget for your new home. Don’t get a mortgage that will weigh you down. Besides the house prices, you have to factor in other costs associated with the purchase. Think about utility costs of running the house, the expense of potentially hiring a local Phoenix moving company once you decide to move to Arizona, association fees and local taxes that come with the property acquisition.


It’s not a perfect home if you can’t live somewhere you love. The people, facilities, and properties around you will contribute to the suitability of a home purchase. You will have to interact with the community on a daily basis for a long while, so it must be more than just tolerable. Of course, your needs determine the ideal neighborhood. For instance, a young professional may want a place that is close to the workplace. A new retiree may opt for a quiet neighborhood. A family with school going children will look at the reputation of nearby schools. Understand what your requirements are so you know which neighborhoods to select.

Always Think Ahead

When looking for property to turn into the ideal home, think about the future. The plans you have will dictate how well the house suits you. You may buy a home as a young couple but have ideas about how to customize it when you have kids. Consider any projects that you want to undertake once you get settled. Maybe you want to add a deck to the pool area or build a conservatory. The point of thinking ahead is to make sure you don’t outgrow the house too soon. It is a waste to buy a home with features that will last two years or so and then become useless.

Compromises May be Necessary

Sometimes a dream home may not offer everything on your list unless you are building it from scratch. When buying a move-in ready house, you may have to decide which features are more important than others. Is the location more critical than having a private backyard? What if you find a home with the perfect square footage but with a swimming pool which you didn’t intend to get, can you accept that? Be ready to make compromises you can live with. Mark the features that are non-negotiable. You may not have everything, but don’t budge on the things that matter.


How To Safely Install a Home Electric Car Charger


If you are a lover of modern cars, then you should be driving an electric car by now. Electric cars will be on every road in the world in the next decade or so, so now is the best time to get yourself one and be ahead of the curve. Currently, electric car owners receive numerous auto insurance quotes comparison policies because on average it costs 30% more to insure an EV . Electric cars require charging stations to charge their batteries after every several hundred miles to ensure they arrive at their destination on time. Every electric car has a charger installed in the car, which may come as a surprise to many drivers who are unfamiliar with electric cars. This is the specific device buried deep in the car that is used to charge the car’s batteries by converting your house AC electricity into DC, which is what is required by the car. However, you cannot charge your electric car from plugging in the car’s charging cable into your house power socket because it requires a specially designed home electric car charging box. This charging box will significantly help you charge your electric car when you are at home and at your own pleasure. Installing an electric car home charger is not a difficult process, though there are several factors you have to ensure are in place before you start charging your electric car.

Overall Cost

To ensure that you purchase a long lasting and reliable home electric car charger, you have to spend approximately $700 for a reliable charger. There are some chargers that are portable and connect to various cables, which may end up being a bit costly. Therefore, to buy the ideal home electric car charger, it is important that you have enough or the exact amount of money to purchase the ideal charger. It is not advisable to buy a replica of the original charger, as this might overheat and end up exploding, which will not only destroy your car, but your house as well.


Required Amperage

The required amperage of an electric car is approximately 30 amperes, which will give your car a travel distance of around 30 miles. This means that if you purchase a charger with higher amperage, you can charge your electric car at a higher rate. However, most electric chargers are standardized to use 30 amperes as the power required to charge the car. Most electric cars will not utilize the higher amperage your charger might produce, so do not bother wondering if you will need to purchase another charge after several years. Additionally, this will enable friends who have electric cars to visit you and get to charge their cars while catching with you over a cup of coffee or a cold drink.

Length of Cable

It is imperative that you consider your parking space and the distance of your parking spot or garage when selecting the appropriate size of the charging cable. This will highly influence the location where you will install your home electric car charger. Most cables are approximately 15 – 25 feet in length, so you should measure the length from your ideal charger location to your parking spot. Having the exact length will allow you to know the exact cable length to buy as well as to connect the cable to your electric car without stretch it too much. An electrician will run several feet of conduit to ensure the charging process will be convenient at all times.

Connectivity and Portability

It is important to ensure that the home electric car charger is not permanently fixed in one location. This can be avoided by having several power outlets installed in various locations in your house by a certified electrician. Having a portable charger with a matching plug will greatly help you if you have several cars that might require charging and they can't all fit in your garage or parking spot. Additionally, a portable charger will not inconvenience you when you have to move to a new house, since you just have to unplug it and carry it to your new house. A modern home electric charger can have phone connectivity capability, which allows you to track the power the charger is using so as to control your electricity bill as well as time the charging duration.

