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Tap tomorrow’s paint trends today

 Sherwin-Williams colour of the year, Cavern Clay.
Sherwin-Williams colour of the year, Cavern Clay.

The pros say you can find the right colour for your project by doing your homework

Homeowners eager to learn what paint hues will be in vogue in 2019 don’t need a crystal ball. As is tradition every fall, many major paint brands have already revealed their colour of the year selections for next year — and this time around some of the picks are more different and daring than the experts expected.

Consider Sherwin-Williams’ choice: it’s a surprising shade of terra cotta with a 1970s feel called Cavern Clay. Or Night Watch, a deep green tone that topped the list for Dulux. Not to be outdone, Valspar actually named 12 colours of the year — one for every month of the 2019 calendar — from the deep purplish Metropolis Lilac to the zesty Orange Slice.

With so many fresh hues to choose from, how does a homeowner decide which is best?

“These colours of the year are meant to be a guide suggested by designers. They aren’t meant to override personal preferences. Think of them as a Paris runway — a parade of exciting styles that flutter by to inspire you,” says Michele Chagnon-Holbrook, founder/principal designer with Casabella Interiors in Cape Code, Massachusetts.

Kathie Chrisicos, founder/designer with Boston-based Chrisicos Interiors, admits that colour trends can be confusing, “but they can also be a great conversation starting point in a new painting or decorating project.”

Chrisicos is particularly smitten with Behr’s recently announced colour of the year: Blueprint, sporting a blue-grey shade.

“It’s a lovely, soft but distinctive blue that works well with greys and taupes,” she says.

Paint makers don’t just pick their new pigments willy-nilly or unveil them at random.

“Each fall, these companies share top-trending themes, palettes and colours so that players in the design world can plan the year ahead,” Chagnon-Holbrook adds. “Leading colour authorities devote the entire previous year researching all types of industries and inclinations to find the must lust-worthy trends.”

Sara McLean, stylist and colour expert for Los Angeles-headquartered Dunn-Edwards Paints — whose Mediterranean-inspired brownish-orange Spice of Life made the cut as its 2019 colour of the year — says autumn is a good time to debut next year’s hot colours.

“This allows enough time for confirmation of the variety of trend themes that occur earlier in the year, and it gets homeowners excited about what to expect in the coming new year,” says McLean.

But don’t just take the paint maker’s word for it. The pros say you can find the right colour for your project by doing your homework.

“Find a palette with colours you already like. Take a look on Pinterest or in magazines and see what inspires you,” says Erinn Valencich, founder/CEO of Erinn V. Design Group in Beverly Hills. “I always choose at least three colours to sample before painting a room. I like to put up a two-square-foot swatch on different sides of the room to see how the shade looks in different areas with various lighting. Colours you might not like in the morning you could love at night.”

To create a harmonious flow of hues, “select colours that relate to each other and that draw the eye from one space to the next,” recommends Chagnon-Holbrook. “A series of unrelated colours used together will make your home look unsophisticated and disjointed.”

That’s why it’s often best to choose complementary colours within your chosen paint’s same colour family. If in doubt, ask a paint expert at your home improvement retailer or enlist an experienced interior designer.

Sample different sheens before committing to a paint, too.

“If you’ve got kids, opt for easy-to-clean finishes. And consider fast-drying water-based latex paints, which emit fewer VOCs and tend to be easier to scrub than oil-based paint,” Chagnon-Holbrook adds.

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