The key to using strong color without overdoing it is to balance the bold with neutrals — white, black, gray, beige, etc. Another decorator trick for balancing color is to use it more than once, picking up the bright wall color in a chair, or a rug, or even a ping pong paddle! Or if you're especially daring, you can balance saturation with more saturation — the ceiling in Image 9, for example, balances purple with a complementary saffron yellow.
Here is a roundup of inspiration from the Elle Decor online LookBook for adding some color to your neutral interior. What do you think is the best way to decorate with bright, bold colors?
Images: Red: Elle Decor, April 2010; Metropolitan Home, April 2008; Metropolitan Home, April 2008; Orange: Metropolitan Home, May 2009; Yellow: Metropolitan Home, December 2008; Green: Elle Decor; Metropolitan Home, November 2008; Blue: Metropolitan Home, October 2008; Purple: Metropolitan Home, July 2008; Black: Elle Decor, November 2002.