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Colour Trends

Vancouver Colour Consultant: What are the Hottest Paint Colours for 2012?

By 09/15/2011January 28th, 2017137 Comments

It’s time for the annual Colour Marketing Group Conference happening in San Antonio, TX starting this weekend. I fly there early Friday morning. I’m currently working on my NOW and NEXT colour forecast (I know, last minute but I’ve been super busy) and I thought I’d do a poll with my favourite people, YOU.


For over a year, all anyone pretty much wants me to select for them is gray, green and blue. Even though I am the designer with a sunflower yellow sofa, it’s rare that anyone asks me for yellow. This SHOCKS me by the way because the gray trend is here, and as I mentioned in this post, gray works ONLY in the company of other colours. Yet you are not asking me for corals, raspberry reds, mandarin orange, or yellow in any shape or form to liven up gray. Just blues and greens, over and over.

So what gives? The story we will hear this weekend will go something like “Because of the economy the consumer is afraid of colour, will not commit to colour on large ticket items because they are afraid of making a mistake, blah, blah, blah.” But I think most people always keep big ticket items neutral, economy or not. Hmmm. . . come to think of it, there were a lot of floral sofas in the 80s, I saw one today as a matter of fact during a consultation.

Personally, I just think we need a story for the media. We can’t simply say, “okay, yellow is the new trend colour, it needs to be accompanied by gray.” We have to give the media something like,  “We need  a symbol of optimism and happiness because of the economy.”


When Pantone announced that Mimosa was the colour of the year for 2009?  I’m sorry, but it was not. I think it’s coming, but almost NO ONE is into yellow (except me) at the moment, nor were they back then.

In 2010, Turquoise was the Colour of the Year and 2011, it’s Raspberry. These two colours were much more in line with what people were looking for as turquoise became the new blue and raspberry replaced the tuscan orange/red that has been around for the past 10 years.

Since I conduct consultations all across the US and Canada, I think I have the pulse on what is happening, certainly in residential. Have I mentioned y’all want blue, green and gray and that’s it?

So I just want to know straight from you, my lovelies. Is this true? Why won’t you buy a sofa in your favourite colour? The resistance to buying big ticket items in a colour you love actually boggles my mind, it really does. Because two years ago you loved brown and now you want gray. So this means buying a sofa in the trend neutral will date way faster than your favourite colour.


Is it because of the economy, or is it this reason, from one of my clients who said, “I’m not afraid of colour, I’m just very afraid of the wrong colour!”

What colours are you decorating with RIGHT NOW? That is the big answer I would love you to post in the comments below, that would help me out a lot!

Download my eBook, It’s All in the Undertones. If you have a computer, you can download my book!

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Related posts:

What are the Hottest Paint Colours for 2010?

The Gray, Black and White Trend is here to Stay

What Colour Sofa should you Buy?

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  • pve design says:

    Just as I near a renovation with lots of white, gray and natural, I will probably want to add a splash of sunny yellow, and maybe some tangy turquoise….
    I am loving orange and turk, or purple and yellow.
    Black and white seems to find me and lure me over!

  • DASI GLAM says:

    I don't care what colors are the trend, I just have to have bright colors around me. Although I like blues and greens, I'm not a big fan of grey.

  • Kristie at The says:

    I do have clients wanting yellow, but it's a vivid yellow and gray pairing. Blues of all kinds are still what I'm being asked for. I'm in the south, and grays mainly are appealing for the younger crowd. Anyone over 40 is still leary of gray!

  • Cass @ That Old House says:

    Gray, blech.
    Give me color!
    And if I want blue or green — which I used in our beach house — I want REAL blues and greens, not dentist office colors.
    On a side note — I liked opening up my new House Beautiful and seeing your quote on the back page. Congrats! I am sure you are delighted, and so was I … as I adore your color cheerleading!


  • Sherri Woodard Coffey says:

    I have had a mandarin orange sofa like the one on your "buying a sofa" page, and I love it. It's time for a new one, and I'm tempted to do it again, although that purple on the sofa page looks pretty darn good!

  • mary says:

    I think a lot of people know what colors they like, and what colors get them excited right now, but they simply don't know what they love. You know, the color that is their deep-down-in-the-gut color. For you, that's yellow. It's the color you'll never tire of and that you'll think looks awesome even if someone tells you it doesn't or if all the trends say yellow is like commiting home interior suicide. People are too often heavily swayed by the trends. Maybe we see too much? All the pictures we see on Pinterest look perfect, but the truth is, you can't have everyone else's style. You have to find your own. And that's the hard part.

  • Jennifer says:

    I've had yellow walls and red sofas in my living rooms for over a decade now, in two different houses. I both like it and am tired of looking at it. (Basically, I like change.)

    I have always had sofas in solid colours – wedgwood, navy, red – but my next one will be white. That way, I can change my wall color as often as I please.

    Right now, I'm back to my first love of blue and white. In each house I've owned, I have always had at least one room with that scheme, and I realized recently that that is always my favorite space in the house. In this house, that is my bedroom. However, I'm going to re-do my basement in blue and white, too.

    I hope you are right about blue being "in," because I want to sell in a two years, and right now, where I live in Colorado, beige and brown are still everywhere.

  • Tracy K says:

    Orange is my go to color of the moment…love it!

  • belledame says:

    the colors in my apartment tend to stay fairly constant. i just switch off f/w and s/s for slightly brighter or browner shades of hot pink, orange, purple, turquoise and green. so, it's best i direct you here to see my colors:

    my little sofabed is light brown, but that is what i really wanted at the time i bought it: a corduroy texture in light brown. brown is my neutral to all the bright colors i keep around. i also use purples as a cool antidote to the decidedly hot hot pinks/oranges. and my rug is a tribal pattern in two shades of brown that really works!

    someone stopped by unexpectedly and said "everything just works."

    if i had a bigger place i'd definitely consider switching in a hot pink couch or chairs or rug or… and i have often thought of painting my walls a light purple with a brown undertone. sort of amethyst. or avocado green.

  • Erin @ The Impatient Gardener says:

    I'm so into blue right now. Turquoise, aqua, light blue and I'm just loving navy. I fear I'm embracing this on the tail end of the turquoise "trend" and that I'll regret this, but oh well.

    As for colors I'm guessing are going to be big: kelly green and coral, both of which happen to look great with gray, and I bet that's part of why we're seeing more and more of them.

    And the couch thing: I've purchased two couches in my life and both have been red. If I were buying one today I think I might go for something more neutral because I'm loving heavily patterned and colorful chairs and pillows. Of course I consider navy to be a neutral so you never know what I'd bring home if I were shopping for a couch today. By the way, I love your yellow couch.

  • Sherrod says:

    This is my current sofa:

    I got it less than 6 months ago and am currently looking for a candy pink or lemon yellow for chairs. I believe in neon orange!

    Bright colors actually look great in upholstery.

  • Anonymous says:

    No offense, Maria, because I love your blog, but the tone of this post was a little off-putting.

    "Have I mentioned ya'll want blue, green and gray and that's it?"

    I have no idea what all your clients want, but please don't lump everyone into one group, You vs. Everyone.

    Just a suggestion – maybe a blog post SHOWING some vivid colored sofas and how they would work n a living room?

  • goodsie says:

    I love color, it doesn't have to be super intense but I need to have a color backdrop.
    I think a big problem with having colors that are not currently popular is trying to find accessories to match.
    My kitchen is Valspar Lemongrass with dark charcoal cabinets.
    I have a lot of white trim/molding and accents of reds, pinks, turquoise/robin's egg blues.

    BTW, I don't think "Have I mentioned ya'll want blue, green and gray and that's it?" was off-putting at all.
    Generalities exists because they exemplify the majority.

    I would expect that you see real life color trends all the time, people go to a friend's house, like what they see, they want it in their homes too so they call the same designer.

