Design Details: Color

When a Chicago-area home renowned as a significant local example of modern architecture was due for a renovation, it needed to make a statement. To that end, the kitchen was outfitted with a wall of papaya lacquer cabinets and a stainless steel island, providing contrast for the rest of the building’s muted cedar cladding and white interior. Architect: Susan Patenaude, Aaron Wilson, Chicago Builder: Aaron Wilson (renovations), Chicago

In pricy San Francisco, this development aims at providing modestly priced condos to first-time buyers. To add a sense of vibrancy to the neighborhood, located in a still-developing part of the city, the developer opted for bright blue cladding with orange accents. Architect: Kwan Henmi Architecture/Planning, San Francisco Builder: Bovis Lend Lease, San Francisco

A glass wall of bright blue tiles evokes the original brick of this 20th-century craftsman bungalow’s exterior. The blue hue is calming while bright enough to help early morning bathers wake up, making this master bath a perfect transition space. Architect: Arch 11, Boulder, Colo. Builder: Hammerwell, Boulder

While a striking black-and-white ceiling adds drama to this kitchen and dining area, cheerful yellow walls add a welcome contrast and a spacious feel. Architect: Reader & Swartz Architects, Winchester, Va. Builder: Lodge Construction, Winchester

For those looking for subtler color options, this racing red Viking range adds visual interest to an otherwise neutral kitchen palate without hogging attention. Architect: James D. LaRue Architecture Design, Austin, Texas Builder: Shoberg Custom Homes, Austin

A vibrant back-lit panel adds energy to this bathroom vanity, while a switch in patterns above and below the sink lends texture and interest. Architect: Todd Walker/Scott Guidry, Memphis, Tenn. Builder: EB Construction, Memphis

Once a run-of-the-mill spec house, this home now sports an authentic minimalist interior, complete with a monochromatic palette throughout most of the design. Providing contrast to the white walls, cabinets, and glass accents, a dramatic two-story red glass stair enclosure lends a sculptural focal point. Architect: Arch 11, Boulder, Colo. Builder: Ellsworth Builders/Hammerwell, Boulder

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