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Look To ‘Grayed-Down’ Tones Among Popular Color Trends For 2013

Neutrals and rich colors seem to be the trend for 2013.

Aloe. Lemon Sorbet. Prairie Sand. Grayed Jade. Monaco Blue. The names alone are enough to cause a soul to sigh with satisfaction, and these are just a few of the colors selected by top paint companies as the 2013 Colors of the Year.

Sherwin Williams’ “Aloe” is a pastel green with just a hint of mint, meant to echo the feeling of a spa. When paired with black, gray, and/or white, this gentle green means to create a soothing environment. Throw in an accent of bright coral or chartreuse, though, and the same green throws off its shy persona.

Pantone picks Monaco Blue, a dense blue that pairs well with its number two color, Dusk Blue, a more skylike tone. Two of Pantone’s greens take third and fourth place as color picks for this year: richly hued Emerald, and the softened Grayed Jade.

Pantone suggests paint themes for this year, as do many other paint companies. “Surface” features ocean tones of plums and olive greens. Warm but zesty colors like Cinnamon and Baked Clay are found in the “Extracts” palate, while “Rugged Individual” colors suggest sunsets and seaside ports.

Chinchilla, Ethereal Gray, and Jasper Teal are in Pantone’s “Glamour” collection, and look for the popular neutrals under “Connoisseur,” where warm violets dominate.

Soft violets and grays fill the Martha Stewart “Sophisticated Neutrals” panel, while deep red, gold, jewel tones of blue, and mineral greens fall into the “Rich Shades” category.

Nature-inspired colors like Forest Green, Pine Cone, Taupe, and Berry Red are among the colors touted this year by Behr Paint, with startling accents of bright blue popping out from those more neutral colors.

Benjamin Moore Paints chooses Lemon Sorbet as its 2013 Color of the Year, pairing it with mint, coral, pink, blue, and violet. Like Pantone, Benjamin Moore suggests several color themes for homeowners seeking to create a particular mood.

Gray-toned green, deep blue, and reddish browns are the earthy colors in the “Artisan” panel, or look for contrasting colors like cool green and rich gold, or dark blue and a cinnamon brown for the “Urbanite” look.

“New Traditional” suggests bold colors and patterns, marrying navy blue with gold or mauve, for example.

 

Feelings Of Summer

Longing to recreate the relaxed feeling of summer vacation at the beach? Choose from “Coastal” selections, like hazy tones of blue and greens and the very palest of yellows.

“People in Newtown still love the historical colors,” said Ann Cote, who along with Linda Rotante is happy to advise shoppers at the Color Center of Newtown, on Queen Street, which sells Benjamin Moore paints. Colors like Monroe Bisque combined with a Hale Navy accent give that historical look a contemporary facelift.

Those are the colors with a green or yellow background, and that are “grayed down” a little, said Ms Cote. It is the depth of colors in the historical color collection that attracts homeowners. “People love the Nantucket Gray, which is actually a green,” Ms Cote said, and any of the taupe colors are popular this year.

“Grays are big this year, but it can be hard to find a straight gray,” cautioned Ms Cote. Most of the grays people select tend to have blue or purple in them, which is not necessarily a problem, unless other items in the room would be at odds with tones of blue. For a true gray color, it is necessary to go with a more deeply colored gray.

“With all color shopping, we ask people what else is in the room he or she is painting, and try to find out the style they are aiming for,” Ms Cote said. With more than ten years of experience each in the Color Center, both Ms Cote and Ms Rotante are able to guide shoppers as to paint selection, and are happy to devote as much time as needed for customers to walk out with the perfect color.

Benjamin Moore may have chosen Lemon Sorbet as the Color of the Year, but customers at the Color Center are not buying yellows, said Ms Rotante and Ms Cote.

“Yellows are very, very hard to choose, because they come out so bright. I haven’t seen a lot of people using any of the yellows this year,” Ms Cote said. Dining rooms, dens, living rooms, and even bedrooms are leaning to navy blue hues this year, in the Newtown market.

Other important colors for 2013, said Ms Cote, are the spa colors, such as the blue-green grays of Healing Aloe or Quiet Moment. The earthy Dried Parsley, Spring Bud, and Woodland Green contribute to that same calming palate favored by many women now for bedrooms, she said.

What customers are not flocking to this year as they have for the past decade is faux finishing, said the color specialists. “Nobody is sponging, ragging, or graining finishes this year,” Ms Cote said, except in instances where a base coat is overlayed with a metallic glaze of similar color using those techniques. The result is a very subtle, modern look.

 

Accent Walls Complement

Customers still like the idea of an accent wall, in which a different, usually brighter color is used on one wall. This technique works best in a larger room, Ms Cote said, behind a headboard or around a fireplace. This year, though, the accent wall is apt to be less of a contrast.

There is something else new afoot with the contrast wall this year, as well, said Cheryl Mizak of Alcher Interiors in Southbury. The focus wall is showing up in wallpaper.

“Wallpaper is picking up in interior decorating,” said Ms Mizak, who has followed many trends over the 24 years she has owned Alcher Interiors, “and it has changed.” Colors have been redone for today’s tastes, and the look is more stylized. While wallpapers do not tend to follow color trends, patterns do change.

In 2013, customers are seeking texture and geometric prints, with an ethnic influence. “People are attracted to the Moroccan-type geometrics, in particular,” said Ms Mizak, which showcase bursts of orange or red. Wallpapers with colors or subtle geometric patterns woven into them are the “new” natural papers, she said, or papers with mica embedded in it for those who do not fear a touch of bling in their decorating.

Generally, people are looking to muted gem colors, like a citron or grayed down purple, whether in wallpaper or paint colors. “They are taking the seaglass colors and bumping it up a bit,” Ms Mizak said of the hues of greens and blues that are now attractive.

She advises clients to select fabrics for furniture, carpets, or drapes before settling on a paint color. Fabric colors cannot be tweaked, she pointed out, whereas paint color is far more flexible.

 

A Touch Of Metallic

Texture is desirable in paint as well as in wallpaper, but like Ms Rotante and Ms Cole, she noted that sponging and ragging techniques are mostly a thing of the past. Plaster finishes remain popular, however, as are multiple layer finishes with a touch of metallic.

The one place Ms Mizak is seeing the bright colors surface is in the kitchen. “Kitchens are bright and sassy,” she said, and this is where the reds and yellows are showing up.

“I do encourage people to dabble in color, because it’s fun,” said Ms Mizak, but cautioned that people should not make the mistake of going with a color “just because that’s what they’re doing this year.”

She has seen numerous instances where people paint the trendy colors, only to discover they are not comfortable in the finished room. There is a reason for that, even if the painter is unable to put a finger on it.

“If you don’t use colors that are complementary to your skin tones, you’ll hate it,” she commented. “Rely on your instincts. You have to be happy to be comfortable,” said Ms Mizak.

A little professional guidance can go a long way, she pointed out, whether selecting fabrics, wall coverings, or paint colors. “It can be that added confidence boost, and we’re always here to help,” she said.

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