Colour of the Year and How to Use it in Interior Design

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Happy New Year!  I can’t believe another year has passed.  2017 was a pretty good one, but I’m ready to take on 2018 full force. How ‘bout you?

A new year brings new interior design projects for me, which I am always grateful for.  I love interior design and I love helping clients fall head over heels for their spaces, whether I’m helping them directly with my e-design services, or helping them via this blog.  So what is the 2018 colour of the year? Well, that depends on which paint company you’re asking. In just a moment I’ll let you in on the 2018 colour of the year for four of the top paint brands, as well as the psychological meaning behind each colour and how you can use them in interior design.

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Benjamin Moore
The Benjamin Moore 2018 Colour of the Year is Caliente (AF290).  Caliente is a bold, saturated red with a slight orange undertone.  According to Benjamin Moore, it "creates  statement environments that are warm and full of personality."

Photo Credit: Benjamin Moore

The Psychology of RED
As already mentioned, red makes a statement. It is stimulating, energetic, bold, passionate and daring.  It also symbolizes strength.  Likely not too surprising when you consider the predominant colours used by political parties and country flags. 

Where to Use RED in Interior Design
Red is best used in areas of engagement; such as the kitchen, the dining room and the bedroom;). The front door is also a great place to use red because entry doors are often referred to as the smile of the home. A bold pop of red would be an inviting addition to your home's exterior to welcome guests into your home. 

While red can be used to cover walls entirely, I will caution you. Because it’s a stimulating colour, it can tire your eyes.  Unless you are uber comfortable with bold, bright colours, I would use red on an accent wall, a kitchen island, a piece of furniture or in décor accents instead. 

Pittsburgh Paints (PPG)
The 2018 Colour of the Year for Pittsburgh Paints is Black Flame (1043-7).  Black Flame is a subdued black with an undertone of indigo. PPG describes Black Flame as "unapologetic and timeless." 

Photo Credit: Pinterest

The Psychology of BLACK
Mystery, power, elegance, drama and classic are perfect descriptors for the emotions that the colour black evokes in a person. Black makes a statement without being too aggressive. 

Where to Use BLACK in Interior Design
Since black is classic, it can truly be used anywhere in interior design.  That said, it can feel extreme when used on large surface areas.  Consider your comfort level with intensity before painting a room black. Also consider the size of the room you want to paint. Dark colours tend to make a space feel smaller.  If your space is small already, you’ll want to save black for furniture, flooring, lighting and accessories. 

Related article: 5 Living Room Design Ideas for Decorating with Black

Sherwin Williams
The 2018 Colour of the Year for Sherwin Williams is Oceanside (SW 6496).  Oceanside is a rich, saturated jewel toned blue-green that quite frankly reminds me of Ariel's mermaid tail, but that’s just me. Sherwin Williams describes Oceanside as “A complex, deep colour that offers a sense of the familiar with a hint of the unknown.” Okay….so I was dead on with the mermaid thing then :).

Photo Credit: Sherwin Williams

The Psychology of BLUE-GREEN
Since blue-green is the combination of two colours, there is more psychology surrounding it as a whole.  Blue is associated with trust, loyalty, intelligence and helps to reduce stress.  Green signifies nature, quality, revitalization and relaxation. Combined together, they are felt to create feelings of positivity, serenity, sophistication and confidence. 

Where to Use BLUE-GREEN in Interior Design
Considering the fact that blue-green denotes positivity, serenity, sophistication and confidence, it’s perfect for an office, meditation room, exercise room or bedroom.  Again because of its saturation level, consider your comfort level with colour.  I LOVE colour, but when it occupies so much space, it draws attention. Giving attention to anything on a regular basis can become tiring. Evaluate whether or not you can commit to looking at such a strong colour for a long period of time before using it to paint all of your walls.  Again, I’d opt to use deep versions of blue-green in your furniture, flooring, lighting and accessories selections or maybe an accent wall. 

Behr’s 2018 Colour of the Year is In The Moment (T18-15).  In The Moment is a like a quieter version of Oceanside with a subtle grey undertone.  It's much less saturated and, according to Behr, “evokes a sense of sanctuary and relation amid our busy, always-on lives.”

Photo Credit: Behr

The Psychology of BLUE-GREEN with GREY
We already discussed that blue and green combined together create feelings of positivity, serenity, sophistication and confidence, but what about when you add grey into the mix?  Grey is calming and neutral. It reminds us to get balanced.  Blending these three colours together is thought to help us to rest and rejuvenate.  

Where to Use BLUE-GREEN-GREY in Interior Design
A restful combination of colours, blue-green-grey is best used in bedrooms, bathrooms and family rooms, although it could be used in any room that you want to feel peaceful in.  Note that because this is a tranquil colour, it may not be best put to use in a dining room if that’s an area that you like to be full of engaging conversation.  This colour is safe to use on walls, ceilings, furniture or in any other part of your design. 

So that's a quick roundup for you.  I’ll be heading to the 2018 Interior Design Show in Toronto on January 18th to learn more about colour and design trends for 2018.  I’ll keep you posted on what I learn.  In the meantime, good luck with your home décor projects. If you’d like to stay up to date on interior design trends, sign up for our newsletter below. And, if you have any trends or ideas that you'd like to share, I'd love to hear from you.  Use the comment section below. Make sure to join my Design Tribe to be the first to learn about the lastest interior decorating tips and trends.


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Take care for now. 

Interior Decorator Val Malnar
Interior Decorator Val Malnar

Val Malnar
Principal Designer | Orangetree Interiors

Unless stated, I do not own any of the images posted on this blog. If you see your work on my site and I have not given you proper credit or you would like it to be removed, please contact me.  Some of my posts include affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more information.  

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