Shades of Grey and Purple and Blue

New year, new you: how many times have we heard and tried to embrace this predictable January phrase? But this year, instead of attempting (and often failing) to change something about ourselves, how about changing our décor instead? A fresh coat of paint can go a long way to giving a room a completely new vibe, and there’s a whole world of exciting colours out there to help create the look that’s fun, friendly, funky and uniquely yours.

If you’re searching for the popular colours coming up in the New Year, think of everything galactic and otherworldly, from dark skies to cosmic pastels and intense and rich shades. Benjamin Moore recently named “Shadow” the colour of the year for 2017. “It’s a dark, greyish eggplant colour,” says Peter Doyle, owner of PKD Painting in Newmarket.

But if you’re not a fan of big colours on your walls and want something a little less noticeable, you can always fall back to the tried and true love of the past year. “Over the years, most of the trend has pointed towards the light and silvery greys,” says Doyle.

He says the popularity of all things grey co-incides with people choosing to move away from the long-standing use of beige and taupe. And, fortunately, by making the transition to grey, or “greige,” you can keep your current furniture colours without sacrificing the room’s overall style. “People are leaning more towards the lighter colours now, even white,” says Doyle, adding that the light shades pair especially well with the contemporary furniture, featuring silver metals or dark and light wood.

While you may think of white and grey as cold and boring or “institutional,” the popular shades nowadays are anything but, bringing warmth and life into your home in a variety of nuances. The greys in particular, with names such as “West Coast Grey,” “Grey Leaf” and “Starry Sky,” are all about subtlety and beauty. And they can look completely different depending on the light and time of day. Sometimes, the lighting actually gives the illusion of a statement wall, even where there isn’t one.

Of course, no one wants a house that’s completely grey from top to bottom, which is why “pops” of vibrant hues are a necessity for creating a house that’s warm, inviting and interesting. “If everything is all the same colour, there’s no real focus,” says Heather McGreachie, a designer at Color Town in Newmarket. Along with grey, McGreachie says to watch out for some other up-and-coming shades. “We’re seeing more jewel tones – purples and greens.”

Using these bold colours on only one wall is especially popular, creating an exciting look that stands out but doesn’t completely overwhelm the entire room. “It seems like people are afraid of colour, but you don’t have to be,” McGreachie says. Adding colour to a statement wall allows you to highlight an architectural feature, and draw the eye to a particular area of the room.

If you’re looking for splashes of colour in your furniture, throw cushions or other accents, she says turquoise continues to be a strong choice. “People are going for that coastal, beachy feel,” McGreachie explains.

And while neutral colour walls allow you to freely experiment with pops of colour in furniture and accents, the reverse is also true: if you go big and bold on your walls, you can try more muted and minimal furniture and cushions.

Whatever you decide to go with, don’t be afraid to experiment. In the end, it’s your personal living space, one that you need to love and embrace in order to make your house truly a home.

by Allison Dempsey & Charlotte Ottaway

Local Links

PKD Painting, Newmarket

Color Town, Newmarket

Estate Renovation Centre, Newmarket

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