By ensuring these factors are in place, you will easily install your home electric car charger and successfully charge your electric car with ease.

Why Buyers Won't Buy Your Home

Dollar, Money, President Of The U S A


There's no list of reasons — no top ten or even top three reasons — why buyers won't buy a specific listed property like your home.

There's just one reason.

When buyers won't buy listed real estate, or even put in an offer close to asking price, there's just one reason why — it's the list price!

List price must communicate value and opportunity to buyers for whom the listed real estate represents what they want and need. Individual buyers have individual home-buying wants, needs, and goals which range from solid financial investment to discovering their dream home, or both.

  • When the list price on a specific property communicates value and opportunity to buyers who are ideally suited to recognize high value and great opportunity, these buyers want to act. They are compelled to put in an offer before someone else snaps up their dream home/ideal investment.
  • When list price does not accurately communicate value and opportunity — usually because it is unrealistically high for the current real estate market, location, ownership benefits, and property condition — buyers not only won't make an offer, they may not even want to view the property.

The list which is vital for sellers to consider is the list of reasons why listing price can be a barrier to the successful sale of their real estate. Here's four of many reasons why list price can turn buyers off and leave the unsold real estate sitting on the market:

#1. Listing "Home" Not Real Estate: Sellers may start out intent on selling their home. However, they will find the selling process challenging until they realize exactly what they are actually selling. Not their home, but real estate — bricks and mortar, land, and related rights — that must attract buyers searching for their new home. Removing the seller's personal veneer from a house or condominium unit to reveal the true value of the real estate is just as important as sellers removing their personal attachment — pride of ownership — from their thinking and decision making. List price should reflect value from buyers' perspectives — that's the real estate market value and the value evident after comparing competing listings — and seller's investment value based on the current market.

#2. Value vs Cost: Seller improvements do not hold equivalent dollar-value for buyers. For example, a seller who recently paid thousands to modernize windows and replace the roof, may expect list price to reflect this out-of-pocket cost. Some buyers may attribute move-in-ready value to these property improvements, but the actual dollars attached to these seller expenditures may fall short of seller costs.

#3. The Market Now: Economics can change quickly. The current real estate market is the one buyers are shopping in. For instance, the higher priced market last year, last month, or even last week means nothing to buyers once economic conditions change. Sellers who hang on to a now-historic selling price that they missed out on and who refuse to adjust to market-dictated price down-grades, can create a listing barrier by sticking with the out-dated higher list price. The listing message may be interpreted as "stubborn seller here," which does not attract buyers. Letting go of missed opportunity can be a challenge for sellers, but this does not help the property "shout" opportunity to buyers.

#4. Selling: Only Half The Winning Real Estate Strategy Sellers who expect their real estate win to come exclusively from the sale of their real estate, miss the point of real estate as an investment. The full return from real estate ownership — on top of the benefits gained by living in the property or renting it out — comes from selling the property and putting the earned profit to work either to purchase more real estate or to invest the funds in other ways. Sellers who only spend time and effort on selling, may miss out on even greater returns from putting their sales profits to work. Selling or cashing-in real estate is only half the winning strategy! More on this topic in my next column.

Real estate professionals are trained to understand the economic and financial complexities of establishing market value and list price for the real estate held by their clients. Ideally, list price is established by the seller based on information, selling strategy, and market data provided by the listing professional and on seller goals. Select the right professional for the correct expertise to get the list price right.

List price is based on market value which is more accurately represented by a range than an absolute figure. Depending on the marketing strategy that matches seller needs and wants — including seller time constraints and moving criteria — the list price may be set on the optimistic side or with a practical slant.

What value and opportunity will your list price communicate to buyers?


Benefits Of Selling Your Home In The Winter


With Fall here and cold weather coming to many of us, it's that time of year that seller's ask about the best time to sell their home.  Ask any real estate professional when is the best time to sell their home, and they undoubtedly will tell you right now.  I've found that there are some distinct Benefits Of Selling Your Home In The Winter that many people miss.

1. Your Home Looks Its Best in the Fall and Winter

The first one that almost all real estate agents use, and it's still true, isyour home looks its best in the Fall and Winter. Chances are you have holiday things out and have cleaned the home because you might be expecting visitors. After the holiday stuff is put away the home usually looks clean.

2. Fall Colors and Snow Make Great Photos

In Georgia, sellers put gold and red displayed in the trees next to brick and craftsman style homes for some major eye candy.  Snow photos of homes for sale in Detroit are always cool and enticing. In addition, photos are important for those weeks when weather is bad, so take the perfect photos when the weather is still good. 

