2011 paint colour trends
Behr is calling this year's trend toward zesty, youthful colours "Tokyo Pop", and Sico's 2011 trend forecast describes this same palette as "fun and slightly childlike." Naturally, zingy hues like lime green are great for kids' rooms and playrooms. And it's not just for modern homes -- here it is in a character-rich room with high baseboards, distressed wide-plank floors and French doors for a totally fresh look. Shown: Pastis 6121-42 (walls), Sico.
Restful blues are perennially popular, but with the piles of shades to pick from, getting it right can be a tough call. "This year's take is a spa-like blue that gets updated thanks to a sophisticated grey," says Benjamin Moore's colour spokesperson Sharon Grech. Most often you see soft blue paint colours in a bedroom or bathroom, but it can be just as striking in a living room with a contrasting-colour ceiling. Shown: Smoke 2122-40 (walls), Benjamin Moore.
3 Fern green
Corals and aquas are on track to be hot this year, as is tropical green. This paint colour is just the thing to lift the spirits once the winter doldrums set in, and will make you feel like you're in Hawaii soon as the summer weather comes. And we're pleased to tell you this particularly hot hue comes from Beauti-Tone Paints' Style at Home Colour Collection. Shown: Fern SD019 (wall above window), Beauti-Tone Paints' Style at Home Colour Collection.
4 Soft Gray
Farrow & Ball is renowned for its richly pigmented paints and sublime colour palettes that are perfect for historic houses. But it rolls with the trends, too, and is naming grey as one of its key colour directions for this year. Its grey-based palette is relaxed and modern with a feeling of warmth. We've been painting furniture grey for a few years now, so a new place to use it is in hallways and accent doors for a look that's comfortable but super-chic. Shown: Elephant's Breath No.229 Modern Emulsion (walls), Railings No.31 Dead Flat (baseboard), Farrow & Ball.
5 Lemon yellow
Sico says that in 2011, consumers will have an increased desire to return to a more relaxed, meaningful and informal style of living. That means we'll want happy colours around us, like the bright tones of sunny yellow. This yellow is intense, so use it as an accent, such as a large circle on a wall, mirrored by the circular top of a retro tulip table. Shown: Slightly Sour 6097-42 (accent circle); Amazing White 6214-21 (wall), Sico.
6 Hot pink
There is no mistaking that this colour evokes dark pink peony flowers. A colour-savvy friend convinced me to paint my stairwell in Benjamin Moore's Peony Pink 2089-30 as a foil for the medium-dark parquet flooring I couldn't afford to replace. It was daring, but gorgeous and modern. Benjamin Moore is counting on a similar luscious pink shade, Royal Flush 2076-20 for 2011. "This berry-kissed colour can be grounded when combined with neutrals or fashionable greys, yet swings to the exotic when teamed with other brights," says Grech. Here, it's used on a bedroom accent wall. Shown: Royal Flush 2076-20 (accent wall), Benjamin Moore.
7 Dark teal
Watch just about any real-estate-hunting show and you'll notice a "man cave" is high on the list of male homebuyers' criteria. But what colour to paint such a space for a contemporary look? White doesn't seem to have enough gravitas. Behr Paints has come up with a palette that's influenced by rock 'n' roll, pop culture and retro styling for a distinctly masculine vibe. This look is built around the "new" forest green, a dark teal from the blue-green family that looks inviting on the walls of an entertainment space. Shown: Almost Famous T11-6 (walls), Backstage T11-8 (window trim).
8 Bohemian brown
Ethnic and folk patterns of all stripes are coming into vogue, but the trick will be to find a paint colour strong enough to counterbalance them, yet neutral enough to let them shine. Farrow & Ball is suggesting London Clay for use in a bedroom, used even on the trim and mouldings. No headboard? Paint one on inexpensively in a fabulous contrasting colour. Shown: London Clay No.244 Estate Emulsion (walls), Pale Powder No.204 Estate Emulsion (headboard).
Neutral colours that remind you of being outside -- such as timber browns, pebble grays, and earthy clays -- will be hot this year, predict the experts at Sico, a company that also happens to be Canadian. Here, a wall and an antique chest of drawers get the sand-and-stone inspired treatment.
Shown: Seashore Pebble 6230-31 (walls), Whitish Clay 6213-21 (drawers), Sico.