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Living Space: Color trends for 2012

By Kathryn Weber
Nov. 17, 2011 at 5:17 a.m.

With its lipstick shades of mauve, rose and deep purple, this breakfast nook features some of the hot colors for 2012. Pearlized and metallic shades will also be trendy.

The holiday season often means sprucing up the house for company - with a mad dash to the paint store. But if you pick a color too quickly, you might miss out on what's trendy for 2012. Color experts have been busily working on new palettes, so shy not follow their lead? Besides being ahead of the color curve, you'll give your relatives something to talk about over Thanksgiving dinner.

Selecting colors

Choosing a color should be a matter of the heart, not the head. Too often, what we think is the right color might not feel that way once it's on the wall. The key to finding a color that suits you is to find one you gravitate toward in fashion. If your closet has more pinks and reds, then today's claret colors will be more to your liking.

Color trance

When beige is beginning to bore you, the deep, bewitching tones of teal, dusky red, plum, charcoal and shadowy navy can add a contemplative energy and cocooning feel to a room. If you're a bold decorator, try layering three or four shades of one color for a full color saturation effect. In the year ahead, blues and reds will be prominent and tonal vs. clear and bright.

Neutral shift

While neutrals are always popular, the move in 2012 will be away from skim color to whole color. Like milk, the trend in neutral colors is toward a fully saturated neutral; less beige and more khaki, as an example. The pale neutral will shift toward richer, deeper tans and taupes. Undercurrent red and umber colors will be a definitive influence in neutrals next year, adding depth and dimension to all colors, including golds and yellows. In addition to the expected range of earth tones is the surprising addition of neutralized greens and blues. Powdery and comfortingly soft, the palette moves both colors toward tones that read as a relaxing.

Metal mania

Metals will continue to shine in 2012, but with soft, matte overtones. Brushed gold will shine next year, bringing a golden vs. shiny glow. Metallic and pearlized colors will abound in home accessories and fashion alike. And like the deep jewel tones experiencing a revival, gray is also making a comeback, with deep shades toward slate and charcoal. Soft silver and bronze will continue to be strong metal colors.

Lipstick cues

Surprising color trends in 2012 will be the pouty colors of rose and mauve and their range of lipstick-palette tones. The colors are muted and include deep reds tinged with brown, promoting an antiqued feel with a timeless, comforting appeal. Velvet seat cushions in dark rose harken to a grandmother's dining room and holidays past.

That comfort and connection to history and heritage links many of the colors coming in 2012. But why wait? Next year's shades are fitting now and any time.

Kathryn Weber is a home and decorating columnist and publishes the Red Lotus Letter feng shui ezine. For more information, contact Weber through her website, redlotusletter.com.

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