As the leaves are falling around this time every year, I wait anxiously for the Paint Quality Institute to 'drop' next year's list of the most anticipated colors being mixed for designers and DIY-ers to dress up their living spaces.

According to Debbie Zimmer, color expert for the Paint Quality Institute, interior paint colors that will be hot next year have a decidedly cool feel to them, with off-whites and certain light pastels moving to the forefront.

After two straight years of dominance by gray wall color - often accompanied by deeply saturated secondary colors like purple, teal, or rust - Zimmer says homeowners will be switching gears and brightening in 2016. She says wall color will be lighter, featuring a lot of cool and calming hues.

Off-whites will dominate next year, but very pale blues and greens are also expected to be popular. The lighter, softer color palette - and especially the blue-green hues - will help create a more relaxing environment for busy, hyper-connected homeowners who find more than enough stimulus at work, on the road, and in the other corners of their world, says Zimmer.

With wall color trending to the subtle side, the color, pattern, and texture of home furnishings will take on added importance in decor. Well turned out rooms will rely heavily on fabrics and carpeting to impart visual interest. And against lighter walls, artwork will have extra prominence.

Zimmer believes stylish homeowners who still crave some deep color in their rooms will use accent pieces – pottery, planters, throw pillows, and the like to punctuate their living space. Some may even use deep paint color sparingly, possibly on architectural elements like built-in cabinets and fireplace mantels.

Brass or gold-colored accessories complete the look including: nicely fashioned door knobs, cabinet hardware, faucets, and bric-a-brac. Incorporating at least a few of these items into a room adds character and style without compromising the light feel of the 2016 indoor environment, says Zimmer.

To learn more about color, home decorating, and home painting, visit the Paint Quality Institute blog at blog.paintquality.com.


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