(Family Features) From dark and moody to vibrant and bold, colorful design is gaining favor among homeowners ditching safe, neutral palettes to create more daring, dramatic spaces.
Decorating with deeply saturated colors can be intimidating. Explore these ideas to welcome more bold colors into your home and create inviting spaces for living and entertaining.
Walls of color
Say goodbye to beige and embrace the bold color trend by enhancing walls with hues that make a statement. The trick is to avoid making colors so loud that the space loses its stylish appeal. Bold doesn’t necessarily mean bright, so look for muted variations of the shades you prefer. Also remember that when it comes to design, there is such a thing as too much. If painting all the walls in a space will close it in or make it feel lost in the dark, try adding color in more subtle ways, such as an accent wall (or two), or painting the ceiling as your accent. Another option for implementing vibrant wall color: stick to smaller rooms, where the bold look is less likely to be overwhelming.
Illuminate color with natural light
When decorating with statement colors, remember that lighting can make a significant difference in the overall aesthetic. In addition to lighting fixtures, be sure to incorporate plenty of natural light to bring out the best in those bold hues.
To bring natural light deeper into the space, consider skylights as an option with a solution such as Velux No Leak Solar Powered Fresh Air Skylights, which can bathe the space in natural light and open to bring in fresh air. Another smart way to capture natural light is by installing an option like Sun Tunnel skylights. With their low-profile design, they create a sleek appearance, and installation is also quick and easy. Learn more at whyskylights.com.
An often overlooked but essential component of design is the furniture. Creating a colorful, inviting room doesn’t stop with the walls and floors; what’s in the room can bring the colors to life. Think of the space and all its contents, not just the architectural components, as your canvas for creating the space you envision. If you’re hesitant to invest in a pricy couch in a trendy hue, a compromise might come in the form of a richly colored accent table or chair.
Traditional wood grain cabinetry sometimes gives way to far more creative color schemes in kitchens and bathrooms. While white is still a popular choice, and can even be considered bold in the right setting, true color on cabinets is also gaining traction among homeowners. With the right backsplash, countertops and flooring, you can safely install cabinets in a uniform color throughout the kitchen, but another on-trend option is to reserve the color for an island base or just one wall of cabinets. You could even mix and match colors on the tops and bottoms. Detail elements like the hardware provide another opportunity for a bold look. You can enhance the room’s design with standout pulls that lend extra vibrance to the space.
Fabric with flair
Textiles provide nearly unlimited options to balance a bold design. Using lighter fabrics for elements such as draperies, upholstery, rugs and decorative pillows can soften the feel of a room with bold tones. Look for subtle patterns that pull in hints of the deeper hue to bring the look together, or simply coordinate shades from complementary color families.
Unexpected Pops of Color
Designers often talk about adding pops of color to bring together a palette, but there are no real rules about where those color enhancements can or should be. Introducing vibrant color in unexpected places can be an especially impactful way to stylize a room.
One example is with a skylight blind, which provides a decorative element while also allowing for light control. If you prefer a trendy option like combining dark colors with metallic accents, consider options such as a metallic gold skylight blind from Velux to connect to the room decor below. More than 80 color and pattern choices heighten the drama of a skylight blind, and you can choose from features like room darkening, light filtering and Venetian-style blinds to add function as well.
Ever wish you could become one of those rare morning people? The ones that wake with a start, feeling refreshed and energized. The ones that get in that morning workout or wrap up some work before many of us even hit the snooze button for the first time. Here are five tips to help you achieve that early bird status!
Anna Reed, Realtor
A recent survey from the National Association of Realtors® revealed that 77 percent of buyers’ agents said staging a home makes it easier for potential buyers to visual it as their own. Here are our top tips.
Anna Reed, Realtor
Purchasing a new vehicle, while exciting, can be a burden for many shoppers. A variety of options and considerations for each make and model can turn the decision-making process into a stressful situation.
To help make that part of the car-buying process a little less difficult, consider these podium finalists for Motor Trend’s Car of the Year, Truck of the Year and SUV of the Year. Each finalist is evaluated using six criteria: safety, efficiency, value, advancement in design, engineering excellence and performance of intended function.
These podium finalists offer a multitude of benefits, each with its own strengths, for car buyers shopping in the new year. Learn more about 2019 cars to consider at motortrendawards.com.
Sporty and Stylish – For a fun yet serious sedan, the Genesis G70 features punchy powertrains that support an agile, sporty chassis wrapped in classy exterior styling with strong graphics and a well-appointed interior. As the first sports sedan from Hyundai’s luxury line, this sleek model packs power.
Excellent Efficiency – Cruise the roads with 50 miles-per-gallon efficiency in the Honda Insight, a smartly packaged hybrid featuring thoughtful style and storage solutions, plus seamless and silent adaptive cruise control performance. With lane-keeping assist that rates among the industry’s best, its smooth ride competes with luxury vehicles while combining efficiency and style.
A Craving for Variety – If deciding between vehicle models is causing fits, consider these options from Volvo. For a fresh, modern interior with comfortable seating, the S60 sedan and V60 wagon deliver all-round performance with base 2.0-liter turbos, meaning you don’t have to pay extra for power. Or, for stylish appeal with a familiar turbo-four engine and eight-speed automatic transmission, the XC40 compact crossover provides quick acceleration and spirited steering response.
