Home Colour Trends for 2010

Shades of grey may be in this year's colour palette, but they're accented by rich art-deco inspired hues

Credit: Photo courtesy of PPG Pittsburgh Paints

The Pink City palette from PPG Pittsburgh Paints vibrates with the very pulse of life and the spirit of adventure

The new neutral – grey – is punctuated with bold hues that evoke a sense of luxury and adventure

“Not only are colour trends a reflection of the modern world, but colours also reflect how people are feeling, which is a response to what’s happening around them,” says Nancy Bollefer, Canadian marketing manager for Behr.

So does that mean that in these times of woe our living rooms must be as bleak as our prospects may seem?

Not at all, says Bollefer. “One may have a propensity to believe the economic climate has driven people to select safer design and colour choices. But [paint] is a relatively inexpensive design purchase that allows consumers to infuse colours easily and economically.” Colours like those in Behr’s new Dark Glamour palette – an art deco-inspired take on industrial style with peacock blues, ruby reds, cashmere whites and black accents – are richly hued examples of how homeowners are bringing that much-desired sense of luxury into their homes. 

Behr’s new hues for 2010 have all been introduced in the brand’s new Premium Plus Ultra line – a combo of paint and primer. The first coat of the time-saving, low-VOC paint acts as a primer, and the second functions as the topcoat for a nice sheen, says Bollefer. “It’s especially great for working with reds, which often require an extra coat or two to get ‘hide,’ or coverage, so they’re not translucent.”

Shades of Grey Paint

But that’s not to say neutral colours will be standing on the sidelines.

“Grey is super important this year,” says Dee Schlotter, brand manager of colour for PPG Pittsburgh Paints. Of the company’s 20 colour introductions for 2010, five are greys – a prevalence Schlotter attributes to the colour being both a mirror of the modern world and a reaction to it.

“Grey is a serious colour and reflects the world, but grey can also convey silence and space.” The new Canvas palette features cool greys that are quieting, which balance the “chatter” in the world, says Schlotter, and warm greys that convey a sense of space. 

The New Neutrals

Far from dull, neutrals create a sense of harmony and peace. “More often than not, people are fairly conservative when it comes to choosing colours,” says Davis Kyle, VP of sales and marketing for General Paint. And in recognition of that, two of General Paint’s four new palettes cater to that sought-after sense of safety.

Fresh Revolution is a collection of blue- and green-based greys – “new neutrals” – that 
combat the busyness of modern life with a sense of quiet and refuge, explains Kyle. Meanwhile, Glocal Mix is a palette of heritage colours that are warm, inviting and somewhat familiar. This palette, says Kyle, is reminiscent of handmade objects, artisan crafts and a time when life was simpler.

But Sharon Grech, colour expert for Benjamin Moore, agrees that while we’re sure to see plenty of grey-toned neutrals this year, consumers are more comfortable using accent colours – such as Benjamin Moore’s new Cedar Green, a fresh, less-citrusy take on a Kelly green, or the regal blues and purples that populate the new Simple Indulgences palette. “Adding metallic touches into a space adds a bit of luxury,” says Grech.

As well, Grech predicts playfulness in how homeowners will use those colours. An emerging trend is toward monochromatic schemes – particularly purples and violets. “We tend to think of monochromatic as just shades of grey but we’re seeing all reds in variations of reds, or all blues in variations of blues.” Patterns are also on their way back in, with graphics on the wall, barcode and flamestitch patterns, and wall details like lettering, words and even poetry. Says Grech, “You can define an area with colour without going wall to wall.”

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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.