  • lynne whiteside says:

    I realized recently that I like to follow some trends, grey kitchens for instance, I keep seeing them and I have a 'no white' in the kitchen phobia anyway.
    Blues and greens in the right tone/shade can be great comforting colors, everyone will always love these colors. and yellow I think is one of the hardest colors to get right. at the moment, 8:52pm and 36 seconds my favorite yellow is the BM 2149-50 mellowed ivory. I used it interior and exterior , it looks great in the daytime , but gets a little muddy at night (proper lighting would help) plus, – I opened my H&G today and there it was recommended with other yellow/green/goldie colors, I felt so proud!

    I just realized I can't sit here in the dark anymore, tomorrow I'm going to get a proper lamp for my desk.

  • Cherie says:

    I know what colors I love and I don't care if they support the trends or recall the 70's, 80's or 90's. Pops of yellow, I like, a yellow sofa in my home, no. Does that mean I'm a color-phobic? No. I like neutrals for big purchases so I can play and can change, from year to year, if I like. Yellow and raspberry accents one year. Green and blue in two more years. Why bother figuring out the go-to colors of 2012? Because the color palette sets up trends and trend-buying makes the cash register sing. Celebrate design, celebrate color of many hues and values, celebrate beauty, and give the consumer some credit and delight our senses. What are my go-to colors now? Turquoise, aqua, navy, fresh greens, pops of raspberry/honeysuckle, yellow. And, heaven forbid, I have a brown sofa in the den and we love it. But it is not my favorite color and we still love it.

    The next go-to color? I think the powers that be would be hard pressed to choose a color to symbolize where we are in this culture right now.

  • Anonymous says:

    we just had the exterior of our house painted in benjamin moore 'grey horse', a light, warm grey, with 'cotton ball' trim, and 'hawthorne yellow' on the front door. it looks great!

  • Merry says:

    Maria, I love using soft gold with gray. Not really a huge color impact, but I love how it breaks the possible chill from a lot of gray and gives a gilt glow in the decor. Yum.

  • Mira says:

    I love gray and white and I've found out that LAVENDER and other PURPLE shades work well with these two colors.

  • Rebecca says:

    Let us see. I have had dark blue gray walls in the kitchen and eating area for 5 years or better. It took me everything I had to paint them that color on the recommendation of a decorator. Loved the room when it was all put together and still love it now. My sofa is sort of a Wedgwood blue color. It took me three years to find the fabric. With this sofa I have used dusty yellow with a bit of burnt red and orange.
    Blues are my favorite colors. I have found that my home gives me the greatest comfort when I use the colors and styles I truly like. Trends are out for me. I can like a magazine add or someone’s newly trendy room but I go with what I like, not what I am being told to like. That goes for you too. I love white kitchens but as I currently decorate it would look awful. If I paint my cabinets it will be either an off white or some soft color. I like your style but it is not what I want to live with. I think that those who hire your should know that you have a lovely and distinctive style and this should be the look they are after.

  • The enchanted home says:

    I am not a trend follower when it comes to colors within the home but always curious to see whats in vogue. I happen to like yellow and gray together, think its a very pretty (and timeless) combination.

  • Wendi @ Classic Chic Home says:

    Perhaps blue and green are such common requests from your clients because they're timeless colours. My home has a lot of black and white, with varying shades of blue, green, pink and purple. They're my favorite colours, and they compliment by design style. I'll alter their intensity or application from time to time, but I don't waiver from what I love to follow current trends.

  • debbiecz says:

    We purchased tv room furniture 2 months ago and I'm not happy with it – too dark, too grey-green. Not to mention the fabric quality stinks. I'm scared to buy a sofa in any color because I don't think the quality is there anymore. It's hard to find a decent, well made sofa that will stand up to kids, dog & occassional spills. Am I old-fashioned? I thought for $2K I would have a decent couch that would last 3-5 years not 2 months! Any suggestions on decent manufacturers?

  • Heather @ newhouse, newhome, new life says:

    I'm not a trend follower either. But sometimes one can't stay away from them when all the stores are filled with items that follow the trends.
    Having just moved from a colour filled house – brick red, wheatsheaf, gold, – I'm trendy towards a more neutral, classic look in this new (old) house.
    But my eye is being drawn to all the grey and white kitchens.

  • Donna Frasca ♋ says:

    It's funny, I was just looking at my sofa the other day and loathing it. Why did I purchase such a neutral sofa? Because my walls are colorful. It would have been overkill. Besides, trying to get the two colors to match instead of clash would have been too much trouble.

    However, next time, I am definitely going to get a SOLID neutral in leather so it'll be more versatile.

  • suzanne says:

    The "Colour of the Year" concept is of course based in marketing but it is so fun to see something new and fresh and how it is used in creative ways. I would never go full tilt in one direction unless I had unlimited funds to change things as soon as I tired of them. However, I think it is important to find the colors that speak to you personally and surround yourself with those. You might walk into someone's home and love the cool colors they've used, but I have come to recognize that while I think it's beautiful for them, it isn't really me. I favor warm tones and am currently into sprinkling deep amethyst into my home.

  • Donna Frasca ♋ says:

    PS – forgot to answer you question. Coastal colors have been trending for a good two years here in Charlotte, NC and are finally petering out but the last few months, I'm using a ton of color – Rich yellows (Benjamin Moore) 'Barley' deep tone browns, gray purple like 'Magic Potion' still a lot of warm grays, spicy pumpkin as main color and of course any and all blues are still #1.

    There you have it!

  • joel & ginny says:

    The colors in my home are lime green, yellow, and orange. I've paired them with neutrals, and just looking at them makes me happy. I'm starting to bring in some aqua here and there.

    Our living room sofa is a traditional brown leather. It is practical for small children, and my bright pillows pop on the dark background. My favorite color is green, but I don't want to commit to a green sofa, because it would limit my other choices.

  • LandoImages says:

    Let me comment briefly on the "why" for neutrals– I think a lot of people (blame the economy, the internet, the number of images/videos/ads we are exposed to every day, the number of wars being waged and other global issues, whatever) are simply fatigued. I look at images all day long, and I love bold colour. I love your blog for all the beautiful and bright spaces you design or find for us. But I really like having a very simple and soothing interior. The bright turquoise of my powder room makes me totally happy, but I LOVE walking in my door and facing the calm oasis of whites, creams, and other neutrals with just a few dashes of bold colour here and there. (OK, and lots of toys and papers)

    There was a really terrific article in the New York Times recently about "Decision Fatigue"– and how people often default to whatever is standard, easiest, or a non-decision when they reach a certain point of choice-making fatigue. I think this is where following a trend can be an easy out for people (and nothin' wrong with that, either.)

    I think it also relates to what @Mary said about the difficulty of finding your OWN style.

  • rochgirl says:

    Our house has a lot of neutrals…beige/taupe/sand/brown/cream paints with lots of moss,sage & olive green and pops of deep claret or denim blue depending on the room….sounds pretty old school, which I guess it is!

  • Jane says:

    I'm still a fan of warm whites on my walls and even in much of my upholstered furniture (slipcovers, of course!)…with lots of color accents. We just returned from a vacation in a beach home…it was comfortable, but definitely had the "wrong" color palette (at least the view was PERFECT). It was so good to walk into my home and be greeted by warmth…rich wood, natural greens from the plants, blue skies coming through the windows, and paintings and pillows with brilliant yellow-greens, orangey reds, cerulean blues…you get the idea. Of course, I'm not a decorator…I just know what pleases my soul.

  • Laura says:

    I just painted the downstairs of my new house in, you guessed it, grey, blue, and green! To be fair, those have always been three of my favorite colors from the time I was a little girl, so I'm just happy they're popular now. I did the library in BM Graystone, the dining room in a lightened shade of the same paint (just added some white), the kitchen in Sea March (I think it's a Valspar color?) and the living room in BM Mount St Anna. I've been using accents of green and yellow in the grey rooms and I love it.

  • Marlis says:

    I am not a trendy person as I tend to navigate to reds, greens, blacks and taupes.. I finally got my taupe couch and am delighted. Great backdrop for any color I choose to put on it..

  • Jen says:

    Our bungalow home was blessed with neutral white walls when we purchased it. However, we're so not down with white or any version of it. Our last rental home had the same color on the walls, the trim, the ceiling, and light grey carpet, it was bland and boring.

