How Do I Bring Color into My Living Room?

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Q: I live in a practical but uncharming 70s house. It's great, since it provides much needed space for small and big kids, but we have been living here for a year and now I'm itching for color. The current interior is mostly wood (including more than a few things from IKEA :), with a white dining table and chairs, and a black leather sofa. And yes, there is beige/brown wall to wall carpet. Should I plan to paint just one wall, or the whole space? Punchy or sophisticated color?

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.