Crazy About Color

Men laying new hardwood flooring

The home is your sanctuary, the most important place in the world, and you should love living in it. Incorporating trend colors is a great way to do just that because, “they breathe new life and vitality into a home, making it a more inspiring and a happier place to live,” says Lisa Finnin-Ciccoli of IKEA.

In 2008 there’s a wide array of color families taking center stage, with a hue to suit everyone’s style personality. Choose from the color options you love, grab a paintbrush and get ready to freshen up your spaces.

Perfect harmony

Colors are ideal for: dining room, living room, bedroom. Photo courtesy of IKEA

The black and white trend is proving that ebony and ivory really do live together in perfect harmony. “The black and white combination is striking, clean and simple,” says Debbie Zimmer of The Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute.

Black and  white is a timeless combination that not only makes a statement on its own but also provides the perfect backdrop for virtually any color. “It’s hard to make a mistake with black and white,” says Edward Tashjian, vice president of marketing for Century Furniture.  “It’s classic, stylish and versatile. It doesn’t limit your options. You can have fun with it.”

Rich and warm

Photo courtesy of Century Furniture

“Bold colors from around the world, animal prints and decorative embellishments serve as the inspiration for this ’08 trend,” says Becky Ralich Spak, senior designer for Sherwin-Williams. Colors such as rich cranberry reds, deep eggplant plums, vibrant pumpkin oranges and sunny golden yellows will top the list according to Bruce Ekstrand of C2 Color.

Code of Color

Whether you prefer vivid or muted, bright or white, the following tips will help you integrate color into your home:

• Choose colors based on the mood you want your home to convey. For example, yellow can be energizing, while blue can be soothing.

• Match colors based on a theme. When paired with Aspen green, blues and browns create an outdoorsy feel. Yellow, orange and aquamarine can inspire a tropical, Caribbean atmosphere.

• Break out your color wheel. Color palettes work well when they include complementary colors. Two examples—green and purple or blue and orange. If those color combinations are too bold for your taste, try muted, lighter shades of paint or incorporate a splash of color with accessories.

Source: Matt Czach, color expert, Whirlpool Institute of Fabric Science

Neutral and natural

Colors are ideal for: family room, kitchen, bedroom. Photo courtesy of Century Furniture

Think eco-friendly. “This trend is about the never-ending quest to bring the outdoors in,” says Doty Horn, director of color and design at Benjamin Moore & Co. Colors include off-whites, sandy linens, brownish greens and deep chocolates, all reminiscent of earthy elements. “A well-dressed home includes soft, pale neutrals and sensible, grounded hues,” Ralich Spak says.

Furniture and decorative items in this trend look more like what they are actually made of, with a lot of texture and natural imperfections showing through. “All things natural are seriously fashionable right now,” adds Jan Jessup of Calico Corners.

Fabric Forecast

Plan to see four fabric fashions happening to furniture in 2008.

1. Masculinity Madness. “The same fabrics you might see on a well-dressed man also make for a well-dressed room,” says Anne Hood, vice president of upholstery fashion for Century Furniture.

2. Shiny Sophistication. “Shimmery, specialized finishes are really hot,” says Jan Jessup of Calico Corners. Metallics are warming up in 2008, Jessup adds. Look for coppery, bronze tones to prevail.

3. Updated Old School. Take supple leather and lavish fabrics and spice things up with fringes, tassels, trimmings and plenty of pillows.

4. Eastern Inspirations. All things Asian are in vogue. Bamboo will be at the forefront of this furniture trend.


Glorious gray

Photo courtesy of Century Furniture

Gray is in because it is the non-trend trend—a color that is timeless and evokes feelings of glamour and sophistication in a more subtle way than that of black and white. “In the past, the color gray has been mostly associated with masculine, contemporary and urban decor. But there is a softer side to this versatile hue that can take a room from so-so to sensational,” says Donna Talley of Calico Corners. Mixing silver grays and using fabrics such as silk and linen in a wide range of gray tones—from platinum and pearl to rich hues of charcoal and slate creates a soft and elegant look.

Color encouragement 
“Be brave not beige,” Finnin-Ciccoli says. Add an accent wall if you’re afraid to paint the whole room, or jazz up your sofa with colorful throw pillows. Incorporating a little color into your life is a fun, easy and foolproof way to create a home that is uniquely you and enjoyable to live in every day.

Expert Tip

If you are not sure where to begin when choosing color for your home, look towards the clothing you choose—typically, we wear the color(s) we like best.
— Debbie Zimmer, The Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute
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