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Neutral colors and hardwood floors have staying power in home decor

August 25, 2014

hardwood flooringFor a number of years, homeowners have been told to "go bold" when it comes to choosing house colors. Now, neutrals have made a comeback as the wall hues of choice. Like classic hickory wood floors in Anderson's Eagle Lodge collection, they have versatility and staying power that few brighter colors can claim.

Neutral colors continue to hold their own even in defiance of some of the latest trends in home design. For instance, painted cabinets in subdued dark colors alongside wood tones have gained popularity in recent years, but all-white kitchens never lost ground.

White isn't alone, however. Gray, touted as the favorite neutral for several seasons, as well as sandy beige and off-white are among consumers' current favorites.

Still, brighter hues are needed to give punch to an all-neutral color palette, if only as accents. Try brighter colors in a kitchen backsplash, for the base of a lamp in a bedroom or in a pile of pillows on a bed or sofa.

"There is also a trend toward subtle glamour - neutral palettes with dazzling details," Jase Frederick, spokesman for the American Society of Interior Designers' Illinois chapter, told CBS News.

Some bold hues remain
Like any trend, it may take a while for people who embraced brighter color schemes to change them back to something more traditional. While they may not choose to saturate their rooms in bright colors, they're likely to keep them in their design schemes along with neutrals.

Some bold colors are very versatile. Wine, a deep purple with undertones of dark brown, for instance, is a great accompaniment to wood floors and furniture. The same can be said of deep reds, periwinkle blue and violet. Yellow works well with green and camel in a nature-inspired color scheme.

However, 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, home decorators may end up with what she calls "a patchwork of opposite looks."

One way to include bold accents in a neutral room design is to use them where they're least expected, but will get some attention - for instance, 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.