View Mobile Site

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos


The colors of 2012 arrive

Decor: Experts decide 2012 is the year of reds, blues and greens

Posted: January 21, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: January 21, 2012 1:55 a.m.

If the new year has inspired you to redecorate your home and/or change the colors of your walls, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable with your choices.

But it’s always uplifting to feel you are up with the latest fashion trends in interior design. With that in mind, we’ll let you know what the “in” colors are for interior paints, as presented by Benjamin Moore, and we will also offer tips from Marie Stewart, interior designer and owner of Decorating Den Interiors.

This is a local, full-service interior design and decorating company, with the motto “No project is too small.”


Who decides?

According to Stewart, the Color Marketing Group is where the color trends for interior design are determined. The group is made up of “color experts” from around the world, representing many different industries, including the auto industry, interior design and fashion.

“They meet a couple of times a year,” Stewart said, and their decisions affect all aspects of design. “They are influenced by what is going on in the world,” she added.


The colors

Stewart said the featured colors this year are reds, blues, greens, neutrals and combinations of analogous versions of those.

Reds: Stewart said the favorites this year are the “earth reds,” such as oranges, violets and corals. These represent strength and power, and you can combine matt reds with gloss reds.

“The Pantone Color of the Year is Tangerine Tango,” Stewart said. “It’s a very vibrant orange, a happy color.”

In regard to the reds, she added, “These colors are tropical-inspired. It’s a global thing. Vibrant colors are an emotional pick-me-up.”

She said you can use these brilliant tropical colors in outdoor rooms, such as patios, through your furnishings, accessories and tableware — or in the fabrics of umbrellas and canopies.

Blues: “Blues are still in the forefront this year,” Stewart said. These include water-inspired ocean blues, and denims from indigo to worn and faded.

“There is a multitude of furnishings and accessories in clean and youthful Caribbean turquoise tones for teenagers’ rooms,” she added.


Greens: The greens this year are influenced by the sea and forest, Stewart said, including seaweed, algae and mossy greens. “They’re really getting away from the yellow-based greens. Instead there are turquoise greens, which are light and breezy.”

Neutrals: “The neutrals this year are derived from raw organic materials, and things such as green pebbles and earthy clays,” Stewart said. “These give a feeling of balance and harmony — not just the beiges and grays, but the use of soft natural golds, as well.”

She added that monochromatic neutral interiors with gray, beige, taupe, gold and white can be mixed with muted versions of reds, blues and greens.

“There are all sorts of furniture accessories in warm, natural, textural materials,” she said. Examples might be organic tableware and some new kinds of leather wall tiles.

“Neutrals always give a minimal, uncomplicated, organic look,” she said. “You can mix rustic neutrals with more modern, clean lines for interest.” This might include a coffee table made from the stump of a tree, combined with an end table having modern, clean lines.

“By adding a very muted blue to earth tones, you can go for a French eclectic interior,” she said, “which is nice because you can continually add furniture pieces or accessories to it.”


Interior paints

The result of worldwide research by its color experts, Color Trends 2012 is Benjamin Moore’s new collection of paint colors for 2012.

Structured into four select color groups — “Eclectic Elegance,” “Earth & Sky,” “Sense & Sensibility”, and “Spiced Life” — Color Trends 2012 can “bring to life any home and transform the ordinary into the sublime.”


‘Earth & Sky’

Nature’s hues unite for a style-savvy palette that transcends organic roots. The Earth & Sky paints include: Sharkskin (2139-30), Fresh Olive (2149-30), Battenberg (AF-70), Storm Cloud Gray (2140-40) and Benjamin Moore’s “color of the year,” Wythe Blue (HC-143).

As the website puts it, “Much more versatile than you may think, blue is truly a classic color. It has universal appeal, never goes out of style, and is overwhelmingly chosen as a color favorite across North America. It evokes the sea and sky, physically calms us, and symbolizes trust and commitment.

“Because of the influence that blue has in our world today, we have chosen Wythe Blue as Benjamin Moore’s 2012 Color of the Year. It’s a beautiful, calming hue that has an element of heritage and offers grounding rootedness, providing comfort and stability.”

“It’s interesting that Wythe Blue is from our historical color collection,” said Sonu Mathew, ASID, IIDA and Benjamin Moore’s senior interior designer. “We’ve actually cited it because it has a modern edge, yet it’s so rooted in history and is respectful of what’s classic and enduring.”

As Mathew pointed out, the blue family is an ideal backdrop for other colors and materials. “It’s an excellent partner to various wood tones, and complements the grays and whites that have become current decorating basics.”

‘Eclectic Elegance’

This diverse palette offers a clean, tailored look that works well with any décor. “Eclectic Elegance” paints include: Stardust (2108-40), Gypsy Love (2085-30), White Dove (OC-17), Nimbus Gray (2131-50) and Farm Fresh (AF-360).


‘Spiced Life’

A palette of well-seasoned hues that offer a refined perspective, “Spiced Life” paints include: French Press (AF-170), Revere Pewter (HC-172), Persimmon (2088-40), Refined (AF-75) and Amethyst Shadow (1441).


Sense & Sensibility

These are timeless colors that make an established home feel contemporary and a new one a little more worldly. Sense & Sensibility paints include: Ballet White (OC-9), Masada (AF-220), Dunmore Cream (HC-29), Pashmina (AF-100) and Montpelier (AF-555).

For more information and views of these colors (and others), visit and type the color name in the search window.

Try combinations

Stewart said you should be conservative with the colors of your furniture. “Trends are trends. I would advise sticking with neutrals for the large pieces and using the accents for color,” she said.

You can spice things up in other ways.

“If you just bought a sofa, you don’t want to replace it (when fashions change). It’s much more cost-effective to change art and accessories,” Stewart said.

“Paint is another very cost effective way to change your interior,” she said. “You can always repaint.”

Stewart said you could paint your walls in the warm, grayish taupes but have one “accent wall” in one of the brighter colors. The brilliant accent walls can also be a focal point for placing artwork.

She said it’s a good idea to put the one accent wall at the far end of a long room. “The color will advance the wall. It will shorten the room visually.”

Beyond paint, Stewart suggested using wallpaper. “Wallpaper is continuing to make a comeback,” she said. “The availability of beautiful wall covers continues to grow.”

Stewart explained that all of the suppliers of interior design products keep up with the current color trends, and said that fabric companies are constantly changing their offerings. 

“As always in design, there are no rules, only guidelines,” Stewart said.

For a free design consultation, contact Marie Stewart at Decorating Den Interiors at (661) 310-3774 or e-mail Visit


Most Popular Articles

There are no articles at this time.
Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.


Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...