Using Trendy Colors in 2011

The following post is from Lindsey M. Roberts, a design & décor writer:

pink flowers
source: Muffet

If it’s more than a week past December 25th, the red and green need to go.

But what colors should you replace them with? This is always a challenge, especially if you’re not ready for the summer-friendly orange-and-blue-combo. This year some of us might choose honeysuckle, the 2011 color of the year as chosen by color company Pantone.

Pantone honeysuckle paint colors
source: Pantone

However you feel about honeysuckle this year, or turquoise as chosen by Pantone last year, or mimosa yellow the year before that; if you find yourself longing to incorporate trendier colors into your home, the easiest way to start is with a fairly neutral palette in the rest of your home. This gives you lots of flexibility moving forward.

Here are some tips for updating your color palette in 2011.

1. Keep it cohesive.

Even if you’re committed to a bold color palette in your home (we’re pretty committed to cobalt blue and orange in our apartment), you can still update with touches of new colors here and there. The key is to be consistent. Repeat an accent color in multiple rooms, just like we do over the holidays with red and green, or gold and silver. Think Christmas, only orange or pink, not red and green.

2. Put away other colors.

It’s OK to rotate colors. Maybe your home’s default colors are lime green and brown. So pack up your lime green accents for the season and add honeysuckle, or another color. You can still make this work—even if a wall is permanently painted lime green. For example, over the Christmas holidays, we put away the blue and turn our blue-and-orange combo to red-and-orange.

3. Set up tablescapes in a new color.

Put out a new vase or find colored pillar candles and cluster them on your coffee table or dining room table. If you like orange, pile up a bowl of oranges. Yellow? Lemons. Green? Limes.

living room
source: CB2

4. Use fresh flowers.

Buy flowers every few weeks, and enjoy a new color without too much commitment.

5. Use throw blankets and pillows.

Is there anything better in a home than throw pillows? I’m not sure. This is quite possibly the easiest way to change up a color scheme. Throw blankets are also a great way to add a pop of a new color. I like to have neutral-colored pillows year round, and rotate colored ones in and out seasonally.

yellow towels
source: Anthropologie

6. Put something unexpected on display.

Pile up all of your red or blue books on a mantel and you have an easy, inexpensive way to add color. Make a neatly folded pile of colored towels in the bathroom. Line up all of your clear vases on a bookcase. Be creative!

Do you like honeysuckle? How do you incorporate trendy colors?

Lindsey M. Roberts has covered design, décor, and homes from Washington state to Washington, D.C., writing for publications such as Seattle Homes & Lifestyles, Apartment Therapy, The Washington Post, and Preservation magazine and editing publications for Hanley Wood.
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