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Paint Color Trends for 2013

Color experts predict the hues that will rule in 2013

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Paint Color Trends for 2013

Benjamin Moore's Lemon Sorbet softens a bathroom.

Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore

Each year, color experts from a variety of disciplines predict what they believe to be the trends that will drive their respective areas for the 12 months ahead. Always there is discussion of the economy and how it’s affecting consumers’ buying habits, not to mention their general demeanor, and how those factors and other elements of the time -- an election, a global conflict or celebration, unemployment rates and so on -- influence a person’s color decisions.

For 2013, color experts in the paint world are indeed looking to the economy, the waning recession and the modern state of life itself, a sense of being that seems to be relayed via a cacophony of news bites and Twitter feeds and an endless blast of technology that seems to leave us longing at once for what’s next and how simple it all used to be.

While 2012’s palette spoke of a population seeking a sense of calm, the color direction for 2013 alludes to the fact that we may finally be finding some version of it.

Expert Advice

At Benjamin Moore, the belief is that our economy’s gradual move away from the recession will be a driving factor in color selection, with eyes drawn to softer, more lighthearted pastels that speak of optimism and the promise of new beginnings.

“The palette is shifting from super saturated and strong hues to softer, lighter pastel shades,” said Sonu Mathew, ASID, IIDA and senior interior designer at Benjamin Moore. Mathew noted pastels traditionally “convey innocence and typically have a calming influence.”

At Sherwin-Williams, the attention is on that modern-day race of stimuli and how we process it all.

“We know that people gravitate to personal preferences,” said Jackie Jordan, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. “But we are being shaped by the divergent energies pulsing all around us.” Jordan added Sherwin-Williams’ Colormix 2013 “embraces these conflicts and shows how colors are about a process of combination, and creating unexpected harmony.”

Sherwin-Williams Picks

At Sherwin-Williams, the color experts selected 40 colors that were then grouped into four palettes believed to represent the trends that will drive paint color selection in 2013. Those palettes are...

Midnight Mystery: The moody hues here beckon to our darker sides. The vibe is masculine while the aesthetic is both Victorian and futuristic. Colors include an earthy plum brown, bottle green like the mysterious absinthe and a rustic red a la the houndstooth cloak of Sherlock Holmes.

Honed Vitality: Created to reflect the interplay of time and nature, this group takes its inspiration from the layered hues of mineral deposits and the weathered shutters of a rustic farmhouse. Colors include chalky greys and blues and earthy, cider-colored browns.

Vintage Moxie: Developed to represent a Mid-century demure with a new, modern edge, this group recalls the retro glamour of pearls and classic feminine silhouettes but tempers it with funky accents and attitude. Colors include vivid violets, golds infused with citrine and gauzy white.

High-Voltage: Inspired by the electricity of Vegas neon, this palette is consumerism as a form of self-expression. Bold hues speak of our digital lives. Colors include electric limes, phosphorescent yellows and feverish reds.

Benjamin Moore Picks

Benjamin Moore’s experts went with one very special color of the year and then created a series of palettes that will take that hue and transform it in myriad ways. The idea shows very well one color’s ability to please a variety of taste preferences and also to create a cohesive thread throughout a home while still popping with new accents in each individual room.

Color of the Year: Lemon Sorbet
Viewed by the experts at Benjamin Moore to not only be “the perfect partner for the emerging palette of freshened, polished pastels,” but as “the ideal transition color as we move from the more vibrant spectrum and mid-to-deep tone hues that we’ve been experiencing in home furnishings” as well.

The idea here is that each of the following color combinations can use Lemon Sorbet as a component, playing off its softness and optimism with a variety of alternative pairings.

Combination #1: Teacup Rose, Spring Dust and Baja Dunes

Combination #2: Lemon Ice, Simply White and Camouflage

Combination #3: Antiguan Sky, Sweet Innocence and Dark Mustard

Combination #4: Peachy Keen, Dark Linen and Thundercloud Gray

Combination #5: Pink Raspberry, Blue Ice and Dakota Woods Green

Combination #6: Juneau Spring, Woodland White and Polar Sky

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