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Color trends: How to read them, ways to use them


After the holiday decorations come down, winter’s grayscape settles into view.

It’s about this time of year we start yearning for more color, pattern or other ways to liven up the indoor scenery.

While color psychology is a new field, there is little doubt color impacts how we feel and influences our mood.

Bright warm colors like red, orange and yellow are generally energizing, stimulating and evoke happy feelings. Green, blue and purple tones tend to elicit serenity, calm and relaxation, according to Mental Health America (

Nancy Gracia, an interior designer and owner of Bare Root Design Studio Inc. in Newtown, said the best way to incorporate new colors without undergoing a big home décor overhaul is by using accessories.

Think about adding throws, pillows and pops of color with art, photos and frames as a low-impact way to incorporate some of the new year’s trending color options.

“If the new color doesn’t tell the color story in your home, I would not consider it,” said Gracia.

Using pops of trending, new or fun colors can tie areas together and give the home an updated, refreshed look.

Confused by what’s new in 2024? Paint manufacturers like Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams and Farrow & Ball have already announced their “color of the year” picks.

In addition to a single feature color, coordinating and contrasting palettes provide an easy way to incorporate feature colors successfully.

This year’s Pantone color of the year is Peach Fuzz, which “…captures our desire to nurture ourselves and others,” according to the Pantone website.

Not crazy about Peach Fuzz, or any of the other new colors on offer?

Gracia said while it is fun to follow home and fashion trends — including annual new color offerings — your home should be a space in which you feel comfortable, connected and, most of all, content.

She encourages clients to consider colors they love and respond to rather than those currently on display.

“Keep in mind what looks fabulous in someone else’s home may not look great in yours,” Gracia advises.

Gracia suggests these tips when considering new or color changes:

• If you love a color and want to try it consider painting a ceiling in the mudroom or dining room. It’s a low-impact change easily corrected if you don’t like it.

• Don’t let a new trend or color drive a total redesign, unless you’re ready to do it. “That can happen,” she said. Instead, think carefully about how you want the home to feel.

• Ask yourself if you are willing to have this new color be — or become — a design driver in your home.

• Be cautious of social media. “Clients are pulled by social media and by what other people are doing and what’s in other homes,” she said. Try to avoid the impulse.

Gracia has extensive conversations with clients and prospects about colors and encourages some to consider those outside their comfort zone.

She said trust is a key factor in building home interior design professional relationships.

“I have this conversation…because I’ll probably be showing you colors that are not on Instagram,” she said.

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