Colour Trends in Home Decorating: Should You Care?


At Courtney & Wise, we choose paint colours according to a number of different criteria, including the history of the building we're painting, the preferences of the owner, and sometimes the recommendations of professional colour consultants.

That doesn't mean we don't keep up on the trends. This year, for example, there's a move toward warmer colours. Even grey, the big favourite neutral colour for the past few years, is now showing up in warmer versions.

This year's neutrals are old golds and flesh tines: warm browns and beiges with peach and pink overtones. Yellow greens continue strongly, this year in combination with spicy pinks.

So should you give up all thought of a black and white colour scheme for your home this year?

There are reasons to pay attention to trends in decorating. Decorators change the colours they favour not only in order to give consumers a reasons to buy new things, but also to give our eyes something fresh to look at.

We get accustomed to certain colours, and we also associate them with certain time periods. Most of us have had the experience of visiting our gran's home and feeling like we've stepped back in time. You don't want to paint and decorate your home with colours that give that deja vu feeling.

In fact, your eye will become accustomed to the newer colours. Soon, the cool shades of previous years will seem cold and stark. Even if you don't keep up with trends intentionally, your eye will grow to expect that new warmth, and you'll feel that there's something a bit off about the colours that have fallen out of fashion. Without any conscious awareness, you'll feel less happy with colours that your mind associates with those earlier trends.

Another reason to pay attention to trends is that decorators and manufacturers worldwide use these trends in their design decisionmaking. That means that this year's favourite designer colours will be everywhere. The new table linens and bed covers, perfume bottles and candles -- all the little touches that you'll be seeing and loving this year in your favourite shops -- will be designed to look teriffic with the trendy colours.

If sharp, spicy colours are the rage this year and you've chosen to decorate in teal and mauve, the wonderful new design touches that you love in the store will look a bit off when you get them home. Even clothing may suffer from this effect, and soon your guests won't look as attractive in your home as they do in a more current room. Again, you may not have a conscious awareness of the reason, but it will affect how you feel.

At the same time, there's no need to be a slave to trends. You may love the look of a room in a magazine, but find the look enervating when it's in your home.

Before you commit to the latest look, check your wardrobe, your dishes, and the other objects you live with all day. If you don't choose greens and pinks in your regular purchases, you probably won't enjoy a house that's entirely done up in green and pink.

If you prefer blue and yellow, consider choosing one of the warmer, greener blues in this year's decorating palette, and pair it with an antique gold or a buttery yellow. Instead of teal and mauve, pair a rich teal with a spicy coral. Black and white are a classic, but consider a warmer white teamed with a charcoal grey or even a purple or green dark enough to look black at first glance, but still giving the richness and warmth that we're seeing in this year's trendy decor.

Professional painters and decorators can help you marry the trends with the heritage of your home and with your own tastes for a result you'll be proud to show off and happy to live with.