Hollywood GlamourBy Jennifer Haupt
Living rooms are where the stories of our lives are, well, lived, and the easiest way to revise those stories is with color. "Bringing updated color into your decor is all about adding that unexpected 'aha' with an accent wall or cushions, rugs and other accessories," says Leatrice Eiseman, director and color forecaster of the Pantone Color Institute, an industry leader in color trends. Inject new life into your living room — and your life — with these five color trends.
"Vintage Hollywood glam was decedent, with lots of gold, crystal and metallic lacquers," says Los Angeles-based designer Felicia Bushman. "Now, we're adding more contemporary elements such as textured wallpaper with metal threading instead of shimmery paint."
According to Bushman, a little glamour goes a long way: a crystal chandelier over the dining room table or an ornate gilded mirror over the fireplace mantel can transform a room. The colors are muted and more restrained; for example, baby blue is out and gray-blue is in. "Gray is big, but there are a thousand variations, from pink to blue to purple," Bushman says.
"I often look for things that add a bit of glamour and contemporary elegance to a space, and also reflect the colors to open up the room," says Los Angeles-based designer Diann Valentine. "A crystal lamp in a corner, or a mirrored table against a wall, can add light and depth to a room." These illusions of space can do wonders for a small living room, where you don't want guests to feel crowded.
Bold BasicsBy Jennifer Haupt
"White is a great background color if you have artwork on the walls, because it doesn't overpower what you're trying to showcase," says Seattle-based designer Sonja Brisson.
Warm and Inviting NeutralsBy Jennifer Haupt
The New Neutrals, one of the palettes introduced by the Color Marketing Group (CMG) isn't like those non-descript beiges. "These soul-satisfying earthy tones are great to relax in, and enjoy the company of friends and family," explains Jack Bredenfoerder, president of the CMG.
"I tell clients to choose furniture and upholstery that are neutral, then get bolder with the colors of the walls, accessories and fixtures," says designer Sonja Brisson. "Red is a great accent color for living rooms because it's warm and cozy, and makes people want to stay in a room longer. It's also energizing, so it encourages people to talk."
Young and DecadentBy Jennifer Haupt
"In a world filled with schedules, commitments and concerns, it is important to have some unadulterated fun in at least one area of living space," says color forecaster Leatrice Eiseman of the Pantone Color Institute.
Jennifer Haupt is a freelance writer in Bellevue, Wash. Her work often appears in Woman's Day, Reader's Digest, Parents and other publications.