Color Trends for 2018

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6 ways to embrace the latest looks

Every year has its own color story. In 2018, the story is already shaping up to be bolder, brighter, and a dash more energetic than the one told in 2017. But what does that mean for homeowners? If you recently painted your house with the gray-influenced hues that were all the rage last year, do you drag out the paint trays and rollers again?

The answer: No. Color trends are meant to last more than a year. A color that was named Color of the Year in 2017 isn’t suddenly relegated to the history books; it’s still on walls all over the U.S., looking just as on-trend as it did when it was applied.

Last year’s colors were more subdued—influenced by gray but also depicting vibrant hues of violet, indigo, coral, orange, and teal. That was a hint that more vibrant colors were on the horizon, and indeed 2018 has exploded with such Colors of the Year as Caliente (AF–290), a dazzling hot red from Benjamin Moore, and Black Flame (545–7), a statement-making black with an undertone of indigo from PPG.

What is undisputable is that these colors will work well with last year’s gray-influenced palette—and that grays are still a major influence. If you want to incorporate into your existing décor some of the more vibrant color choices of 2018, here are six good ways to do it.

1. Think feature walls. A feature wall is still one of the best, most understated ways to bring a vibrant color into your space. Consider all the rooms in your home, and determine which would work best with a feature wall. Is it the headboard wall of your bedroom? The fireplace wall of your family room? The dining room wall where the sideboard sits? The feature wall doesn’t have to be solid paint; it can be covered in a wallpaper, a Venetian plaster, or a color wash.

2. Make an entrance. If you want to add a vibrant color, sometimes there’s no better way to do so than in the foyer. It’s a way to use a dramatic burst of color but with undertones that help it meld seamlessly into the parts of your home that feature the gray-influenced colors of the previous year’s palette.

3. Create a doorway to home fashion. If you have a subtle front door, spice up the entryway by going red or dramatic black in keeping with some of the colors making an appearance on the 2018 palette.

4. Paint your cabinetry. White has been a popular cabinet color for many years, but other colors are fast on its heels. Blues, greens, reds, and light-to-dark grays are colors you can expect to see on many fashion-forward cabinets this year, particularly in high-gloss sheens. They also work well with last year’s gray palette. If these brighter colors appeal to you but you’re afraid to overdo them, limit their use to a lower bank of kitchen cabinets, to the cabinets in a small bathroom, or to a kitchen island.

5. Look overhead. Another area that’s typically white—but doesn’t have to be—is the ceiling. A ceiling in a contrasting or complementary color can greatly enhance a room, making a small space appear larger or a larger space more dramatic. Choose a ceiling color from the 2018 palette that works with your existing wall color and that helps create the mood you want to establish.  Bright ceiling colors tend to be whimsical, deep colors sophisticated, and mid-tones soothing.

6. Head outdoors. If this year’s richer colors appeal to your sense of style, then don’t relegate them solely to your home’s interior. Consider painting your front door, garage doors, trim, or dormers in a trending color, making sure that the color works with your existing exterior scheme and follows any homeowner association rules. At the very least, you might try painting your garden gate—always a perfect place to personalize your home.

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