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Finish and tone matter as much with color as with wood floors

March 30, 2014

Lincoln Plank Hardwood FlooringWhether you're choosing a vibrant warm color or a cool one that evokes peace and relaxation, its finish can influence the personality of the final product on your walls, ceilings and trim. That's also the case with the oak floors in Anderson's Lincoln Plank collection, which have an easy-care satin gloss over a variety of wood tones.

Along with new trends in colors, a range of finishes have been developed by paint manufacturers in recent years. Most people know about the basic levels of gloss - non-shiny flat, eggshell and glossy paints - but they should also ask the experts at their local paint shop about other paint types.

These include a matte finish that's midway between flat and eggshell and contains porcelain dust for easier cleaning. Likewise, pearly finishes fall between eggshell and semi-gloss, and stand up well in kitchens and other areas that retain moisture.

Broader selection of neutrals
Another trend is the introduction of neutral colors that go beyond basic beige. Oyster and taupe hues in the brown family and variations of gray with color tints are leading choices because of their versatility and ability to mix well with different wood tones.

Gray is now popular as a home design color for both exteriors and interiors. In addition, many softer hues have a touch of color added to a gray base, from silvery sage to delicate lilac. They can be warm or cool depending on the particular shade chosen, and give wall colors more depth than their simpler neutral relatives ever did.

"Walls that are painted gray are great backdrops for almost any style of decor, and gray is such a dignified color that it can elevate the appearance of even the most modest furnishings, " said Debbie Zimmer, the Paint Quality Institute's paint and color expert.

Toned-down accent shades
For a casual look in family or children's rooms, pure primary colors are being toned down in favor of hues that can go with a greater variety of accent shades and won't need to be changed as often as the child gets older, according to Zimmer. Deep navy, cranberry, maroon and hunter green are some examples.

Although green and blue remain perennial favorites, the color selected as Pantone Color Institute's 2014 hue of the year, Radiant Orchid, is a vibrant purple shade that will likely find many uses in room designs. This multi-faceted purple works well with red, lavender and pink.