This living room went from ho-hum to hot with brushstrokes of rich, gorgeous red.
Go bold

Vibrant, attention-grabbing hues have the power to reinvent a room. Maybe you still love your sofa, that chair or a mirror, but like anything too familiar, your room might be feeling a little, well ... dare we say it ... dull. For an easy, budget-friendly makeover, explore the power of paint! Hesitant to use brights? Apply in small doses. Ready to take the leap? Do the whole room. Give in to the urge and pick up a paintbrush loaded with change.

Fearless choices

We teamed up with Sherwin-Williams and La-Z-Boy on this room makeover. And we love that Rave Red on the walls isn't a shy color. (Why make a change if nobody's going to notice?)

Our favorite pieces stayed: a classic La-Z-Boy sofa, a couple of chairs and some accessories. But now, instead of fading into a neutral background, the sofa, with its scattering of new artful pillows, is a pretty focal point.

Out went a stuffy rug, old ottoman, dark pillows and light-blocking drapes. In their place are two La-Z-Boy pieces: a red chair for extra seating and a round ottoman for better traffic flow. Windows wear light-filtering shades. The result is a room with an updated, chic personality.

Color tips

It's best to break up large blocks of a strong wall color like this red with high-contrast, grounding neutrals such as white and black. Here, the crisp white trim work, soft white sofa and new light rug offer visual relief. Collections and mirrors with freshly painted white frames (moved from over the fireplace) pop against bookcase backs painted black to match the classic Louis salon chair and sofa pillows.

We chose bright yellow-gold art, throw pillows and numerous accents to balance the intensity of the red; a watered-down secondary hue would never stand up to such a potent wall color.

Furniture face-lift

Afraid to make the commitment to bold color on walls, but looking for room-changing pizzazz? Give a chair, table or cabinet a coat of paint. A high-gloss adventurous or neutral color reenergizes a dated piece of furniture, making it seem brand-new. Use the piece as a focal point or a harmonizing element in a repainted room. Sherwin-Williams Antique White turned the black bamboo Chippendale-style arm chair into a light, airy piece that adds to the contemporary feel of our room. The newly painted red accent table repeats the hue from the walls for balance.

Red-and-white pillows and a zebra rug add graphic, sophisticated pattern.

Buying guide

Art LG106A Calla Lily on Gold I by Laura Gunn. Gallery Direct. (800) 455-3211;
Patterned pillows Chinoiserie, color: red (on sofa); Cherry Blossom, color: gold (on white chair). Gumps. (800) 284-8677;
Window treatment Natural woven Waterfall Shades, color: Naiya/Ivory 13291. Smith and Noble. (800) 248-8888;

Sofa Zoe, upholstery: SM6ZP923631. Chair (red) Allegra Stationery, upholstery: SM6ZB968405. Ottoman Roundabout, upholstery: SD6ZQ956941. La-Z-Boy. (800) 375-6890;
Side table 05310 Perry metal rectangle. Home Decorators Collection. (800) 240-6047;

Paint colors
Walls Cashmere interior acrylic latex, color: SW6608 Rave Red, finish: Low Luster. Backs of bookcases Cashmere interior acrylic latex, color: SW6992 Inkwell, finish: Low Luster. Chair Duration Home interior acrylic latex, color: SW6119 Antique White, finish: Semi-gloss. Side table Duration Home interior acrylic latex, color: SW6608 Rave Red, finish: Semi-gloss. Mirrors Duration Home interior acrylic latex, color: SW7004 Snowbound, finish: Semi-gloss. Sherwin-Williams. (800) 474-3794;