    Orangey trim is getting splashed with Dark Walnut stain as we speak.
    Living Room/dining room: Jazz Club by Valspar With taupey and vermillion accents
    Front Room: mismatched dusty blue grey with silver metallic circular flowers stenciled sporadically
    Master Bedroom: Olympia's Secret Passage with bold stripes of Valspar's Cool Rain and Jazz Club.
    Master Bath: Cool Rain, white tiles, yellow accessories
    Guest Bath: currently brown everything…must.change.
    Upstairs Loft: Olympia's Secret Passage in the Office, Bathroom is raspberry accented, rest of colour, tbd.
    Kitchen: will be a blue spruce-like wall color. Kitchen cabs are dark walnut with ORB handles, once we remodel, will be WHITE cabs.

  • Braxton and Yancey says:

    Hot pink, orange and marigold.

  • M says:

    Many years ago I had two chairs reupholstered in a vivid teal blue. They have since lived in a living room during the jewel tone trend, then in a bedroom with beige/natural colors and now I am moving them to a new living room with grey, coral and cream. The chairs rarely get used, and the fabric is still in excellent condition. LOVE them.

  • Anonymous says:

    Orange, blue, and green are the theme throughout my house. I'm building a new house and will keep the same color scheme except for a few minor exceptions. I will FINALLY get the white kitchen I've dreamed of and have totally trended to white washed furniture.

  • eveninparadise says:

    Every space has to have a mix of warm and cool colors for me to be happy. I'm glad the Tuscan trend is over because the all-warm palette feels like there's no relief in a room. Gray with a cold blue would be just as bad.

    Turquoise has been my lifelong favorite color, but I only use the vibrant version on one accent wall and in my laundry room. The through-color in my house has always been a blue-green-gray. It shows up as Farrow & Ball Borrowed Light on a ceiling, BM Gray Wisp above the chair rail in my dining room, F&B Blue Gray trim in a warm cream kitchen. I throw in red patterned rugs, warm woods, etc.

    Colors you'd never see in my house include yellows, pinks, oranges, lime greens, etc. Regardless of trend, they don't make me happy.

  • Carol says:

    I totally agree with your client, I'm not afraid of color either, just very, very afraid of the wrong color. Also, I tend to tire quickly of too much color. I love the look of all the nuetral slipped furniture of late but I have twin 6 yr old boys and am quite scared of what that beautiful light slipped sofa will look like in a month.

  • Anonymous says:

    I love blue and white chinese pottery, laquer red and, cognac with some warm greys and oranges..

  • shell says:

    My living room is painted meadow pink by Benjamin Moore.I have a sectional sofa from Macy's – the 9656 series – and the upholstery
    fabric is called "pumpkin"…but it's not really orange it's more of a peachy color. ceilings and crown molding are Benjamin Moore
    french white. I have 2 Louis XV armchairs upholstered in a bold flowery fabric with
    shades of peach, pink, green & cream. the dining room – visible from &
    open to living room – is painted caramel pink by ralph lauren. It's a cheerful and also very soothing color scheme.

  • Jena says:

    I'm accenting with deep purple/eggplant because it works with my beige/brown/black neutrals and I think it will still work with a taupe/gray I'm planning on when I get a chance. Eggplant works with yellow, turquoise, deep pinks and greens and the deeper shade offers a masculine take on purple to my need for femininity in the living room.

  • Katy says:

    The problem for me Maria is that my favorite color is….every color. I love them all.
    So I decided to slipcover my sofa with a beige/off-white canvas…and use the color in pillows and smaller things.
    Sofas are expensive, but I won't do gray or brown because as you say — that won't be neutral for long. But an off-white slipcover is going to last me a long time I think.

    My sofa was a MUDDY green and the chairs were red/orange paisley — and it worked when everything else was BROWN. sigh

  • Tricia says:

    Enjoyed reading all the comments before mine. I really love bright clear colors but then I seem to find bedding, or a pillow, or a fabric that is sooooo beautiful in more muted colors and I waffle. Right now I am looking for salmon, plum, and yellowy green pillows to go with the solid quilted bedspread and pillows I just purchased. Plum seems a little hard to find right now. As far as choosing my colors based on what is going on in the world or even in my neighbors house…not a consideration. I like being different.

  • Carol says:

    Like several others who have posted, I'm not concerned with what the color flavor of the year is. I think decorating with colors that make a person happy is true style.

    I understand the hesitation, particularly in today's economy, to purchase a large ticket item (such as a sofa) in an unusual color. Might be beautiful for the moment, but I believe a lot of people consider the long haul – I know I do. Am I still going to love that shocking tangerine sofa in 3, 5, 10 years? Far easier (and cheaper) to change the accent pillows on a neutral sofa for a different look. If I keep up with the trends, this years' hot color is not going to be fashionable next year anyway and I'm out some big bucks to replace it for the next hip color. How intelligent is that?

    Maybe what you're experiencing with so many clients asking for grays, blues and greens is because people are essentially overloaded with jobs, stress, and demands. I think people want to feel that their home is a calm place to retreat to. Again, I know I do. My home is my sanctuary from all that crazy world stuff, and it's perfectly acceptable. I don't care if someone says the "it" color is cobalt blue, chartreuse, fuchsia, or the aforementioned shocking tangerine. It's my house and I'm the one who lives in it. It's also my pocketbook, and I've got much better things to spend money on than buying a house full of new furniture every year simply because my colors aren't trendy anymore.

  • Christina Callahan says:

    I know why we have a neutral sofa. Pottery Barn, Crate + Barrel, Restoration Hardware. Mall stores. They don't carry many color sofas. And if they do have color, the selection is very limited or not "trendy colors". PB has navy blue sofa but not any fun options, like midnight blue velvet or turquoise slipcover. They are mass market and affordable. So we bought neutral and then fun pillows elsewhere. I'm sure it's not but it *felt* like the only option.

  • Anonymous says:

    We moved into a new house a few months ago and painted almost every wall yellow. BM Straw, Filtered Sunlight and Windham Cream. I love the colors, and I also love that I have yellow while everyone else is doing grays and blues. We also did soft green kitchen cabinets, which I imagine is also against trend but we are thrilled with them.

    I'm not afraid of the "wrong" color because I'm using colors I love.

  • elleoconor says:

    I bought a grey loveseat in late 2003, long before it was the color choice du jour. It's a panne velvet, though an understated non-tacky one, and it has a taupe/grey quality to it. I chose it because I love the way it looks with almost all other colors, and I also chose it because it doesn't show pet fur! It was an odd choice then, but of course, now I'm right on trend. In summer, I like to remove the slipcover and just have ivory. I really do need to have a summer cover made, and I will asap. When I replace the grey slipcover, I'll probably go ivory or aqua.

    My favorite colors are aqua, silver, shades of deep blue green, the colors I call ocean colors and non-colors (grey mixed with blue green in shades that are hard to label) and ivories/whites.

    I just don't like the bright reds/yellows/oranges or even the intense blues and greens except in very small doses. I've read that color is a frequency just like sound — maybe that's why I don't like the brights. Whatever the reason, I just don't like them, and I don't wear them, and I only choose brights in small doses in the house. That said, I have a pair of vintage chartreuse, red and blue grey genie pillows that are TDF!

  • avadf says:

    Lime green is clean and fresh and works great with the last two colors of the year, turquoise and honeysuckle. I do love the bright, clean colors. That's one of the reasons that I love your blog. I've been taught that greens are nuetrals so it should last for a while, plus lime works great in a gin and tonic;-). That being said, orange seems to be everywhere. I won't use it though: too much of a reference to the 70s, not my best decade.

  • Tawna says:

    I have to agree with a few of the others….predicting colors is pretty useless. Pantone never really took hold, did it? I'm getting asked about grey a lot, but I think there will always be a bounce between gray and beige for people's need for neutral. Economy, especially in this part of the world (Wyoming!) has people demanding neutrals for big items because they won't purchase them again for 10 years or ever! Color dates your house no matter what, but when you realize you can't avoid begin dated, you just go for what you love. Blue will always be timeless to me. Shades of it will always be used.

