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Current Paint Trends: When to Go for the Bold

Bright splashes of color are making their way from the pages of interior design magazines to the walls of your clients' restaurants, boutiques and living rooms.

Although lively hues like freesia yellow and radiant orchid (Pantone’s 2014 color of the year) are recent rising stars, there are many factors clients should consider before adding bold paint colors to their home or business space. Here are some talking points to help them through the process:

A Bolder Business Space
Business owners seeking a fresh color scheme need look no further than their brand identity and logo for inspiration. By considering their brand attributes and the function of their business space w, your client can improve their customers’ overall experience, says Sue Kim, a color strategist with Valspar Paint.

Still, the appropriate color choice varies by business type. Boutiques and retail stores, for example, are often designed to engage shoppers and show off their brands’ personalities. Traditional colors like beige and white are among top sellers for these types of spaces, Kim says, but some store owners are experimenting with styles and effects that could lead them to incorporate less conventional colors.

Although boutiques and retail spaces can play off of their merchandise for color ideas, restaurants may derive inspiration from the dishes they serve. When working with restaurant owners, make sure to gather information about their cuisine and customer base, which helps ensure the selected paint colors set the proper atmosphere, says Gina Mims, owner of Inspiro Brands, a restaurant design company.

Fast-casual restaurants may wish to add bold oranges or reds to their interiors, as studies have shown these colors encourage customers to eat faster and can increase table turnover. One way restaurants can incorporate bright shades is to pair them with neutral colors, using the brighter color as a “spotlight” that leads customers to the ordering counter, Mims says.

Sit-down restaurants should rely on neutrals to create a relaxed setting where customers can enjoy their meals at a more leisurely pace. However, an accent wall, such as the roasted tomato-colored wall Mims is incorporating for a pizza restaurant, can add a punch of color to an otherwise neutral space.

Home Is Where the Hue Is
As homeowners become savvier about color trends, professional painters should keep tabs on popular paint shades and suggest complementary color combinations to clients. Proper color pairings can prevent clashing and other issues, such as a bright purple wall casting an unintended blue or pink tone on surrounding white walls, says Anne Reagan, editor-in-chief of Porch.com, a home improvement network.

If your clients are interested in adding bright colors to their home, it may be wise to have them identify a vibrant color they like and then find a lighter or complementary shade of that color, which clients are more likely to enjoy long term, she says. Homeowners can finish the toned-down look with bold accessories, such as throw pillows or accent furniture.


Accent walls can be ideal for the color-adventurous homeowner who isn’t quite ready to plunge into a living room with cerulean blue walls. They’re also a great way to incorporate a trendy color on a budget or to try one temporarily.

“I think that it’s easy for people to try a color to see if it works for them,” Reagan says. “People change accent walls more frequently because [they] fatigue on stronger colors after a while.”


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