Experts say painting trends are going back to basics

By: Sarah Wojcik | C&G Newspapers | Published May 13, 2015

METRO DETROIT — For both the interiors and exteriors of homes, customers are opting to go back to classic color schemes and neutrals, according to experts in the field.


The return to basics is, in some cases, a nostalgic choice and, in other cases, a more strategic move to increase home value and appeal to a wider audience.


First Impression Home Staging in Bloomfield Hills owner Corie Conroy, a certified home stager and interior decorator, said her clients are leaning more toward cooler colors, such as greens, blues and grays. Green and navy blue are becoming more popular in dining rooms, she said.


“A lot of those calming colors (are popular),” she said. “Guilford Green, the Benjamin Moore color of the year, is popular, as well as a warm gray called Revere Pewter (by Benjamin Moore).”


Conroy said whites are starting to make a comeback, and light, bright rooms are common in magazines about style and homes.


“It used to be dark colors and bright reds, but now people are going for an antique, linen look with bright, white rooms — kind of cottage-y,” she said.


As far as color schemes, Conroy recommended that people select combinations that flow from room to room, and that they incorporate colors from the walls in the rooms’ décor.


“You have to put it together like an outfit — you’d match the pants and top. In homes, a coordinated palette helps it all flow together and create a natural rhythm through the house,” she said. “A bright room with another bright room next to it that’s not even the same tone causes confusion and is not tranquil.”


Accent walls, Conroy said, are not as popular as they used to be, but she advised to choose an important wall to accent, such as the wall behind the bed or a wall with a statement piece on it, so it is the focal point of a room.


She also advised to paint ceilings white, if they weren’t already, to keep a more airy feel in the home, as well as to increase resale value.


As far as front door colors, she said people are still choosing black, red and navy blue.


Tony Chilia, owner and president of Timeless Painting in Rochester, said he has noticed an increase in the desire of homeowners to update and maintain their homes while keeping renovations low-budget to protect their assets and increase equity.


“You can update a house and make it look pretty new and fresh just by putting a coat of paint in a room or several rooms, including removing old wallpaper that may have been up for years,” he said.


Chilia said that for the past several years, he’s noticed a trend of going back to more classic colors: neutrals and calming, lighter colors like pastels.


“I think they like the nostalgia sometimes of using a classic color that reminds them of their grandmother or what their room looked like as a kid, and that comfort feeling of it,” he said.


As for the exterior of homes, Chilia said those in newer neighborhoods are often sticking to painting their homes the existing colors. Those in older or historic homes are opting to go with historic colors, but are more likely to experiment with more daring hues.


For those looking to paint themselves, both Conroy and Chilia stressed the importance of taking time to prepare a room for painting by covering anything not being painted.