  • Coley says:

    I tend to decorate in nuetrals and accessorize with pops of color. I get sick of things and like to change stuff out. I do have blue furniture however, and love it 🙂 And you guessed it- my 'go to pops of color' are blue, green, and some yellow. Not just because they are trendy but because they have always been my favorite colors.
    Great post Maria!

  • Julie says:

    Red has been my favorite color at least as far back as I can remember, from birth probably. But I've never wanted a red sofa. I've always loved white slipcovered furniture, and didn't use to dare have it with children in the house, but now that I live alone, I never get bored with that white. In my main living area, I've always stayed with some combination of reds, orange, green, yellows, changing up the combination. For instance, in my last home, my walls were a tuscan muted yellow. Now in my current home, I have almost no yellow, but more orange, red, green, with a bunch of blue. I sometimes get intrigued by some other combination, but when I realize how much I love these colors, I just never seem to want to change.

  • Julie says:

    "punch" of blue, not bunch of blue. I've just got a very few touches of deep blue…

  • Cozy Little House says:

    I'm new to your blog, but glad I found it. I'm a color girl. I love color. It's personality, influence, ambiance, character. Yellow would be one of my picks. Also love all the other primary colors. People shouldn't be so afraid of color. It's not going to bite them.

  • Anonymous says:

    I remodeled the family room last year. The curtains were grey/yellow/white ikat pattern.
    walls light grey. sofa dark grey. white trim. punchy modern accessories. it looks cute!

  • Hooked on Seadrift says:

    I came over from Joni's CDT. Interesting question. I think favorite colors depend in part on your age in life. In one of our homes, I painted our bedroom mauve (the color trend then). I disliked that color in about 2 months, but lived with it until we sold the house.
    As I gained more confidence, I painted & purchased items in colors I liked, not caring about the trend. I currently have dark brown/black lower kitchen cabinets & white uppers. Looks good in this older house and I get compliments all the time.

    I see orange everywhere right now, so I think it is the new trend.

    One thing I have noticed since blogging became so popular….bloggers are leading the trends. You see something on HGTV or in magazines, and it seems so passe', because you have already seen it a hundred times on the internet.

    Have fun in San Antonio. My home town. Go eat at Mi

  • The Tasty Fashionista says:

    I would really love a purple velvet couch! Have wanted one forever!! I know that is super dated and very 90's Z Gallerie, but saw one recently and still love the heck out of the look!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I like warm earth tones: golden tans, greens, muted reds, soft blues. But my home also faces north (family room), has limited daylight, and is in a colder climate. Colors predominately on the gray/blue/green spectrum would feel miserable to me most of the year.

    We're in the process of painting the entire house because the previous owners chose a different color of the rainbow for every room, inspired by Crayola's original crayons. I'm all for bright colors– covering every inch of the house set my teeth on edge.

    I tend to shy away from bold colors for major purchases because I tire of them after a few years and my bank account couldn't sustain the constant change I would want. Much easier to paint and sew a pillow cover. 🙂

  • Beverly says:

    I'm looking at BM Barley in the master bath. I'm looking at BM stingray for somewhere because I think I like it.

    I am replacing ceiling lighting first, then I am looking at my kitchen cabinets, which look worn, and then the interior paint.

    The major color in the home is Monroe Bisque that is 10 years old and I am going to replace it with something lighter.

    For my generic tan couch, I am using pillows with splashes of color and flowers, too, with similar colors to match the pillows. I move the artwork in my home to try and balance things out.

  • Anonymous says:

    I love color and I don't get the Restoration Hardware all gray look, reminds me of a haunted house. However, I love that so many upholstered things are available in linen if you don't want to go custom. I recently bought a linen covered accent chair and it goes with everything. Someday I will have it reupholstered in a bright pattern, but for now a bright accent pillow with do and it was so much cheaper.

  • Roberta says:

    I've been a (purple) 'dyed in the wool' fan of yours for a while now Maria and always learn something new from you. Thank you!
    My house has seen off whites for years, and now whites with light grays. While getting ready for a photo shoot recently, I added a pretty yellow pin to a white pillow and it made my big comfy gray chair come alive! So now I 'get it'. Love that second pic w/ the mustard pillow. Someday I''ll have a deep purple velvet sofa…congrats on your mention in House Beautiful!

  • Nichole@40daysof says:

    Well, you already know that I did a strong yellow in my DR and it's attached to a blue room that I picked the color for in 2008. I think the coming colors that will go along with the blues, greens and greys are: yellows, pinks, purples and still some red mixed in there once in a while.

    Have fun in SA, it's a cool town!

    PS One sofa in my FR is red. It needs to be recovered, and I still want red!:)

  • Katarina Johansson says:

    Colours at home that I like are: Dark,warm red (velvet curtains :D), dark purple, magenta and green…those are my favorite colours! Velvet and silka re my favorite textiles too. But don't ask me how I make everything go together! :PI just have things I like! 😉

  • anotheryarn says:

    Why did I buy a neutral sofa? 1) Because I couldn't get my other half to agree to a purple sofa, 2) Because it worked well with my apple green LR walls (the way your links color is reading on my monitor is the green I used) and 3) because a camel colored leather seemed like a very practical choice in a house with a dog.

    I still really like my sofa (combined with colorful throw pillows) but have been hunting for the right outrageous, colorful print to slipcover the two neutral (boring beige) side chairs. And I can't wait until I can paint my walls vibrant colors again (rental beige with peachy-pink pickled trim and between the trim and the godawful orange peel wall texture statement walls statement walls would not work).

  • Tonya says:

    We've long loved gray and almost 20 yrs ago we painted our textured walls a lovely soft light gray. The walls look white in some light. We have dark blue leather couches and change up the throw pillows for interest. To us it seems calm, restful and understated.

    Funny how the trend has finally caught up with our favorite cool tones. Of course we need to update the coffee and side tables and. . . .

  • Shane & Alysia Holdaway says:

    I have raspberry accents in my house, along with coral. Those two colors make me happy and brighten-up the soft teal and green that I like. Hope that helps.

  • Diane Stewart says:

    Here in the Midwest, my clients still prefer warm neutrals. No one has asked for gray yet! I think it's perceived as too cold, not warm and cozy. On a personal note, my kitchen is a wonderful melon yellow, and as I write this, my husband is painting our hallway pale yellow. So, you aren't the only one who loves sunny yellow!

  • Anonymous says:

    I always disliked brown in interior design, unless it was a hardwood floor. I don't wear brown clothes or makeup, either. I love turquoise, have had a turquoise sofa for a few years already, and would get a blue or turquoise sofa if I had to get a replacement. I love vivid, saturated colors, so no pale hospital blues for me. I'd like gray, too, but at this point I'd hesitate because it's so trendy. On the other hand, it'll be in for a good ten years, if you're right.

  • Molly@The Nesting Game says:

    I admit, I'm on the gray bandwagon.

    In our family room, our Room & Board sofas are gray, but the walls are a soft blue/gray and I've used lots of terracotta as an accent.

    In our bedroom, 3 walls are painted a very, VERY faint gray, but we have a bold chocolate brown accent wall which I LOVE and makes the room seem bigger because it recedes so much.

    In our dining room, the walls are gray with accents of raspberry (or honeysuckle!):

    In the office, the walls are the same color as the dining room (Behr's Dolphin Fin) and we've accessorized with yellow, bright green and bold art.

    Lotsa gray, as you can see. But I'm not afraid of color either!

  • Anonymous says:

    I am loving the BM vintage claret. I'm gravitating to a paler of pale blue, warm creams, acidy greens, and the amethysts and other accent purples. Maybe even golden brown and lavenders. I love the colors in Charlotte moss new book cover.

  • Diane @ Color Harmony says:

    I have sunny yellow walls in my white kitchen. It makes me smile and the yellow is really very neutral. I can accessorize with reds, pinks, oranges or blues in table linens and flowers. Yellow is truly a happy color!

  • Fly Away Home says:

    I'm with the gentle readers who object to the over-classification of y'all liking only blue or green.

