Hot New Paint Palette Trends for Your Home

Colour your home with leafy greens, icy greys and juicy citruses

Credit: Terry Guscott

Terry Guscott

Creamy colours that look good enough to eat make a hot pick for your paint palette

Are you ready for a new era of colour? This year’s paint palettes have tossed neutrals out and invited bold, adventurous colours in

Paint palette trends for 2011 include a smorgasbord of appetizing hues from candied apple to lemon tart.

neutrals are no longer the mainstay of home 
interiors, and designers have stopped 
tiptoeing around the colour wheel. Instead, they’ve unveiled an array of adventurous colours. Old is new again. So think 1950s sophistication with a distinctly modern twist.

This year’s paint palettes are fresh, zingy and there’s sure to be something for every taste.

Get Your Leafy Greens

Green is still a hot hue, and this year’s highlights are more playful than simply reflective of our ecological obsession. One example is Sico’s Pastis, a lively lime green that’s ideal for kids’ bedrooms instead of the typical pink and blue standbys. At the other end of the spectrum is Farrow & Ball’s Arsenic green, reminiscent of verdigris. It has a theatrical feel, especially when matched with graphite grey. 

Trend Tips: With warmer, yellow-based greens, go for an arts-and-crafts or bohemian vibe (think details like beading and embroidery and dashes of leather) for a fresh look. Get into the retro groove by pairing mint green and coral, punctuated with crisp white accessories and furniture.

Punchy Blues

Always popular, this season’s blues are eye-catching, courageous and leaning more toward aqua than navy. Wrap the walls in Peacock’s Plume from CIL to give a room flamboyant flair. Lucerne, from Benjamin Moore’s Spirited palette, promises to be a joyful antidote to stress and looks especially fresh when popped with grey, black and white.

Trend Tip: Blues in all hues are all the rage. Don’t be afraid to team up bright turquoises, ultra marines and denims with clay-toned neutrals, deep violets, grey and bright greens.

It’s Time for Wine

If you’re looking for the “it” colours of 2011, you’ll need to give a huge nod to all shades of purple. This intriguing colour, which includes Benjamin Moore’s regal Royal Flush and PARA’s Garden Plum, can both soothe and excite the mood of a room. Since it’s created from a strong, warm colour (red) and a strong, cool colour (blue), it’s incredibly versatile.

Purple isn’t the only standout of the season. Berry-based fuchsias and rich reds, like Blood Rose from Behr, will evoke a feeling of glamour or romance, depending on your style.

Trend Tips: Combine rich, deep purple with neutrals (including grey) for elegance that’s not overpowering. Or be brave and splash a vibrant purple on the wall for an invigorating backdrop.

Juicy Citruses and Icy Greys

Grey is this year’s go-to neutral, and colours vary from CIL’s Crystal Glimmer, an elegant, hint-of-ice hue, to Farrow & Ball’s Plummett, a warm mid-tone grey.

Looking for some cheer? Sico’s Slightly Sour is a sunny yellow that reflects a more relaxed mood and a return to the informal. CIL has declared Lime Twist – a lemon-lime chiffon hue – its colour of the year. Also in the citrus family (and another sure sign that colour is back) is Farrow & Ball’s introduction of Charlotte’s Locks, a fiery orange that pays homage to 1950s style, especially when used as a bold accent and accompanied by 
minimalist decor.

Trend Tips: Orange is a dominant colour, so strike a balance by anchoring it with greys, dark browns and whites. This year’s pale yellows are natural fits with berry violets and turquoise blues. 

Pick a Palette

It’s official: The one-colour approach to painting has 
been shelved. Our bolder tastes favour a more 
complex palette of hues that clash and complement.

Ice-Creamy Colours

Ready for some unadulterated fun in 
your home? The Dazzling palette from Sico is exactly as the name suggests. 
Five colours from this collection are represented, highlighting how high-energy hues can contrast harmoniously, with a bit of careful consideration. 
Use them as innovative accents (turn 
that colour block into a circle!) on a neutral backdrop. This look is imaginative, so deviate from the serious choices and have some fun. 

Trend Tips: Consider unconventional combos like Red Candy and Pastis, accented with cocoa brown. And instead of reserving the bold and the beautiful for walls, use these colours on ceilings and trim areas for a more dramatic effect.

Sophisticated Sample Platter

Pittsburgh Paint’s Glamour palette is essentially neutral, but each colour was inspired by sophisticated elements, like gold, crystal, marble and limestone. Rum Runner is a rich red that provides a confident contrast to a collection enhanced by textural elements, like metals and stone.

Trend Tip: Rather than use red as an accent, be daring and bring this rich colour to centre stage and let the neutrals be supporting players.

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.