3. Buyers That Look During Winter HAVE to Buy

Most people do not really want to move during the holidays, which means that buyers who are looking are much more motivated. In essence, they HAVE to buy a home. After the holidays the same holds true. Most buyers will want to move during spring or after school (as will most sellers).

4.  Less Hassle Than You Think to Sell During Holidays

Fewer overall home buyers that are more motivated means less overall showings. So it's less of a hassle and fewer people just "browsing" what's on the market.   In general, the buyers are more serious during the winter and more likely to act. 

5.  Less Competition

Not everyone can pick the time to move.  Winter is very good in some markets because there is less inventory, and buyers that are looking are more motivated.

General Cold Weather Recommendation

  • During winter, agents do more vetting of the properties to ensure time is spent properly. 
  • For sellers, it is recommended they leave the heater on, especially if it is a rarely used home.
  • Open Houses are still effective, however, coffee and hot cocoa are always appropriate to make it a festive event.
  • Agents recommend sellers put in foam insulation in the window gaps to keep the home a bit more insulated. It is better to show a home that is too warm on a cold day than not warm enough.


Ultimately you should move when it suits your family.  That's pretty much why every agent says, the best time to sell your home is now.  


Upstairs Living Room: Great Design of a Modern House


Modern Houses Have Taken Upstairs Living Room as a Big Idea

Commonly, the living room is the place where the home accepts guests and is the Center Point where the family meets together in one area. Of course, this is aside from the dining place of the home, serving an entirely different purpose. Usually, homes have living rooms on the first floor right behind the main door of the house. But now, upstairs living rooms are becoming more popular and more ideas and designs are popping up.

Why should You have an Upstairs Living Room?

Yes, the living room serves as the purpose of the initial accommodating place for guests and is a place for families to meet together. However, it can also serve other purposes depending on what design style it has. Specifically, in an upstairs living room, various styles can be achieved for different purposes.

An upstairs living room can be designed as a close area to bedrooms. This can add to your family’s convenience, simply by providing a hangout place without having to go downstairs. Instead of having a TV in each of the bedrooms, you can have one in the upstairs living room. This would be perfect for evening movie marathons with your family or friends.

The upstairs living room also adds a sense of privacy to the household. You can enjoy bonding with each other, without being disturbed by street passers; both vehicles and people. If you can design your main living room downstairs for guests, your upstairs living room can have more for you and your family.

Design/Floor Layout

It has to be designed carefully to match the existing layout of your upstairs floor. Upstairs living rooms are usually not on the list of considerations upon house construction. This meaning you might have to deal with lower ceilings and smaller spaces for your living room. You have to choose the right appliances and furniture to be placed in it for it to perfectly complement the structure of your second floor. You can turn it into a simple upstairs living room, or make it into a dazzling place like a feast chamber with a fireplace or a mini-theater theme.

Aside from the basic and common house concept, there are now tons of modern considerations you can think about. Choose one that would be perfect for your home, and you can provide a magnified experience for yourself, your family and your guests through the unique upstairs living room concept.



4 Things You Absolutely Must Get Rid Of Before You Move


So you're moving, and on your verrrrrry long moving-related "to-do" list is that old favorite: packing. Did you just let out a big sigh at the thought? Actually putting stuff in boxes isn't the hard part for many people; It's the dreaded sorting and de-cluttering and getting rid of stuff that sends many into a panic. Take a deep breath and we'll get through these tips together.

First, use this advice from Rent.com as an overall rule of thumb: "For one, if it's damaged, it should be thrown away, no exceptions. Also, if it's spent more than six months unused, you likely won't miss it if you get rid of it. For clothes, if you haven't worn a garment in over a year, it should be donated– that way you don't get rid of seasonal clothes you may need in a few months."


If you've got boxes and boxes of old receipts and taxes and printed emails dating back to the turn of the century, it's time to dive in. "Keep everything for seven years" is ingrained in many of our brains, but, according to financial expert Suze Orman, that's not necessary. She says the only thing that needs to be kept for seven years are records of satisfied loans. Income tax returns only need to be kept for three years. But, there are some reasons to keep them longer, depending on your withholdings. 

Mementos and heirlooms

It can get sticky when it comes to things you've been willed or handed down. If you feel like you need to hold on to that old antique dresser that's been in your family for two generations - and that's sitting in the garage because it's not your style - or your grandmother's china that you'll never use, we get it. If you know you'll never use the item as is, can't find a way to repurpose the item (Can that old sideboard be painted?), and there isn't another family member who will take it, maybe it's time to think about selling it. You might be surprised at how valuable old antiques and collectibles can be. And, if you're feeling bad about selling your heirlooms, you can always donate the money to a worthy cause; that will help you assuage your guilt.