    I've had yellow for eight years and it has become boring (BM York Harbor Yellow). Done.

    What I genuinely like is green. I've liked it all of my life and I am (now over 50 years of age) secure in the idea that I should decorate with the colors I enjoy. Hence, my new soft furnishings are primarily upholstered in green. I had one chair recovered in a Kravet fabric that has pops of turquoise, green and orange. The combinations are comforting and happy at the same time. The walls will be painted in a neutral to live in harmony with the furnishings and show off my collection of art (very eclectic).

    Emily Henderson says that one's home should reflect the personality of the person who lives in it. I think the colors I use reflect my personality; classic with a giggle.

  • Anonymous says:

    Go-to colour is yellow. Just came back from walking through PB and William-Sonoma. Almost no grays I their stores, sans one or two sideboards in a greywash finish. See lots of yellow accent pillows, tablecloths, vignettes with yellow leaves, bowls, candles. Also see lots of off-white/winter white as wells red pillows & candles.

    Main thing, which is a bit frightening, is that almost everything on display is from last year-same exact items only re-positioned (I know since I bought quite a bit of it last year since I love yellow). I see more grey in clothing and wearable accessories than in home furnishings. I think some shade of blue will be the colour since it's a favorite for many people and stores are more likely to stock an item in blue in this economy. Keep your hopes up for brighter colours!

  • Anonymous says:

    I hope I'm not being too cynical, but based on my observations, I think most people just want to pick what is "in" and not what makes them happy. I love your blog, and "Live Like You" because I'm much more interested in picking colors that make me feel good.

    Consequently, my kitchen (completed last year) is yellow and white. I couldn't be happier with it, even though I can't think of a single person I know with a yellow kitchen. I keep thinking it is so beautiful that others will be sure to follow, but that hasn't happened yet. My last friend to redo her kitchen choose brown cabinets and granite countertops.

    I'm interested in fresh, springy, happy colors – maybe some green. . .

  • Anonymous says:

    I've always like colors that had gray added – and the exterior of my home is a medium gray with black shutters, white trim, and a red door – not really all that current, but I like it. For some time, my powder room has been painted a hard to describe grayed green-blue, and I still like it. There are touches of the name in nearby rooms. The color I love above all others, however, is a beautiful cherry red. I love green and blue together – have had that color scheme somewhere ever since I was in college. Some of the Pinterest boards I've seen are awash with nothing but turquoise, white, and tan. In a couple of years, I think a lot of people will be thoroughly sick of turquoise because it is so overdone.

  • proudgrits11 says:

    I can hardly wait to hear what the color is for 2012! I happen to adore turquoise AND pink, so I've been in luck! 🙂
    We recently moved into a new house and debated about whether to paint neutral colors and decorate with POP colors…or paint with fun colors and decorate with neutrals (do your clients wonder about this, too, I wonder??). We ended up painting all the walls in the main house a gray-ish color that changes to–brace yourself–blue and green in different lights. It's lovely and we've realized that we can really decorate pretty much any way we want and it will work!
    We need a lot of furniture and our current couch is booooring, brown, micro-fiber. Why did we go with that?? It was CHEAP and that's what is available in the run-of-the-mill furniture store.
    WHEN we get our "real" couch, your blog definitely opened up my mind to the possibility of a couch in a COLOR! My favorite color is turquoise–has been for well over five years–and I can definitely see getting a NICE turquoise couch and enjoying it for many years. I don't think I'll ever get tired of turquoise!
    For us, we went with the generic, beige couch because it was CHEAP. I imagine a lot of people do the same thing. I will admit that a lot of the design shows, blogs and catalogs I like DO have beige/neutral couches. I don't get it, either!!!

  • Ideezine says:


    Hi! I love color of course. I love gray, brown, yellow, blue, off white, beige, and black.
    My clients this month want window treatments in various colors: one wants black, another wants brown and another wants green.

    I'm seeing lots of variety and it's the husbands that are leading the color selections at least from these clients. So in my experience I'm seeing a real interest in brighter colors too.

    I don't think it's the economy it's individuals that want what they've been waiting to get and now is the time.


  • Anonymous says:

    I only ever buy furniture that has been developed over centuries – color, fabric, style. So no favorite colors, no trends, no modern anything. If it hasn't been around since 1802 at the latest, I just can't commit to it. I think this stems from growing up around Biedermeier furniture.
    I wouldn't mind being more daring, but I have no idea how to like something that isn't a guarantee. (Although I totally cop to updates of classic styles. If it's not comfortable, I get very cranky.)

  • Anonymous says:

    Ten years ago I bought medium blue sofas and navy chairs for a vacation beach cottage with neutral walls and carpets and I still love coming home to them and the blue and white bedrooms I pulled together. So this time around in my main home. I slip covered my moss green chenille sofa in indigo blue and bought a big matching ottoman to go with it and the large blue Japanese wood block print i bought 30 years ago My sister looked at a picture of ithem against a wall of medium brown wood bookcases and declared "it looks like its out of Architectural Digest." I've loved blue for 30 years and now will never fear going with it again, thanks in part to your post on buying sofas in colors you love. Thanks Maria!

  • chanteusevca says:

    No fear here! Even though we purchased white slicovered sofas and painted our walls a gray/blue, I have always loved the grays over the tans and browns from the previous decade. All those boring browns and tans made me feel claustraphobic. With a fresh gray/blue feel like am in Heaven! I feel can breath like I always near the ocean or beach in hot, dry Texas. But I also adore red and turquoise. Always have. Always will. So I use them in accent pillows, etc. Really pops against the white sofas.

    Until I found you, Maria, and your blog, I never realzed that the colors I love to wear and that make me happy can also work in my home. We're purchasing rustic, red tables, a turquoise chest, and colorful rugs for our floors. And we will still purchase tomato red slipcovers in the near future for the sofas for a change.

    Several years ago, we painted our dining room wall red when we purchasd the house. We plan to paint them the same soft, pale blue/gray since our home is more open and need to have the continuity in wall color. But I can't seem to let go of my favorite red wall color just yet. Maybe after I find the perfect red fabric for dining room seating, then I will paint the walls that beautiful blue/gray color.

    I guess I have never thought about the economy affecting what colors I wear or use in my home decor. I have always worn colors that I love (or what makes me look thinner!). And since I have learned to do the same with home decor colors, I am happy. Only a tad unhappy with how long it took shoving hubby into the next decade and getting rid colors I liked back then — burgundy, forest green and navy.

    And the more I think about it, I would love to have a sunny yellow slipcovers for the sofas too, Maria. I have trouble settling on exact colors at times because I love so many of them and can see so many possiblities and options. I need focus! Or more homes to color up!

    Hugs and love in all colors,


  • indian yarn says:

    i have yellow check and plaids on my wall since the past 6 years in my current apt. And yellow walls and apple green walls for another 3 years before that. i love grey and see grey skies 7 days a year. i had coffee brown walls – just because i had one wall. NY is full of blacks and whites and greys . I saw a rainbow in the sky today and it was like a breath of fresh air on a tired evening.

    If rainbows were in the sky everyday and all the time, then it is justified to have a white wall!

  • Jennifer Duchene says:

    Maria I always love your posts. And I love yellow and pinks and reds. I had a green sofa for the longest time. And a gold sofa. Now I would chose a rich jewel tone. Maybe royal blue, or emerald or ruby. Clients are looking to bring in color. They want more than just the blands. I think they are sick of every room looking the same…

  • Danielle says:

    life is stressful and I need CALM colors. Blue, grey, light green, etc 🙂 I find color on walls or big pieces of furniture way too overwhelming. Maybe accent pieces or a great piece of art. But not my walls or my sofa. Pillows are cheaper to trade in than sofas.

  • Cat says:

    I just painted my old dark brown barstools. I did not choose gray or white, but instead chose fire-engine red and love it!

    I actually think that sherbet colors are going to be the trendy accent colors. I see a lot of tangerine and citron.

  • Anonymous says:

    Love this post…love your blog.

    Lately, I've been attracted to an unusual shade of purple. Bordering on magenta, it has some blue in it. I've been craving it. So I put that on the "go forward" list.

