Want to chase away the winter glum by bringing some cheery color into your home? Have I got a dynamic duo for you: turquoise and coral. This peppy color combo adds vibrant energy to a space, whether you do it up loud and proud by washing your room in saturated shades or just adding a few subtle touches here and there to spark up neutral spaces. Here’s some inspiration to get you started:

First, find your color sweet spot: This season, a lot of designers are showing snowy white interiors. I love pristine, whitewashed spaces. But right now at Nell Hill’s, we’re all about zipping up that stark white world with some blasts of color. While I’m a big fan of statement colors, I think they have to be balanced with quiet neutrals, like white and cream. The goal is to have a room that’s bright and cheery, but not jarring to your eye. As you design your spaces, you’ll find your own sweet spot where the balance is just right for your taste.

For the love of coral ...: Coral is pulling the heart strings of the Nell Hill’s design team and our many customers. Orange has been a big hit for years and is still showing strong. But for some folks, it’s just too intense. Coral is a gentler version of orange that is flattering in most interiors. It has the lovability of pink, a perennial favorite from our youth, but it’s a grown-up, more sophisticated color.

People are braver experimenting with coral than they are with other brights, and they are mixing it with a rainbow of tones, like chartreuse, apple green, cobalt blue. My favorite coral companion right now? Turquoise.

... and turquoise: This lovely shade is one of those remarkable tones that seems so bold, yet actually plays as a neutral, the ideal mate for just about any other color you throw at it. Depending on your style, you can pick turquoise fabrics and accents that are bright and crisp. Or, you can go for a softer and muted take, more vintage in its feel.

The tango: If bold furnishings aren’t for you, you can dust a space in softer hues of coral and turquoise.

We had so much fun helping my friends Matt and Kristen decorate their home with coral and turquoise. In their kitchen, soothing white cabinets and a gray sofa provide the neutral base for zips of playful color, brought in with a few accent pillows. If you have neutral furnishings, simply changing out your pillow bouquet will transform the look of your room.

In their living room, the neutral walls and sofa are the quiet backdrop for the bright and beautiful turquoise ottoman and coral chair. The sofa sports coral and turquoise pillows to thread the color through the room’s design.

This column was adapted from Mary Carol Garrity’s blog at She can be reached at

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