Perk Up Your Palette

Want to give a room a makeover or revive a tired spot? Try out these fresh color combos for results worthy of House Beautiful.

Current Trends

It’s a fact that trends in fashion and home décor reach (and catch on in) the Midwest more slowly than on the coasts—which means Midwesterners are typically safer in their home décor choices. Most customers at Hallman Lindsay Paints are still embracing tamer paint colors like earth tones and neutrals, says manager Nancy Stilwell. However, she says that people are more open to color now than ever before—which might include doing three walls in gray or beige and then doing an accent wall in a brighter complementary color.
“We’re also seeing purples, teals, yellows, greens—so some of the brighter colors are coming back,” says Stilwell.

Barry Avery of Fontaine says that in larger markets, jewel tones are au courant. Ruby, azure, magneta, emerald and sapphire mixed with metallics are the cutting-edge in home décor.

“[Those colors] are hot in fashion and in interiors—people are looking for that bling factor,” he says.

As a contrasting, yet equally fashionable trend, both experts say that softer, spa-like colors are key right now: sea blues, champagne, sage greens and dusty lavender are being used for a relaxing effect.

Room Routine

So, what colors to choose for which room? To simplify very generally, colors are divided in warm or cool tones; cool colors include blues, purples and greens, and warm colors include oranges, reds and yellows. Stilwell suggests using cooler colors in rooms that are used for relaxation like the bedroom or bathroom (if you like taking baths) and warmer, energetic colors for sitting and eating areas.

Avery says he’s seeing soft, romantic colors for bedrooms like champagne, dusty rose, blues and greens.

A popular universal choice for any room right now is gray: “Gray is like a chameleon depending on the light—it can take on different hues,” says Avery.

Combos to Try

NOT SO NEUTRAL (Photo: top combination)
“There are still the old standby [colors], but … it’s darker for the basic, neutral colors: people are [using] sage or dusty green, purple or lavender with darker beige,” says Stilwell.
TRY: Chaseburg, Fond du Lac and Purple Mountain paints by Hallman Lindsay.

STANDOUT AND STYLISH (Photo: second combination)
“People are looking for colors they can live with for a longer period of time versus five or six years ago,” says Avery. Try classic colors like black, white, red and gray with a nod to men’s suiting—mixed together in unconventional, beautiful fabrics and paint colors.
TRY: Clarke & Clarke

“Flamma” zig-zag print viscose/polyester, Summer Hill Ltd. “Domino” houndstooth cotton, Donghia “Covet” gray
cotton velvet and Ralph L
auren “Nigel Dressage” red mohair pile.

BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL (Photo: third combination)
“Royal blue, magenta and platinum mixed with crisp, shiny white accents is a room made for success,” says Avery.
TRY: Nobilis “Shimoga” magenta silk, Schumacher “Imperial Trellis II” ivory/navy linen, Blissliving Home platinum pillow and Benjamin Moore Patriot Blue paint.

TERRIFIC TRIO (Photo: fourth combination)
“Khaki, chartreuse green and chocolate brown is beginning to stand the test of time—even though it’s been popular for two or three years now,” says Avery.
TRY: Highland Court “Diogi” green houndstooth cotton/polyamide, Brookline Beige, Sweet Vibrations and Hasbrouck Brown paints all by Benjamin Moore.

FRESH AND CLEAN (Photo: bottom combination)
“Champagne, azure, vanilla and mushroom are a great combo. It’s spa-like, and so beautiful,” says Avery.
TRY: Manuel Canovas “Mazare” striped viscose/cotton, Philadelphia Cream, Driftwood, Bird’s Egg and Tranquil Blue paints all by Benjamin Moore.

Shayna Miller is associate and style editor of Madison Magazine.

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