    I've also been seeing your sunshine yellow creep up in Canadian design magazines. It's made me curious. Has it been your blog? Is it that it's such a unique colour, long ignored, that people are drawn to it's novelty? But truly – look at Cdn House and Home or Cdn Style at Home recent issues…and you'll find sunshine yellow in both of them – in featured rooms. So, I predict this colour also.

    At Farrow and Ball, there's a new colour, Brassica. Again, this blue/purple tone, with the magenta/little bit of blue undertone tone…DIVINE. And I predict…we'll see more. Partly because they WORK so well with GREY.

    I wonder if grey is psychologically tied to rock – people wanting to feel they've got "bedrock" under them, whereas brown…it pointed more to a kinder, growing natural world – but because it was nature – natural disasters could sweep trees away. But not ROCK. Our homes are our rocks.

    I haven't read the other comments. I'll go and read them now, and I'll add a new comment if anything more comes to mind.

    LOVE your work, LOVE your consistency as a blogger, and looking forward to your new branding look!


  • Rhonda says:

    When I had my phone consult with you, you suggested apple green for my sofa. I'm pretty sure I gasped! I love green, but apple green??? This summer I found a gorgeous fabric and the color is … apple green! I have a board with your suggested paint color and fabric swatches I've collected, and that apple green definitely has my vote!

  • Chelsea says:

    Another yellow lover here. 🙂 I always get frustrated when I can't find decor I like in that color.

    Anyways, colors I'm decorating with right now: greige (gray/beige), white, yellow, navy, turquoise, light blue, orange.

  • Chelsea says:

    Forgot to add that my living room sofas are white, and I LOVE them. <3

  • Wendi says:

    Right or wrong, I think it's conventional wisdom to buy a neutral sofa. If I bought a bright colour or a bold print, I think I would love it for a while but before too long, want to replace it (long before it was worn out). It would be too "bossy", as you say. My house (apart from kids' rooms) is entirely neutral. I love looking at bold colourful rooms but it's not for me right now. I have yellow-beige walls, dark hardwood, white cabinets & grey tile. I agree with others that although I love many looks, neutral wins out for my home because it's calm & relaxing.

  • mrsben says:

    Like yourself Maria I have always loved yellow however for those who do not have access to 'trade only', choices are somewhat limited thus to put it delicately IMO 'the average Consumer is controlled basically by the Marketing Strategy of Industry'. ie: Fashion, Decor, Auto etc. With that said, I'm happy that Scheele's Green no longer exists. 🙂

    In summary, like so many others I do have my favourite lineup of colourS that are absolutely not dictated by trend nor the economy. ie: Blues, Greens, Purples, Grays, Whites and of course Yellows. I never met one that I didn't like yet.

    With respect to Pinks, Corals, Reds, or Oranges I prefer them saturated and only in small dosage.

  • Glenna says:

    I am just starting a redecorating project in my great room and dining room. I am going for warm gray walls. The colors will be with upholstered pieces and accessories in Emerald Green, Navy, Spring Green and pops of Orange. I honestly don't care if it's "of the moment" or not. I go with what makes me happy. Your house should be a reflection of who you are.

  • Anonymous says:

    Gray is the last color (or as I think of it—an absence of color) I would use in decor. It's drab and dowdy and so unhappy looking—gray is for cemeteries. I use beautiful blues like cobalt and royal and navy, sky blues, fuschias of all shades, pinks, mauves, pale aquas, turquoise, sunny yellows and lavenders, and lots and lots of white. And chinoiserie.
    I never saw a person go into a gray room and go Wow!.

  • Stephanie says:

    I find this so interesting! I am currently in the process of planning my own renovation (i'm an interior designer in calgary) and my plan is to decorate with grey…and YELLOW!!! I was worried it would be too over-done – but doesn't sound like it. I would say I have a real variation with my clients and their requests. Mostly they do go for beige or light grey as their backdrop but many are pairing those neutrals with red, peacock blue and one is even going with yellow!
    The reason I want to buy a neutral sofa instead of a yellow one is be/c then when I get tired of yellow, I can accent with red or orange or green or blue. I'm considering painting my walls WHITE but that freaks me out! I'm much more comfortable with color on the walls than white and worry it will be just.plain.white. However, the 3 children that live here also make me worry about the white! I can imagine how fast it will get dirty!

  • Grace @ Sense and Simplicity says:

    I"m late joining in here, but I wouldn't buy a sofa in my favourite colour (blue) because I might get tired of that shade of blue. Although I have always loved blue, I used to love cobalt blues and now I love more greeny-blues. Also if you pick a colour that is not trendy you can have a very difficult time finding cushions and other accessories to coordinate with it. I know I will have said sofa forever so it had better coordinate with whatever trend is happening in my mind or the real world!

    I love gray, blue, and green by the way. Always have! When I was a teenager I decorated a virtual trailer in gray and green. I thought it was lovely and can still remember it.

  • A-L, says:

    The main areas of my house are decorated with light green, cranberry/raspberry, and pale yellow. That's how I'm decorating my current house, and what I did with my previous house 5 years ago. But the bedrooms are a different story. The master is gold & either burgundy or ivory, depending on the season. The study/guest room is in the middle of being redecorated with a combination of medium blue, yellow, kelly green, rose pink, coral. Just very colorful fabrics but the room will probably be BM's China Blue.

  • Anonymous says:

    I love bright yellow, turquoise, grey, coral, lilac, grass green, burgundy…. The reason I won't buy a sofa in a bright color like turquoise? They aren't readily available (pre-made) and inexpensive. That's the bottom line.

  • Donna says:

    You're so funny, Maria..teasing us about our color insecurities. But I'm certain it's true. Me..I want safe and sound…neutral. (Ok, I admit it..brown. )

    Maybe in about ten years, I'll be braver. LOL!


    PS. Thanks for the wonderful visit! It was so special meeting you. :o)

  • Anonymous says:

    Bit late to the conversation but it seemed no one mentioned the style factor when purchasing sofas. My turquoise leather loveseat, purchased in 1995–makes the point. I still love the color but not the style. Much to my surprise, this sofa is still sold but to my thinking, looks dated. Because it is in great condition, the sofa is kept but also, retired to an upstairs family room. So I say buy a color you love and aim for classic lines…but consider the sofa style may look dated before you tire of the color.

  • Aly says:

    My decor right now is all about metallic colors – I love mixing silvers, golds, copper, pewter, etc. Makes me smile when I walk into my living room. I think the combination of yellow and grey is popular because it is the more conservative sister to gold and silver.

    As for not seeing much color in people's sofas and homes – I think some of it has to do with the fact that usually two people are involved, and it is easier to get two people to agree on a neutral instead of a bold color (especially men, who sometimes have more difficulty envisioning something).

    Also, I think a lot of us take our own hair, eye, and skin color into account. Blues and greens look better on more people than yellows and oranges. I live in the US and we definitely have more brunettes than blondes, and most yellows just don't look that good on brunettes!

    Does your hair/eye/skin color influence you?

  • BakerJ says:

    Intense colors are so Me balancing it with soft- yin and yang. I have never use grey, black, brown these colors makes me sad??!? I just painted my room. I use water magic (light green) by KM on most walls and the biggest wall (orange) light my fire by KM and another wall a bit hidden (purple) mountain ridge by BM. The room is not a 4 wall room. When people see's it they go- whoaa lol..

  • Anonymous says:

    The best advice I heard is from David Dishes from HDTV re: paint colors- you don't like it, you can choose another color. So True! is not the end of the world. Since then I have been so bold on colors and having a fun time picking changing wall colors. Best color advice!!

  • Lili says:

    I have yellow (accent) walls in all my rooms 😀 And I decorate in yellow, turquoise, pink and red (not all in the same room though). Have to say though, my furniture is white. Except fpr one dresser which is a wild mix of red, pink, orange and purple stripes… So I think I'm an exception to your impression… Then again, I live in Germany so it might still be a geograpic issue. Maybe it's because the people who call you aren't knowledgeable and daring with color anyhow and that's why they err on the (presumed) safe side?

