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Yes, the old adage is true. Pair up complementary colors -- opposites on the color wheel (think blue and orange, purple and yellow, red and green) -- to set a lively tone. "This unexpected combination feels fresh and happy," says Newport Beach, California-based designer Natalie Umbert, who brought this living room to life.
Steal This Look Go bright on the walls with Ace Paint's Flower Pot B18-6, then balance the look with cooling shades of blue on furniture and accents.
Balancing Act Interior designer Natalie Umbert kept some elements neutral, like this espresso-stained coffee table and the hardwood floors, to avoid color overload.
Designer Tip Always let one color dominate and use its complement in smaller doses. If you want to tone down the look, try paler or darker tones of the complementary hues instead of saturated brights.