How to Use Color Trends in Your Home

Color trends are just one thing to think about when you are decorating, just like knowing what is on sale at the grocery

We don’t track trends too closely because we want people to decorate to make themselves happy, not follow the trends. However, knowledge is power! So, even though we often have to work with colors and patterns we already have on furniture pieces and area rugs that are too pricey to replace, knowing at least the “direction” of color, pattern, texture and style is going to be helpful.  It could be a direction that works with what you already have.  Or maybe you haven’t changed styles in a long time and it’s time for something new….is your new style just on the horizon….or should you wait a year or two for the next wave?

colortrend1The truth is, the trends don’t change all that drastically over a short period of time.  What happens is gradual, and if you are watching, you can almost see it happening.  One of my favorite ways to track what is happening with the trends is to browse through home décor magazines and check out the advertisements.  Jewelry ads, clothing and tableware are all good indicators of what’s to come.  I cut these things out and stack them in piles until I see a trend emerging.  Then, I create trend boards and add paint color swatches to them so I have a clear picture of where we are headed.

Once you do an exercise like this, how can you incorporate the trends in your home décor?  Well, let’s take a look.

colortrend2Starting with color.  I have long believed that the “bones” of a good design are best when done in the neutral tones, meaning the expensive pieces that hold the room together like the sofa, chairs, and flooring.  If your main pieces of furniture and your hard surfaces are in neutrals, you can add the newest trend colors in pillows, wall paint, and accessories. Even chairs in a trend color, especially if it is a color you love, are a good idea.  The trends won’t change that fast, and you can get quite a few years out of your new colorful chairs.

Keep in mind too that color in the stores will change with the seasons.  It lightens to pastels in the spring and gets richer in the autumn as the leaves start to change.  This is another way to use trends in your home – “seasonal” trends.

How about texture? Texture changes greatly with the seasons.  We bring out cool chintzes, cottons and silks when the weather starts to warm up and the opposite, wools, velvets and chenilles when the snow starts to fly. Try gathering silk arrangements, pillows, slipcovers even artwork that pulls the tones and textures of the season out, these are trends that you can be sure will be back again next year!

colortrend3Now a bit about pattern.  Pattern does change and it can be dramatic.  We’ve been through years of lots of florals, then times when mainly solids with woven baskets designs or greek keys were important.  There are times when patterns are small and times when patterns are huge. We’ve seen years of straight and boxy patterns like stripes, checks and plaids, and then there are the curvilinear patterns like dots, paisleys and vines.  I find it’s best to know the patterns that make you glad.  I love buffalo checks and when I see them showing up in stores, I buy them up.  These are the times I grab a new bedspread or throw pillows for my plain sofas. These are the times that it makes sense to sew up a couple of slipcovers for my ever so dated plaid chairs.

So, do you see how to take the trends and bring them into your home?  It’s best in small additions, pieces that you’ve been thinking about changing, or accessories that aren’t going to break the bank to change.

Add the new trend colors in placemats and kitchen chair cushions.  A floral arrangement that picks up one of the new shades that blends with what you have going on in your home already is a good place to start.  Make over a guest bedroom, little office nook, or guest bath with new trend colors.  Bring in something of what you already have to make the transition work.

You know, I became so enamored with the new oranges when they were popular that I purchased yards and yards of an orange, lime, yellow and cream plaid to make draperies, yards of a co-ordinate to cover my filing system and even more to make a cover for one of those plaid chairs I was just mentioning.  Now, of course, oranges aren’t anywhere to be seen, and the fabric is still on the bolts!!  SEE why I don’t let trends rule my life!!  But I do keep them top of mind because they help make decorating fresh and fun.


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