The Season’s top color trends are at first glance “all over the board” (politely said), or “off the wall” (more boldy phrased).

Upon closer look, though, here is what you’ll find — paint colors with a known quality of the past, but with a new twist.  Visualize the color “Montana Sky”, or “Frog Belly”.  Immediate concept, but with a fresh feel as displayed within the echo Color Trend by Pratt & Lambert.


(Image Source Pratt & Lambert)

Behr refers to the Color Trend for 2012 as “Set Your Sights on Fiery Orange” and one of their groupings is “Retro Recall”, and Behr Paints is not alone in the return to the 70’s.  Pratt & Lambert and Sherwin Williams show high impact in their color choices for the year.

So… What to do?  What is “it”, what’s “right”?  The question goes back to the inquirer — what is “home” — is it a sanctuary, a retreat with relaxed surroundings?  Or is home expressive, restyled… perhaps instinctive with an environmental twist?

Many of today’s colors reflect that desire for simplicity’s balance with colors grounded in earthtones.  (Grey, by the way, is the new “neutral”.)  Could this reflect what your space needs?  Whatever the direction the important first step is to “define the space”.  Once you identify your space as:

a sanctuary with a relaxed and restful feel, or
an entertaining and a colorful space, or
a high impact and dramatic space.

Now choosing colors will come easier.  Paint companies group colors accordingly, but this year Sherwin Williams has come out with goupings that offer a real plus – ANY color in their “board” of choice will coordinate with others on the board. [learn more about HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams]

(image source: Sherwin Williams)

The next step is to look at the furnishings of the space to achieve that coordinated overall feel. 

One of the best combinations for that “Coordinated Look” is to think 60 – 30 -10

  • 60% of color in the walls
  • 30% of color in the furniture
  • 10% of color in the accessories

Don’t overlook fabrics and textures as well as accessories.  Take a look at the artwork you want to display with the room.  A background color from a particular piece could be great inspiration for wall colors.

Lastly, create that color flow from room to room.  Change up the percentage so the 30% in the first room becomes 60% in an adjoining space; accents become more bold as they re-appear.  Colors will draw the eye from space to space again, creating a unified look.

Start small if desired — certainly paint a 2 x 2 board from a quart of that “I THINK THIS IS RIGHT” color and move the board around the room.  One room at a time.  Spring is coming… time is on your side!