The New England winter palette that Mother Nature provides is based on snow: snow white, ice blue, cloud gray, deep conifer green. One way to avoid falling into a blue or stormy mood in the middle of these chilly hues is to redecorate a room or two – starting with the colors on the walls.
You won’t be alone. Every January, the design institutes and paint companies announce their color trends for the year. A major benefit of these predictions is that the combinations they present are pretty much guaranteed to look good together. If you’re uncertain about your own color sense, you can get good, free, online advice from real experts. – as long as you like their basic choices.
Last year, all the major designers chose a very muted pallet based on grays. (They must live in the South!) Surprisingly, this year’s prediction from the Paint Quality Institute is pretty much the same. There’s nothing wrong with it, of course. Come spring or summer, it will seem far less monochromatic, and perhaps a soothing relief from flowers and bright blue skies.
Also a surprise this year, the major paint manufacturers (our favorites, at least: Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore) have chosen to disagree with the institute and with each other. We think this is a good thing – it gives you more help for a wider range of hues. And keep in mind that you’re not tied to a particular paint brand even if you prefer their 2015 forecast. Though Sherwin-Williams may specify Coral Reef for their Color of the Year, you can find very similar hues in the Benjamin Moore lineup and from other paint manufacturers.
What does Benjamin Moore prefer for Color of the Year? Guildford Green, and you can be sure that Sherwin-Williams has similar hues.
Interestingly enough, Coral Reef and Guildford Green are almost complements on the color wheel, which means they will go well together. There’s certainly nothing wrong with using a palette of paints made by different companies. In other words, you can make up your personal palette from any sources you choose, which increases your choices immensely.
Looking beyond the hues, we see that both companies have matched the Paint Quality Institute this year when it comes to brightness. As with last year, the 2015 color trends focus on muted tones. Even Coral Reef, which most would say is “more colorful,” isn’t as bright and saturated as you might like to see in your house.
That’s where your own taste comes in. Take the forecasts and the colors of the year that appeal to you the most and then look at colors that are more brilliant, more muted, more pastel, more saturated. Or that you think are richer, brighter, darker, lighter – whichever words you prefer to use. After all, these are your walls!
Here’s a place to start looking on the Benjamin Moore website.
And here’s where to start with Sherwin-Williams.
Here at Home Partners, we also have extensive paint strip samplers that we’d be happy to share with you when you’re dreaming about more colorful inside colors to balance those chill winter hues outside.