THERE’S A SAYING in the design world that every wall is a blank canvas. But if your walls have been looking just a little too, well, blank lately, take heart, because design showrooms are newly awash in rich colors, unexpected textures, and bold patterns that the average homeowner can appropriate. “I think people are trying to be a little more creative with their space and have a little more fun with it,” says Erin Davis, showroom manager at EcoModern Design in the Boston Design Center. “Playing with the wall surface creates a more dynamic space.” When there’s something unexpected on the walls or even — the latest vogue — on the ceiling, Davis adds, the room achieves a more layered look that draws the eye around.
Here, a few of the freshest ideas.
1. TRY A FASHIONABLE COLOR
For decades now, beiges have been the neutral of choice — they go with anything and, as a backdrop, allow furnishings to shine. And though these shades will still be around, they are no longer the blah light tans that some designers term “contractor’s beige” for their generic ubiquity in new construction. The trend is toward more natural shades like “bone sand” and sepia, according to New Jersey-based Pantone, whose color-matching system is used throughout the design industry.
But even more, beiges are being nudged out of the spotlight by shades of gray and the colors that complement them, from gray-blues to navies to “warmer, tropical, watery blues with a touch of green,” according to the Color Marketing Group in Alexandria, Virginia, which analyzes and predicts fashions in color. “This is not your grandmother’s baby blue,” says Betty Wheeler, an interior designer at Home Decor Group in Peabody. “It’s a stronger, bolder blue working off of a silvery gray or even a deep gray.”
Even black is making a surprise appearance, lending an air of old Hollywood to dining rooms, bedrooms, and hallways, particularly when paired with white woodwork and accessories. “Black is definitely a trend,” says Jackie Jordan, director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams in Dallas. “People think it will close the room in, but it has the opposite effect.”
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