When it comes to decorating a living space, it’s hard to know where to begin. How should the furniture be arranged? What’s the best way to optimize the space? Is there a specific theme you should be sticking to? As trends come and go so quickly, being bold with your decor choices can be daunting. But one of the easiest places to start, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed, is with a color scheme.

Whether you’re a fan of neutral, muted tones, or bold and vibrant hues, working your decor around a specific color not only simplifies things; when done right, it also results in a space that looks like it took way more effort than it did. Colors like violet, yellow, and blue are versatile in the sense that they can be muted for a calm and serene looking space, or brightened up for a bold pop of color. Keep reading to see why these three hues are safe bets for any home.

Violet

Long associated with royalty, purple is a natural choice for infusing a room with a dose of elegance. Whether it’s a chalky lilac or a dusky violet, gentle shades of purple evoke a multitude of associations; a Sleep Junkie survey last year even suggested that purple-colored walls yielded better sleep for participants. A versatile color that will sit well in old and new properties, it can be teamed with ornate furniture and shimmering accessories to create a subtly glamorous finish — or paired with more rustic furniture to capture a bohemian aesthetic.

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How To Use:

Choose Your Mood. Aim for an uplifting scheme by mixing pale and dark lavender with a gentle gray or medium-toned brown.

Pick Your Pattern. Add interest to this scheme with a variety of finishes. Choose sheer white window curtains or daring gunmetal silk. Torn between modern chic and country rustic? Find a middle ground and compromise with both style, color, or pattern. A chalky shade of violet references the more muted and understated colors associated with the country aesthetic. A bold, statement pattern on the walls will tie in the modern ambience, satisfying both desires.

Highlight It. Try accessories in a dull metallic silver or pewter. Less shiny than chrome or steel, your room can retain a relaxed feel with a subtle sense of glamour.

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Fabric. With its understated design, a purple take on French ticking stripes evokes country charm, bringing a coziness to your space. Try the Winchester French Lavender Fabric for $19.95 per yard from sailrite.com.

Paint. A chalky shade of violet will suit a country look, while avoiding an overly sweet affect. Lilac Whisper, found on valspar.com, is a perfect balance.

Wallpaper. Try a pretty blossom pattern on a neutral background. Bliss Purple Blossom Wallpaper, at $110.98 per double roll, is an ideal find on wallpaperboulevard.com. For something less playful, Chilton Stripe Purple Wallpaper provides for a classic looking finish.

Yellow

Let go of any pre-conceived notions you may have about the color yellow being juvenile or overpowering. Muted hues done right can provide floor-to-ceiling softness, and a subdued yellow combined with neutrals is always a pleasing combination. Use it to create a timeless decorating scheme that can either relax or invigorate. Tone your yellow down with lots of pale, taupe-colored naturals in stone, linen, and flax.

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How to Use:

Choose Your Mood. For a bolder look, go for pure lemon and egg-yolk yellows in a kitchen for a clean, fresh feel, but opt for shades of earthier yellows in living rooms and bedrooms to create a more serene setting. Green house plants go beautifully with yellow and bring a freshness to any space they occupy.

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Pick Your Patterns. Seek out fabrics with leaves and flowers in delicate, trailing designs for a traditional country scheme. To create a more modern edge, pick curtains in slubby linen.

Highlight It. Play it safe and team shades of yellow with soft neutrals or black and white. If you are crying out for more color, let nature be your guide and add an accent in a soft, mid-toned green or a fresh blue.

Fabric. Mix a floral with a matching gingham for a country look. Check out Chester Pale Yellow for $38.39 per yard on decorativefabricsdirect.com. Opting for bold, contemporary instead? Covington Antalya 811 French Yellow, also from decorativefabricsdirect.com, does the trick.

Paint. Try a soft, natural shade like Day Room Yellow from farrow-ball.com

Wallpaper. If mellow-yellow is the essence you aim to capture, try Altha Yellow Jasmine Trail, from $71.06 per roll on indoorwallpaper.com.

Blue

No other color conjures up the vision of a country cottage quite like a soft blue. Serene and peaceful, it is perennially popular for living spaces, bedrooms and bathrooms. It’s a versatile shade that works with neutrals, dusty pinks and purples, sage greens, creamy yellows and pale grays — almost any color, in fact, as long as it’s not a loud, shouty shade.

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How to Use:

Choose Your Mood. Think of denim. You can wear a pair of blue jeans with a top of just about any color. The same principle goes for blue in home decor. A duck-egg blue with a soft greenish tinge is elegant. If your room is dark, choose a clearer, pale aquamarine instead to keep your color scheme light and bright.

Pick Your Pattern. Mix floral fabrics with gingham and stripes on furniture and accessories, but keep window treatments simple to balance all the busy patterns.

Highlight It. Use real and faux flowers wherever you see fit! In pictures, on the walls, fresh from the garden on side tables, or on wallpaper.

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Fabric. Nothing evokes country charm like a sweet, chintz pattern like Salisbury Chintz by Schumacher at $229.66 per yard from patiolane.com. Prefer something more eclectic? Try Sunbella Kuno Azure, also from patiolane.com.

Paint. To maximize your space, look for a pale blue that doesn’t zap light — especially if the space is small or has limited windows. Yarmouth Blue from benjaminmoore.com is a good option!

Wallpaper. Add interest with stripes. This wallpaper from walmart.com is subtle, but just daring enough.

You don’t have to be an interior decorator to perfect your home decor. Picking a color scheme that reflects the personality and vibe you’re going for is one of the easiest ways to take your space to the next level with minimal effort.

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