Bill Head

When it comes to determining design trends for a new year, experts start planning months in advance. They start pulling together look books based on what’s starting to get attention online and whatever is catching the eyes of trendsetters and tastemakers. And when it comes to color and interiors, designers especially pay attention to the mood of the public. How exactly does one determine what color trends will be popular based on the mood of the public in year like the one we just finished? Thankfully, the experts have come up with a way and there are some pretty clever and interesting solutions coming our way this year. I think you’ll agree.

Designers at Sherwin Williams put it best, by describing the state of color as “restless,” and you do get that sense from all over the design world. Behr’s decision to break their 2017 recommendations for colors into three palettes certainly seems to agree. Their Confident, Comfortable, and Composed lines are a refusal to try to pin down any one mood for the year. Instead they challenge the consumer to choose their own path. Increasingly, experts are saying that this lack of definition is the trend. Any one particular look or aesthetic isn’t really becoming more important than another for 2017 – it’s more about self-reflection.

That said, paint manufacturers agree that the gray trend of 2016 is still strong, though in 2017 grays are warmer and bolder. Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year, Shadow is a good example. It’s a medium-dark tone which is lighter than charcoal but has a sort of depth to it that can be a dramatic backdrop or a foil to a playfully bright piece of furniture.

And here’s where designers all seem to agree this year. You’ll see comforting neutral colors on the whole, and bright, bold, unexpected pops of color showing up just about anywhere else. Picture a largely neutral contemporary room with dark gray walls, light tan or white sofa, and a cherry coffee table. Or maybe you’ll find a modern white kitchen flanked by cheerful acid green barstools. What you won’t see used often is chocolate brown, sunny yellow, or bright orange. Instead colors are more reminiscent of spices, stones, or minerals.

The good news is that when even the designers can’t decide what’s definitely on trend, you’ve got a lot more flexibility when you’re updating your look. Pick colors that reflect what you’re seeing in stores now and that feel good to you, and get a designer to help. You’ll end up with a fantastic new look that is as likely to hold up as long as any other.

You can always get great referrals for interior designers from your MetroTex REALTOR. Or, for information about buying, leasing, or selling a home, visit

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