Color Theory: 5 Ways to Do Bold Better

Color Theory: 5 Ways to Do Bold Better

Color Theory: 5 Ways to Do Bold Better


Designer Larisa Barton colors a couple's world—and shares her secrets of how to make a technicolor space sing.

Photos by Lindsay Brown

You could describe this two-bedroom-two-bathroom NYC apartment as quirky—and mean it as the highest compliment. That’s Homepolish designer Larisa Barton‘s doing. Previously the quirk was the combined two-bedroom unit’s floorplan, but once the couple, who were moving from a studio in the same building, and Larisa joined forces, the space became a perfect showcase for the bold and the bohemian. We asked her for her tips of how she pulled this technicolor dream space together.

1) Give each space a personality

“We began by choosing a color scheme for each room,” Larisa explains. By selecting hues to use in each space, she could expand upon the vision with a destination in mind.

2) Set the backdrop for your accessories

If you’re going to go big with the your accents, you want to make sure they can stand out.

“My client knew right away that she wanted to paint all of the brick,” Larisa explains. “We whitewashed it in the living room and bedroom and chose black for the den. These neutral backdrops were perfect for the art collection to pop. We also were careful to select streamlined anchor pieces such as the sofa and dining table to allow for the more eccentric items.”

3) Give the eye a break

Bold color can be oppressive—and so can neutrals. Larisa wanted to make sure nothing in the space felt heavy, so she was sure to add some contrast.

“We envisioned a cozy dark den but also wanted there to be a workable desk area,” Larisa says. “Instead of painting the room all black we chose this wallpaper to soften up the space. It also brings the eye up and makes the room feel bigger.”

4) Pick your pinks

You’ve got to be brave to use blush. Larisa’s secret to making it work—use more of it.

“One tip when using pink is to use it in more than one area,” Larisa says. “In this space you will notice there are small accents of it in each room making it feel less shocking.”

The pink wall plays off the hints of pink in the living room artwork and accent table, and helps the salmon feel subtle.

5) Mix in minimalism

The eclectic vibes feel elevated thanks to a healthy heaping of Scandinavian elements to keep things streamlined.

“The pink dining wall is the perfect juxtaposition to the Scandinavian kitchen,” Larisa says. “Against the black elements it really shines and does not come off as too feminine because of the minimal furniture used around it.”

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