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Mix of wood tones and colors have become a mainstay in home design

September 04, 2013

Hardwood FloorsWood floors and rich colors have been a good combination since the early days of home design. Even homes from colonial days complemented plank floors that resemble those in Anderson's Lincoln Plank collection with red, mustard yellow, blue and verdant green.

While many people still prefer not to saturate their rooms in bright hues, there are plenty of accent colors that can give a lift to a room along with traditional neutrals.

Sonu Mathew, senior interior designer for Benjamin Moore, believes consumers have often taken their lead from popular culture when it comes to choosing a more colorful path in room design. Shows like "Sex and the City" featured bold hues in apartments as well as fashions and may have led many home decorators to do the same.

"It got people excited about color, and that's what color is meant to do," she told the Los Angeles Daily News.

Resilient gray
Gray, another hue that was popular in colonial times, has been resurrected as a favorite neutral in recent years and mixes very well with natural wood tones. Accents of red or pink have also grown in popularity.

A new variety of reds are favored by many paint shoppers. As Jackie Jordan, Sherwin-Williams' director of color marketing, told the Daily News, the new variations are more subtle than their predecessors and go well beyond the stop sign red that was popular on exterior doors about a decade ago.

Colors like wine, a deep purple with undertones of dark brown, are another great accompaniment to hardwood flooring and furniture. The same can be said of deep reds, bright orange, periwinkle and violet blues. Yellow is a great complement to green, gold and camel.

A little restraint
HGTV designer Candace Olson added one caution for her viewers. She recommended choosing one category of hues - all jewel tones or light pastels - for a good flow from room to room. Otherwise, the overall decorating scheme can end up as what she called "a patchwork of opposite looks."

For those who are stepping gingerly around using bold tones, the experts suggest trying them in unexpected places - the inside of a bookcase or on the rear wall of glass-door kitchen cabinets. Soft furnishings such as slipcovers and window treatments are another way for homeowners to introduce a bright color if they don't want to commit to one on their walls.