    Relatable Style

  • Lili says:

    Oh, one other thing: The anonymous commenter is right about repainting… My boyfriend and I just painted our bedroom green, and now we don't like it. We tweaked the color, but still… no. So we're going to entirely repaint it now 🙂 No biggie.

    Relatable Style

  • Lesli says:

    I don’t know about yellow sofas…but I would love one, but I never have represented the majority. This is what I have observed on my blog…I got over 2000 post views, on my relatively new blog, the day I featured the pink interior of my cabinet. (compared to many days when I get about 100) The response was overwhelming. I think people are doing color where it can easily be changed back or to another hot color. Accent pieces, pillows, Cornices and rugs. Then chairs, then lastly sofas. MOST people buy one or two sofas in their adult lives…When you are surrounded by design people all the time, and people on the cutting edge of home decor…you forget that MOST people are much more conservative. Where I live they are JUST now, catching the gray wave and when you go in the building spec homes…the colors are up to 4 years behind.

  • Brenda Thomson says:

    I love your blog and your new website, so easy to use and beautiful. I love the colors you help me pick out for our new home. Neutrals and warm grays will look great with my light woods and classic gray cabinets. I have chosen a warm yellow to go with and happy it up a little but I would love to put some other colors with it. I love the blue tones also but haven’t found the right one. I found some fabric with the right color of light navy with yellow flowers, seriously thinking of using it in the living room.

  • L says:

    I feel that I am drawn to different colors all the time, so where I may love yellow for a few months, I may decide I love green even more the following year – but I still have that yellow couch. I think the real issue is believing that a particular color will limit you to ‘changing things up’. As you would probably say, most colors can go together if done right, but that is not the perception of most people. They feel they have more flexibility with a neutral, so if they do get tired of their accent colors, they can switch the palette more easily.

  • Maria I love your blog and new website. You are so inspirational to me. My husband and I are currently renting from my in-laws and in a couple years plan on building a new house. I can’t really do to much in my current house but I am going to have so much fun picking out colors ect for new house.
    About your gray, blue, green comment. SO TRUE! My mom refinishes furniture and people are loving those colors right now. As for me I have always loved gray! There is such as calmness in gray to me, BUT I love color. I like every color out there. I have small accent of color in every room. I think some people need to go with the trends more than others.

  • Janet R says:

    It is funny thing with colors – you may have your heart set on granny smith apple, periwinkle and purple but try and buy a sofa or flooring in bright pretty colors… The consumers aren’t scared the manufacter’s are! I have dandelion yellow and hot pink ceilings throughout my house because one color is not enough : ) I am looking at laminate wood flooring and hoping to find the perfect dark reddish brown.

  • Scribbler says:

    I don’t do gray — only once in my life did I make an exception. In our master bath, which will get redone when I can afford to gut it, there is grey cultured marble everywhere. I put about 9 million paint samples in there and studied them for the first year we lived there. Finally I concluded that a barely there shade of grey called “Smoke” actually made it less obnoxious than any thing else. It has a spa feel because the cabinetry is white, I painted the floor white, and I have used turquoise glass drawer pulls and a few other accents of the color.

    As to yellow, I have always loved yellow, to the point of having almost my whole last house yellow throughout. I have quite a stash of yellow fabrics, so I am pretty sure I will always use it.

    As to a choice of color for a sofa, I have two soft creamy white ones in the Man Cave, a floral one (only about 5 years old) in my LR which has a gazillion colors as does the whole room, and a slipcovered white one in the kitchen.

    I am happy with all of them, and I think people should probably have what makes them happy in their homes. I think following the herd is a colossal bore, but that’s just me. People here in Alabama are still stuck in all those browns, but they are always about 10 years behind.


  • Pascale says:

    Hi! I like you idea of plunging directly into our simply favorite colour for a sofa. We can build around it afterwards. I guess when I started my appartment I was tempted by many colours that would of been radical orientation, I finally when to a neutral that could then support MY favoriteS colourS witch are the golds. I wanted a gold light. I choose a light colour. The farther I am in the process the more I I choose strong accents: peach, lavender, pinks oranges… I guess I could of go other side, fabrics first, and then wall colours. And now I think my favorite sofa colour would of worked anyways: salmon, or turquoise…

  • ellie says:

    tiffany blue.
    aqua blue.
    turquoise (blue!).
    (yep – i’m lovin’ the blues 🙂
    hot pink.

    can’t wait to hear what the “new” color is!

  • Page says:

    Well my favorite decorating color is green b/c it goes with my pink flowered china (vintage theme). But we bought our first contemporary home (80’s). It is in a dark hole (track homes built going down a hill) so I painted the walls a gorgeous yellow (goldish in tone). I dont’ love yellow but I love it in this vaulted space. We knocked down a wall so the kitchen is open to the living room and front door. I am painting the back wall of the kitchen URBANE BRONZE. I have white trim and warm wood floors.

    That said, I have a red sofa. I never would have chosen a red sofa but it is a French antique – it is very original and absolutely stunning. The upholstery is professionally done and is incredibly suited to the carvings in the sofa and matching chair. I like the red less and less every day. I want white linen but how practical is that with three cute kids?!

  • Michelle says:

    If I were going to title this post, it would be called “A Gray Prescience.” For I think I’ve been on to something. I have a new blog (just beginning) called “Graystone Manor”. And about a year ago, before I ever read your site, or heard of annual color trends, we moved and I ditched my old rusty red, area rug and selected a new rug for my living room – a muted, neutral tan with grayish blue and muted, mossy green accents. Thus my quest for all things gray and green began. The reason? I am pushing 50 and needed a change. I am old enough to recall the harvest golds and avocado greens of my childhood; and endured the horried mauves and blues of the eighties; and after twenty years of earthy reds and browns, grays and greens just seemed like the next logical progression. I still wanted earthiness, but in a softer, lighter palette. I think it’s human nature to desire change. Like tantalizing our taste buds when eating, we like to tantalize our visual palette when decorating. We innately crave new things. We have mother nature to thank for that, with all her beautiful changing seasons. But we also have been conditioned by folks at Pottery Barn and Ikea – who take their cues from mother nature and know that we love buying and looking at all that new stuff. For me, it’s all about tone and hue. I love all colors. As long as they are muted, and earthy, and natural. No primary colors in my home. So I hope it’s okay that I have bits of muted mustard yellow for a splash of color in my rustic kitchen, which is open to the living area with it’s grayish-blue accents, which is open to the formal entry and dining with touches of muted caramel and mossy green. (It’s a very open plan.) This said, have you seen the latest “Jane Eyre” film? I derived much decorating inspiration from that film. (I’ve always been in love with all things British, especially those dreary moors.) So I think I’ll be happy living with my grays for a very long time. Besides, I can always brighten things up with a fresh bouquet of flowers.

  • Trish says:

    Hi Maria, I think your right, I like warm whites for my walls & i am loving the new warmer grey tones. I have 2 sofas, one is a warm white & the other is, surprise surprise…a dark ink blue. I have had the blue one for about 8 yrs & find I tired of the colour after about 2 yrs but paid a bomb for it so it has to stay a while longer!!
    Have a great weekend

  • mnzinnia says:

    Ahhh…I’d love to again have my first piece of brand new furniture. It was a lemon yellow corduroy 6 cushion modern sofa by Selig. Knoll like square chrome legs and base. Oh so comfortable and timeless and it made you happy just to look at it! We bought it as a young couple w/o much money. Lucky us that most people were afraid of such a bold piece so we got a super deal on it. After going through several years of kids I recovered it in medium blue corduroy, also a cheerful look. The maple frame and paddings were of such high quality that all it needed was a new “skin”. I’d still be using it today–40 years later–if not for a house fire that took it and some other modern classics we had accumulated.

    Maria, enjoy that yellow beauty!

  • Jenny says:

    I like yellow. The main walls in my home are a soft yellow- Benjamin Moore Windham Cream. I’ve had them for almost 7 years here and 2 years at our last home. We have skylights and the space looks so bright and happy.