Electric Excitement – Power and torque don’t go by the wayside with Jaguar’s I-Pace, the maker’s first electric car and first all-electric SUV which boasts about 200 miles of real-world battery range. Add the adjustable ride-height for added off-road capability and one of the most original automotive designs in years, and this set of wheels can have you riding in unique style.
Rethinking an Iconic Ride – Configured to equally suit the ambitions of the off-roading newbie and expert alike, 2019’s thoughtful, thorough rework of the Jeep Wrangler features significant tech updates for the American original.
Time for a Truck – Featuring a new design, cylinder deactivation and an automatic trailer light test, the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado offers more versions, more space and more options. Rear bumper corner steps and three cargo hooks at each bed corner deliver functionality, while a smooth High Country 10-speed automatic transmission makes for a smoother ride for truck buyers.
Go Ahead and Haul – If you’re in the market for a workhorse truck combined with plush luxury and tech-forward thinking, the GMC Sierra fits as a versatile cargo-hauler. This truck differentiates itself with the MultiPro tailgate, adaptive ride control and a carbon-fiber bed. The powerful drive of a 6.2-liter engine combined with a 10-speed transmission and overall body control while towing makes this truck a key asset for long-distance hauls.
Work or Play – The best-in-class styling of the Ram 1500 – sophisticated and well-executed without going over the top – packs an interior outfitted with the tools needed for activities ranging from fun to function. A 48-volt mild hybrid system saves fuel while coil-spring dampers and an optional air suspension provide a luxury car-like ride.
From heading off to college to marrying the love of your life to taking those dream vacations, life’s biggest moments are often tied to being financially responsible.
While memories of your first dance as newlyweds don’t often include the cost of the band, money is frequently front and center when planning for some of life’s larger events. From early adulthood through retirement, a credit card is one tool that can help you achieve your financial goals while offsetting some costs along the way.
“No matter your stage in life, it’s important to plan ahead and have the right tools to meet your financial needs,” said Jason Gaughan, credit cards executive at Bank of America. “A credit card offers flexibility, convenience and an increasing amount of rewards that can make your budget go even further.”
These tips from financial experts can help you maximize financial tools like credit cards throughout life’s milestones.
For many, college represents the first instance of being responsible for personal finances. During this time, some students apply for their first credit cards to cover a wide range of costs such as books or travel expenses to and from school. Experts agree it’s important to start building credit at this age, but only if you can handle the responsibility associated with a credit card.
“Though credit can be a somewhat foreign topic for beginners, online resources such as Bank of America’s Better Money Habits offers tips to help young adults learn about things like how your credit score is calculated, the difference between a credit report and credit score and explains why it’s important to understand before signing up for a credit card,” said Lysandra Perez, a relationship manager for Bank of America who is responsible for educating clients on establishing strong financial habits including managing and building credit.”
According to BetterMoneyHabits.com, an important rule for building strong credit is to spend no more than 30 percent of your available credit line. The online resource also recommends that students look for credit cards that offer low interest rates and no annual fee to help minimize finance charges if they aren’t able to pay their bills in full each month.
“Establishing strong financial habits early on can help set you up for future credit opportunities later in life,” Perez said.
As people become more established professionally, they often become more comfortable financially, allowing them to pursue their passions.
Using a credit card that offers rewards tied to interests is a strategy some young adults utilize. According to a Bank of America survey, 91 percent of Millennials ages 23-29 plan to use a rewards card to help pay for upcoming travel.
“It’s common for people in their mid-to-late 20s to prioritize maximizing credit card rewards,” Gaughan said. “They understand using a card for smaller, everyday purchases like coffee and groceries can be an easy way to earn points to pay for fun events like a trip abroad or home for a college reunion.”
Saving and tracking rewards is key during this period, too. Digital tools like My Rewards provide new visibility into the rewards you earn and how to maximize their value. Also look to explore banking rewards options like Preferred Rewards, which can offer special perks and benefits like credit card rewards bonuses, discounts on home and auto loans, interest rate boosters and no-fee ATM transactions.
Marriage and Parenthood
A seismic shift often occurs when entering the marriage and parenthood stage of life. The individually minded spending of early adulthood transitions to down payments on homes and saving money for children’s educations.
These years typically require more financial savviness to make every dollar count as large expenses requiring loans, such as houses and cars, are more prevalent during this stage.
Along with larger purchases, these years also often come with grocery store trips, filling up the gas tank for carpool duty and buying new clothes as your kids grow. Look for a cash back card that lets you earn rewards on your everyday purchases and offers redemption for cash back to cover expenses or invest in a savings account.
By retirement age, you’ve likely spent decades saving and are looking to enjoy the fruits of your years of labor. While the amount saved for retirement varies greatly depending on your situation, it’s always important to spend wisely during retirement, and a credit card that reaps high rewards can help.
“There are many ways to continue saving and investing once in retirement,” said David Poole, head of Merrill Edge Advisory, Client Services and Digital Capabilities at Bank of America. “Credit cards that allow you to invest rewards back into your retirement fund is an easy way to continue contributing to your 401(k).”
Credit cards can also help retirees fulfill long-standing travel goals. Some like the Bank of America Premium Rewards card offer lucrative travel benefits such as earning two points for every dollar spent on travel and dining purchases. Look for points that are flexible and can be used toward future travel purchases or as cash back.
“With so many credit card options available, it’s important to understand what your current needs are,” Gaughan said. “Do your research, develop a strategy and work with your financial institution to determine the best card for your lifestyle.”
Find more information and credit card options at bankofamerica.com/creditcards.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images
Bank of America