Find your style by experimenting with hues - East Valley Tribune: At Home

Find your style by experimenting with hues

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Posted: Saturday, March 10, 2007 5:04 pm | Updated: 7:18 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Color is one of the most powerful weapons in any home improvement arsenal. Painting a white wall blue or replacing your tan pillows and throws with green ones is a simple and affordable way to change the look of a room.

Color is one of the most powerful weapons in any home improvement arsenal.

Painting a white wall blue or replacing your tan pillows and throws with green ones is a simple and affordable way to change the look of a room (view the slideshow).

Each year the color professionals — interior designers and paint company representatives — make their predications for what colors will resonate most with homeowners.

This year is going to be about two opposite approaches to color, according to those experts — those looking for a Zen-like home full of natural colors and textures and those looking to make a statement with contrasting hues that make you stop and take notice.

The latter is about stark contrasts — like the black and white palettes that have been popular in fashion during the past season. Adding bright accents of saturated colors such as fuschia and blue to an otherwise neutral palette will add interest to rooms this year.

Homeowners have become more “color confident” over the last decade and are no longer shying away from such statements, says Debbie Zimmer, color and decorating expert for the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute and member of the Color Marketing Group, due in most part to the popularity of home improvement television.

Such shows have “visualized for a lot of people the impact color can have on a space,” she says. “People have been educated about color and inspired to try some of these paints in their own space.”

As homeowners become more comfortable with color, they’ll also experiment with using it in unusual spaces, she says.

“People look at the ceiling as the fifth wall and paint it an unexpected color,” she says, adding, “I think the powder room is a great place to try something more bold.”

While some will be looking to make a statement that screams color, others will gravitate toward hues that whisper comfort.

Doty Horn, director of color and design for Benjamin Moore, says many of the trends reflected in color will focus on nature.

“The whole eco thing has gone mainstream,” says Horn.

New paints and predicted frontrunners by other paint companies support her claim. One of the “hot colors” by Behr is called aAsparagus. Pratt & Lambert is predicting that its palette, Inspired Organics, will resonate with homeowners with a color grouping that includes hues such as Koala and Anamite — both shades of tan — and Misty Moors, a deep gray blue.

“People want to get away from the technical and the ever- changing,” says Horn. “They want to escape to their homes. The colors are back to nature, human-oriented.

“The same thing happened at the beginning of last century. You had this change to automation, and the result was the arts and crafts movement.”

Zimmer agrees that a move “back to nature” will be popular in color choices. She says that the sheen as well as the hue of paint will be part of this look. For example, the translucent glass tiles that are popular for bathrooms and kitchens will coordinate well with paint that has a glossier sheen.

“When you talk about sheen now,” she says, “it’s not just from a durability standpoint.” Zimmer says brown tones will continue to be popular, and shades of blue and green that can be found in natural elements — such as leaves and water — will be seen as part of this trend. “If you paint the room and it’s not the color you envisioned, you can change it pretty easy with relatively little expense,” says Zimmer. “At the end of the day, color and color use is a very personal decision.”

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