These Four Walls

These Four Walls

By Marilyn Pribus –

Just as clothing designers develop “hot” colors and accessories each season, designers for wall coverings plan ahead.

Interestingly, they often check fashion statements and, as a result, the manufacturers of paint, wallpaper, and other wall coverings generally lag a year or two behind the runways when it comes to colors and patterns.

Here’s a look at what is right up to date for 2018.

Most manufacturers promote their own “color of the year” and some websites even allow you to “paint” your rooms with various colors when you upload your own photos.

It’s interesting to note that gray has been the most-used color in home decor for quite awhile.  Some people suggest this is because the economic recession of a few years ago had a subduing effect on people.  But look for brighter colors this year.

One example is “Oceanside,” the Sherman-Williams choice for 2018, which they describe as “a collision of rich blue with jewel-toned green.”  Historically, blue is one of the most popular colors worldwide.

Their useful website offers painting help, especially in a section called Inspiration, which includes information and videos about the ins and outs of painting.

Kelly-Moore, on the other hand, has chosen a subtle shade of green they call Bahia Grass for 2018.  It captures, they say, the feel of wild grasses in a breeze and is a “modern neutral color with a timeless feel.”  Their website offers tips on selecting complimentary colors and a series of videos with great tips for painting a room.

Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year is Caliente—a “vibrant, charismatic shade of red:  strong, radiant and full of energy.”  Their website offers painting how-to information and users can upload photos of specific rooms and choose up to five surfaces to manipulate with color.

And in a powerful move toward bold, Pantone has chosen a dramatic purple shade called Ultra Violet—complex, contemplative, and full of emotion—as their color of the year symbolizing experimentation and non-conformity.

Painting Pointers
First, select colors you truly like unless you are one of those people who simply loves to paint. Whether you choose a hue to compliment your carpet, your couch, or a favorite piece of artwork, you probably have an idea of what suits your lifestyle.

Second, especially if you might be selling your home in the next few years, consider colors that are both popular and fairly neutral. Neutrals today have definitely moved beyond white. In fact, even beige and gray are a bit passé.

Third, visit local model homes for live sightings of some of the latest color winners because homes for sale will definitely be decorated with a buyer-pleasing eye to being right up to date.

Next, consider painting one wall of a room in a bold tone while leaving the others neutral or a lighter shade of the same hue. This makes it far easier to change the personality of the room by redoing that single wall, either to an entirely different bold color or to a neutral to increase marketability of a property.

Finally, remember it’s always wise to buy the smallest possible quantity of any color you choose and paint a large enough portion of your wall to really evaluate your choice both by day and under artificial light.

Wood and Wallpaper
Newly popular wall coverings are shiplap, millwork panels, and boards of reclaimed wood. Readily available at home supply stores, woods are becoming more affordable and are relatively easy for do-it-yourselfers to install an entire wall or sections for an accent. Wooden walls are especially popular in bedrooms these days.

Metallics continue to be stylish as accents in both wall coverings and furnishings, while florals are making a big comeback with bold, oversized prints.

Wallpaper is a relatively inexpensive way to make a big change. An example combining these metallic and floral trends is Graham & Brown’s new wallpaper called “Pierre” which features pink magnolia blossoms on a white-gold metallic background. The same pattern is also available with white blossoms on a platinum background.

Other wallpapers range from vintage to retro to art deco to bold graphics and geometrics with silver, gold, and copper accents. Also popular are papers with elements of nature such as trees, butterflies, or birds.

Please note, however, that wallpaper borders of geese, ferns, or daisies are definitely passé!

Temporary Coverings
In place of a covering directly on the wall, consider highlighting an existing wall with a major piece of art such as a painting or tapestry. Another strategy is a “gallery wall” which is simply a collection of items. This could feature anything from a variety of framed artwork or a collection of plates or posters or antiques or photographs or mirrors. Opt for a unifying theme of identical frames or a smorgasbord of items in different frames, sizes and shapes.

Murals are a versatile form of wallcovering and can be easy to use in a variety of themes. Usually digitally reproduced on vinyl, high-quality photographic paper or canvas, they are relatively easy to install and can generally can be removed intact to be repositioned or replaced. The choice of images is virtually endless with prices from modest to hundreds of dollars depending on the mural’s size and material.

Marilyn Pribus and her husband live in Albemarle County. They have several gallery walls displaying their collection of art and artifacts from the places they were stationed during his Air Force career.

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