February 16, 2014
Gray has been the reigning favorite in neutral home colors for a couple of seasons, and that's still the case for 2014, according to the Paint Quality Institute. It's the ideal backdrop for a range of decorating styles, hardwood floors like those in Anderson's Eagle Lodge collection and a variety of accent colors.
"Gray is such a dignified color that it can elevate the appearance of even the most modest furnishings," said Debbie Zimmer, the institute's paint and color expert.
The emergence of blue and green and combinations of the two are continuing strong this year as well, but a bold accent color - mustard yellow - is also pushing forward as a favorite home design hue.
"[Mustard's] influence is growing in both fashion and home furnishing fabrics," said Zimmer. "We also expect to see more use of the color on walls - if not for entire rooms, then at least on accent walls."
Plenty of choices
Using warm and cool colors as a gauge, home decorators can also find their inspiration for a new palette that's in step with the current color trends. Warm colors can create an atmosphere that's as vibrant as fire engine red or as soft as pastel yellow. Cool colors, straight out of the seashore and pastoral settings, evoke a sense of peace and relaxation.
In recent years, interior designers have stepped up their use of oyster hues to replace the more traditional beiges in the neutral zone. But the Paint Quality Institute also projects that white and off-white are seeing a resurgence, because they are a good complement to wood floors, coordinate well with any color and help make small rooms look more spacious.
For dens, family play spaces or children's rooms, there are versions of green or blue that are toned down from pure primary colors but retain a vibrancy suited to the casual nature of these rooms.
Home decorators who want to choose trend-setting colors for casual spaces that have long-lasting appeal should focus on the greens that appear in great variety within nature - trees, ferns, asparagus, celery, lime and mint. The same is true for blue, from robin's egg to the blue-gray tone in slate.
The finish of a paint is just as important as the color. In addition to traditional finishes of non-shiny flat, eggshell and glossy paints, there are pearly finishes and a matte look that's a midway point between flat and eggshell and contains porcelain dust for easier cleaning.