Colour Trends for 2011: Lighten Your Mood with a Bright Paint Palette

Behr's colour marketing director unveils an edgy new paint palette for 2011

The Tokyo Pop palette from Behr will instantly brighten a bedroom

Erica Woelfel
, colour marketing director for Behr Paint, answers five questions about its bold and bright paint palette for 2011

1. The four new colour trend themes – Boudoir Goth, Rock ’n Rolla, Tokyo Pop and Danish Twist – bring strong visuals to mind. These seem to really play on moods or tap into today’s culture. Is that the case? 

Public response to the economy plays a role in Behr’s colour selections for 2011. Cocooning – staying home – is still a very strong trend. People are looking for clever and thrifty ways to make updates and changes at home. Our new palette is a combination of optimistic and familiar colours that people can use to express creativity and individuality. 

2. It’s clear that the new paint themes are meant to inject plenty of personality into a room. But they also sound intimidating. How can we use them with confidence? 

Paint can transform more than just walls. With a short amount of time, money and effort, one can redress an old piece of furniture, kitchen cabinets, even floors and countertops. Colour can even go on the ceiling to bring creative energy to a room. 

The best strategy for colour is to test, test, test the new colour in the space where it will be used. Light tones and neutral hues work well as overall backgrounds. Brighter colours are terrific for accent walls, painted furniture, or to draw attention to a certain part of the room, say, behind a sofa. 

3. We don’t see too many pale neutrals in the new palette. Is that deliberate? 

Off-whites and pale neutrals have been best-selling paint colours for several years. Our newest additions are in the Danish Twist palette with Æbleskiver and Lucky Potato. These colours act as calming backgrounds for bolder blues and greens, which are more trend directional.

4. Paint names are always imaginative. Where did you get inspiration for names like Strike a Pose and Fretwire? 

Names play a big role in helping define a colour. The Behr colour team wanted to infuse a sense of whimsy and humour into the 2011 colour names. We believe it makes them more memorable and helps relate to the style theme. 

5. What’s your favourite colour in the new 
palette, and how would you use it? 

I am a big fan of purple, and especially the new purples in this collection! Harajuku Girl from Tokyo Pop is one of my favourites. It feels fun and youthful when used with other bright colours. It is also a great accent for contemporary rooms where there might be an abundance of light, white upholstered furnishings, light-coloured wood, silver metallic details or black design elements. In smaller spaces, I would layer it with other purples – plums, lilac and magenta – to create a seductive, almost magical mood.

Originally published in BC Home magazine. For monthly updates, subscribe to the free BC Home e-newsletter, or purchase a subscription to the bi-monthly magazine.