  • Vicki says:

    Well, I keep my walls neutral because I have a LOT of bright colors elsewhere in the room. I have a red leather chair, a butter-yellow leather couch–with bright pillows in turquoise, orange, and a purplish-reddish color. I also have bright red, yellow, blue, and orange vases sitting around, as well as several (fake) Picasso paintings, which also have lively colors. I am in the process of changing the paint color on my accent wall to gray (sorry), with the architectural arches on that same wall painted either teal, purple, brick red, or a muted, dusty teal. The rest of the walls in the room are white. Again, anything other than a gray or beige would be “too much” in that room.

    My decorating sense has always been to keep paint walls neutral, and add brightness, pop, and fun with accents.

    So, some of us choose boring wall colors because our senses would be overstimulated if we went with bright wall colors in addition to the bright accents and furnishings.

  • Christine Lemieux says:

    I have settled for white walls and ivory floors so that my colourful abstract oil paintings really pop. The furniture is greyed out blues, which work well with many bright or not so bright accent colours. It is so flexible. Right now I am loving turquoise and orange.

  • Brenda says:

    Consider this food for thought. I believe in these economic times people want to come home to soothing, calming colors. Colors that say sit down relax, exhale this too shall pass. Big pieces of furniture in a nuetral color are a great way to go if your just not feeling like making a big commitment. A big yellow sofa seems to be screaming BE HAPPY. And most of us have to much on our minds economically, politically to just BE HAPPY. Now that being said, a yellow pillow for example, offers us the ability to use it when we feel like it or kick it to the curb. Just a little psycho babel for thought. Take it with a grain of salt my dear.

  • I have always liked colour and a more global feel in my home, but alas, I live with my husband. He does not like clutter (the miniatures and collections of the 80’s nearly killed him), or things that are too “wild”, or trendy. (although he lives with me 😉 ) So, I’d have to say that one must consider the others with whom we share our living spaces when considering why a particular sofa or paint colour is chosen. Sometimes it is merely a compromise to keep the peace.

  • Ellen says:

    I have a stunning butter yellow camel back sofa with coordinating chairs in various creams, teals, yellows & celadon. My walls are “tree swing green” a lovely turquoise. Its fresh & warm & rich & inviting & HAPPY. All the trim is white. the carpets have richer golds, navy, cranberry & teals. That may seem a little hideous, but it actually grounds the lighter fresh tones surrounding and its very practical for the hordes of teenagers who wander through my home. I know I”ll be able to live with these choices for a long time.
    White painted kitchen with white quartz counters & some carbonized bamboo accents. Tile floor with warm, slate look. White bath room fixtures with white cabinets and white tile wainscott. The accent colour is pure sunshine. Waking up to the warmth of yellow, you never have a bad day. The Floor in bath is walnut.
    A local white marble counter with blue grey veining is a cool accent.

  • My problem is I love colour but get sick of them too quickly. I never get sick of neutrals, but colour will drive me wild if I have to look at it for too long. Great post!

  • Lynne says:

    I have always loved light blue walls…I think my fantasy would be to add grassy green carpet, so I’m always outdoors! My main areas are almost-white blue and use deeper jewel tones in the other rooms.

    I’m now looking for a sofa, and I love the ideas presented here. Can’t wait to hit the stores!

  • Jane says:

    Short attention span. I like to keep the sofa neutral so that I can change the color with throw pillows. Warm yellows and oranges in winter, cooler green in summer.

  • Sheila says:

    I know this comment is way after the fact. I am NOT a color expert and I would really love to know what you have forecasted to 2012. I am in the mind to believe that everyone is getting tired of being totally thrifty and using lots of neutrals, burlaps and dropcloth in their decor. I feel we are gearing up to using colors that have more of a “rich” flair. I see the rise of Champayne colored metallics and plum or eggplant jewel tones, just opinion, as Like I said I am not a color expert.

  • Keri says:

    OMG — If I’m too nervous that I’m going to pick the wrong white for my trim, how could I possible pick a real color for a sofa???

  • Kristin says:

    Thanks so much for this article. I like color and am really sick of GREY – yuck! You just made me stick with my guns and paint happy colors!

  • ilja says:

    I just had my bathroom redone with a beautiful deep gray on the walls called Rugged Suede by Valspar. The floors were tiled in a deep gray and the vanity is a crisp white. I’ve added purple and white for the shower curtain, rug and towels. I’m in love with all three of these colors.

    I was so afraid that the gray would be too dark in my windowless bathroom but discovered that with all the white that is naturally in the bathroom, the tub and it’s white enclosure, the toilet, the vanity and the 2 doors, the deep gray walls make all the white look prettier than it ever has.

    Now I want to paint my whole house gray but am scared to death because I think it was the deepness of the gray in my bathroom that makes it look so pretty. I am afraid that if I paint the rest of the house in as deep/ dark a color that I will regret it.

    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Go gray! Oh yeah, and purple and white!

  • Katrina says:

    I love grey!!! But I love red more!! I’m painting my house a beautiful white beige with grey undertones, will blend beautifully with our pale grey cupboards & dark charcoal grey bench tops. But most of all will look stunning with my gorgeous red kitchen & dining room. We also plan on buying a big RED lounge, has been my dream for a long time, so I’m going to do it! Red never dates, ever & grey is close behind.

  • annie thaler says:

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    Hi Maria, There are not too many of us who would buy a yellow sofa – in my case a yellow love seat as well! I’ve had these sofas for 18 years.. I’ve never changed the wall colour BM HC30 or the leopard print chair. I’ve changed the drapes once from a yellow chintz with raspberry, coral, purple, green flowers to the striped silk in the photo. I change up the pillows for a different look. Hope you can see the photo as I’ve never done this before. Love your site!

  • Anonymous says:

    Dear Maria,
    I made the mistake of hiring what I thought was a good interior designer for my birthday. I have purple gray carpets and honey (with a bit of orange undertone) wood throughout the house. I was a bit dispirited to have an orangey beige perscribed. However, I dubtifully painted a large sample up and was underwhelmed. Looking at your blog I think I know why! A gray will never come alive and I think my designer is stuck in the last ten years and is having a hard time going away from beige. Now, I personally dislike white–but it is just because I have never had anything but white walls. Looking at your blog, I am now thinking, maybe a creamy yellow to brighten up things!

  • Lesly says:

    We moved into our new “Whistler” inspired home 6 years ago and the interior was a green/grey colour. Within weeks I was up on a ladder and painting. I have a very open plan so all I needed to do was find a couple perfect accent walls to “pop”. Then I painted them the deepest, richest, luxurious purple I could buy and they look divine! Even if purple isn’t most peoples favorite colour with my open floor plan, abundance of windows and warm green and honey brown hardwood floors…it just works! I love, love, love it! I never understood how people could be afraid of paint…it’s just paint, if you don’t like it, paint over it! Just like trying a new haircut…if you don’t like it. give it a couple of months and it will grow! Take a chance.

  • Suzan says:

    I would be happy living in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery.

    REDS. Dark, blue-red, raspberry, pinkish, and clear lipstick red and old monk garb deep meditation red.

    YELLOW. Custard, cream, old paper, and a pop of a Buddhist robe yellow pillow.

    The red makes my heart sing. It always has. And I love love love real gold leaf. And dark dark brown wood.

    See? Happy in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery. The Dali Lama’s garb rocks.

  • Christine says:

    Butter is my favorite color, along with ivory. I am decorating a brand new home and gray does not do it for me. I will spend eternity in my grave, I don’t want to live my life in one.
    As a result, my kitchen cabinets are gardenia, the walls are Montgomery White, and all my bathrooms are pale stone with different mosaic accents. Just because the economy is bad, we don’t have to be depressed in our homes.

  • Kim says:

    Maria, I too love yellow! My LR, Kitchen, and DR have been a soft yellow for 11 years. As for my other rooms… soft, medium green, soft, medium blue, and dark cranberry. Love the cranberry with the soft yellow, used as accent in the main area and green BR. If I were to choose an alternate color scheme for my house, it of course would start with soft yellow, and then go to cobalt, burnt orange and raspberry with some dark green.

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