Pantone named this hot red-orange hue its 2012 color of the year, and it's not hard to see why: This happy, rich shade instantly recharges a room and pairs well with dark, moody hues like blue-greens or indigo. Add it to an accent wall in a neutral room, like this contemporary dining space, for an instant shot of vibrancy. Design by Marie Burgos
Feel-Good Mustard Yellow
This smile-inducing shade is guaranteed to brighten your mood — and your living space. "This year's hues are cleaner, clearer colors," says Emily Morrow, Director of Color, Style and Design at Shaw Floors. "And they're colors that bring on a positive emotional and psychological response." Pair bursts of sunny yellow with classic black and white, or combine it with jewel tones like teal and burgundy.
Not just for the holiday season, this rich hue will look fresh all winter long. "Mix cranberry with metallics, or with shades like mocha and golden brown," recommends trend forecaster Stacy Garcia. The subtle shine of this patterned, nearly-neutral wallpaper lets this cranberry sofa take center stage. Image courtesy of Stacy Garcia
Go for Gold
On the runway and in the home, gold is the newest go-to base color. "Break the mold and use gold as your neutral. It makes a classic statement whether applied to decor, fashion or serving ware," says Vallerie Drorbaugh, Style Manager for the Foundary. Here, Secrets From a Stylist host Emily Henderson uses patterned gold wallpaper alongside gray and blue for a masculine, modern vibe.
If you can't imagine covering all four walls with gold, try a metallic accessory or two. "For a more reserved approach, invest in gold accent lamps and serving ware," says Vallerie Drorbaugh, Style Manager for the Foundary.
Get a Fresh Start With Celadon
This year, look for watercolor-inspired hues, like this room's celadon walls. The move towards relaxing, watery colors is "driven by our desire to create calm spaces and relaxing retreats from the outside world," says trend forecaster Stacy Garcia. "Our home becomes the new oasis."
Pantone gave this nearly-black blue a spot on its list of colors to watch in 2012. This deep hue plays the perfect backdrop for the season's boldest brights, like lively mustard yellow or the shocking pink of this room's playful pouf.
Our color team picked this electric shade as our December color of the month, and Pantone pinpointed a similar hue it's calling Bellflower in its Spring 2012 fashion report. Use small doses of this deep, bright hue alongside masculine grays like designer Bryan Patrick Flynn did here, or pair with frosty blues and metallics for a new take on a classic winter palette.
"Gray is still an important neutral, but look to camel as the new emerging neutral of 2012," says color forecaster Stacy Garcia. Here, designer Allison Jaffe uses rich camel as the backdrop for cool blues and Asian and Indian artifacts in this beach-chic living room.
No longer relegated to little girl's rooms, this sweet, sophisticated shade is cropping up everywhere from table decor to modern living rooms — it even made the cut as our January 2012 color of the month. "This is the evolution of beige," says trend forecaster Stacy Garcia. Use this kissed-by-color hue as a new neutral, alongside black, chocolate and camel, or emphasize its feminine qualities alongside fuchsia and cornflower blue as designer Jennifer Jones does here.
Teal is a trendy color that's easy to love. "It's easy on the eyes, yet bright enough to make a statement, and it works with male or female interior preferences," says Emily Morrow, Director of Color, Design and Style at Shaw Floors. "If you're brave, paint the walls. Teal is surprisingly versatile, and an accent wall is a quick project," says Vallerie Drorbaugh, Style Manager for the Foundary. The teal wall in this room by Emily Henderson is the perfect backdrop for the yellow-orange, red and green hues in the jumbo map.
Another fresh way to use teal: Pair it with complementary pinks, like the bright salmon hue of the plates and light fixture in this chic dining room by designer Beth Haley.