Variety of windows treatments offset the new neutrals foreseen by designers

Jan 10 2011

Adding new colors and finishes to walls can personalize the look of a room.
Adding new colors and finishes to walls can personalize the look of a room.
Warm colors can create an atmosphere that's as vibrant as fire engine red or as bright and lively as sunshine yellow. Cool colors, straight out of the seashore and pastoral settings, evoke a sense of peace and relaxation.

Somewhere in those color groups and every shade between, home decorators can find their inspiration for a new palette that's in step with the color forecast for the next couple of years.

Already, interior designers have stepped up their use of oyster hues and variations of gray to replace the more traditional beiges in the neutral zone. The vintage look of shabby chic can be found in wall colors that reflect old-time tinted photos and faded maps, according to the Washington Examiner.

Washington D.C. interior designer Tracy Morris told the newspaper that decorating schemes should take into account both color and finishes in order to create a personalized look. "Everyone knows what flat, eggshell and glossy finishes are," she said. "But they don't know about finishes in between."

Those include a matte finish that's a midway point between flat and eggshell, but contains porcelain dust for easier cleaning. Likewise, pearly finishes fall between eggshell and semi-gloss, and stand up well in bathrooms and other areas that retain moisture.

Interior decorator Susan Beimler, whose work is featured in the design book, Farrow and Ball: The Art of Color, likes to water down colors for a serene feel. In her Florida condominium, she uses tones of sand and watery blue to reflect the ocean shore. "The palette has become more neutral, but [they are] interesting neutrals taken from nature," Beimler told the Examiner.

To offset these new hues, experts are predicting shades with an undertone of purple for wood finishes, leathers and fabrics. Window treatments offer an opportunity to pick up these new colors in shades and blinds because they are available in a number of different patterns to match any room style.

For a casual look in family rooms or children's rooms, mini-blinds offer a window covering that's easy to clean, inexpensive and allows in natural light that will enhance newly-chosen colors. Vertical blinds for larger windows offer similar advantages.

In formal rooms for dining and entertaining, horizontal fabric shades are a good choice because they have the look of a window shade, but the individual slats are reminiscent of a venetian blind.
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