Getting rid of clothes can be overwhelming. No one is saying you have to pare down to a week's worth of outfits and shoes, but if you're moving to a smaller space or just want to be more organized when you move, the closet is a great place to start.

Most experts recommend getting rid of anything you haven't worn in a year, but if the thought of purging that many items is giving you anxiety, start by asking yourself a few questions, said The Spruce:

  • Do I love it?
  • Do I wear it?
  • Does it project the image I want to project?
  • Does it itch or scratch?
  • Does it pinch my toes? Are the heels too high to walk in?
  • Is it moldy? Smelly? Stained?
  • Does it fit?"

When you get to No. 7, take a deep breath. Many people have clothes in a couple of sizes to accommodate things like post-pizza-pigout days, but if you're holding on to 15 pairs of pants that haven't fit you since 2002, maybe it's time to ditch them.

Broken, scratched or tired furniture

Old, boring, broken, or otherwise undesirable pieces you've been living with in your current home may not be so tolerable once you move. Your shiny new place deserves some shiny new stuff, right? If you're not in a position to shell out a bunch of money after buying your new home, wait a bit. You'll undoubtedly be receiving credit card offers after you close escrow; sift through them and set aside those offering 0% interest from furniture stores like Rooms to Go.

These can make big purchases easier - if you are good at managing your credit. Miss a payment or fail to pay off your balance within the allotted time and you'll have interest accrued going back to the date of purchase plus a whopping interest rate, which can put payments out of reach. You may also receive 0% interest offers from places like Lowes and Home Depot, which can be a great way to update appliances, flooring, or countertops, and Best Buy for your electronic needs.



8 Seductive Shades for Your Living Room


The shade you choose to paint your living room walls really comes down to the atmosphere you're hoping to create. Whether you want a bright, cheerful space, a tranquil haven or a moody and intimate chill-out zone, these gorgeous rooms offer some inspiration.

Embrace gray. Gray is such a popular shade, and this room illustrates why we continue to love it - it's chic and relaxing at the same time. Gray also looks great with most other hues, so it's a versatile choice for a living room. Here, the soft gray walls help the jewel tones of the pink and yellow pillows stand out, and they also emphasize the crisp white of the wooden shutters and window frames.

Be bold. If you love brights and their energizing qualities, there are ways to embrace them without overwhelming a space. Here, for instance, the bright coral is tempered by the neighboring pale pink wall and the wall of white storage. The designers also made the look work by opting for mainly black and white accessories, then adding just a few complementary zingy colors via the artwork and pillows.

Photo by Chris Snook 

Add a wall of sunshine. Another way to nail the bold look is with the tried-and-true fireplace-wall tactic. In this room, sunshine yellow brings the feel-good factor. Although the yellow makes a huge impact, the adjacent white walls keep things light and airy.

Stick to neutrals. This inviting space has been given a warm glow with a combination of plywood cabinetry and off-white walls. The room is quite open with glass on either side, but the warm caramel tones throughout the space help it feel snug and inviting.

Accents of black and gray work well in the modern space, as they help balance out the pale brown hues.

Get the moody blues. Dark blue walls are a great choice for a living room, as they make a space feel more intimate and also form a dramatic backdrop for artwork and furniture. The room here is open and vast, but the deep blue walls create a snug atmosphere. The sleek lines and light colors of the furniture stand out beautifully in front of such a contrasting shade. Want to up the cozy factor? Consider painting the ceiling the same color.

Paint it black. Black walls in a living room might seem like a bizarre idea, but this space shows how it can work. Here, the far wall is a matte charcoal, and the cabinetry behind the sofa is an even darker shade. The colors work because they're teamed with natural brick and wood, as well as soft red patterned fabrics, all of which add layers of texture and warmth to the matte.

Keep calm with green. For a super tranquil living room, consider painting the walls a soft pale green. The walls here give the space a soothing feel and seem to merge with the view of the backyard. The pink tones of the pillows and armchair add to the relaxing atmosphere, as does the choice of plush velvet upholstery.

Think pink. It's a tricky one to get right, but if you choose the right shade, a pink living room can be chic and sophisticated and not at all sweet or girlie. The key is to go for a very pale tone that almost works as a neutral. Here, the soft pink wall is a lovely backdrop to a palette of grays and corals. The colors combine for a cool, contemporary look.





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