We’re as patriotic as the next guy and gal, but that doesn’t mean we’re willing to forgo good design for the sake of a color scheme. Luckily for all of us, there are some pretty incredible design inspirations out there that take palettes based on Old Glory from the realm of kitsch and into cool. Check out these decidedly unhokey spaces—courtesy of Coastal Living, Rooms of Wonder, Style at Home, New England Home, and Country Living—then read our easy tips for getting red, white, and blue right.
1. Primary red and blue are the most recognizable, high-contrast combo, and look punchy and fun in a variety of spaces. If you go this route, don’t overdo it. For instance, create a focal wall in one color and pop against it furniture painted in another color—as in this kicky kids’ room. Make sure to tone back the red and blue with lots of white, or even other neutrals.
2. Get shady—play with beyond-basic hues that are still in the same flag-based family. We love the mix of turquoise, brick and pink in this beachy breakfast nook, or the cerulean-and-cream papered walls behind the candy-apple red sofa in this eclectic living room.
3. Stripes, squares, circles, and other basic geometrics will never go out of style, but too many of them can make a room look simplistic or blocky. Up the sophistication quotient by mixing in unexpected modern prints and beautiful ethnic-inspired patterns, like ikat, Suzani, or Indian paisleys.