Pops Of ‘Hopeful’ Brights Set Off Comfy Neutral Color Schemes

By Scarlett (Houston, Texas)

In today’s globally troubled times, neutrals remain popular, with pops of “hopeful” bright colors, say experts who forecast color popularity. Many designers say neutral color schemes are the home decorating equivalent of comfort food. In other words, there are so many stressful events taking place in society, people want to come home to relaxing atmospheres that let them forget their worries.

Neutrals ranging from rich gray to camel are “in” right now, especially for big-ticket items such as furniture and carpet. Hotter, trendier colors, including the chartreuse green that stormed clothing fashions in Fall 2009, are being used as accents. Neutrals are holding strong as monochromatic color schemes for home decorating, or as strong complementary colors for brighter hues. That means that cream rugs with vivid accents can serve as focal points to liven up neutral-colored rooms.

However, one color that seems to be on its way out is chocolate brown. Lighter versions such as mocha or caramel are taking its place. Add a touch of red to brown and you get cinnamon, another lighter shade that’s succeeding chocolate brown as a color trend.

Meanwhile, gray has gained enormous popularity as the go-to neutral. Everything from soft dove gray to rich charcoal gray to nearly-black hematite is being used in both monochromatic schemes and as an accent. Gray often is gaining metallic or pearlescent additions that add to its visual appeal.

The global environmental movement continues to make the color green popular in home décor. From fabulous drapery and upholstery fabrics to pillows and throws to green marbletop countertops, green seems certain to remain a strong favorite.

Another color backed by a strong emotional tie is blue. A soothing color, blue tends to make people think of stability, reliability and peace, as in someone with a “true blue” character. The simple color scheme of blue and white retains is status as a perennial favorite, but blue also is turning up paired with unexpected shades such as tan and camel. The combination appears in both transitional style and traditional rugs as a way to tie together a room with this color scheme.

Cause-related colors red and pink make people recall campaigns on behalf of curing breast cancer, heart disease or AIDS. However, these warm colors are still being used in home decorating for their ability to punch up monochrome schemes or convey a sense of romance. Black-and-white designs, often found in Contemporary décor, perk up with the addition of one or two red accents, while pink remains the choice for a girls’ room or a romantic bedroom. Heart-shaped pink rugs have been observed in some of the most romantic designs.

Speaking of black and white, this sophisticated combo has been popular with Europeans for years and has made its way across the ocean to America. However, on this side of the pond it’s more often sparked with vivid pops of color such as citrus orange, Chinese red or acid green.

Naturally with all these favorites, there are some colors that aren’t making home designers’ lists at the moment. Among these are sunny yellow shades, which are being edged out in American homes by a richer shade of gold. As mentioned earlier, orange can be found as an accent, but not as a dominant color for a room. In addition, the dark purples that got a boost from the Goth fashion style has lightening up to softer lavenders, where they’re being found as the basis for some striking bedroom schemes.

Fortunately, as with all trends, these too shall pass. If you have a color scheme that works best for you, use it no matter what Dame Fashion might decree!

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