The magazine House Beautiful hosted a “Color Institute” last week at the Mart. It featured a panel with HB’s editor, Stephen Drucker, local design maven Alessandra Branca  and Windsor Smith, a designer from Los Angeles. Here’s what I learned about color from each:

Stephen Drucker on color trends:

  • “The new femininity.” Pretty, flirty colors such as apple green and pink, especially used on strong shapes.
  • ”The new globalism.” Lots of rich colors that reflect homeowners’ travels.
  • Neutrals. “A lot of people talk color but only use neutrals.” The today factor: lots of distressing and metallics.
  • Tropical greens and browns.
  • Water and sky blue colors brought to life with metallic shimmer, texture, and mixed with greys (see photo above).

 Windsor Smith’s tips and observations:

  • She loves dark, dark brown—nearly charcoal black, with light salmon
  • Acknowledge the landscape. If your home has a lot of art, you need to create a neutral backdrop for it.
  • When you paint windows dark, what’s beyond it (trees, shrub, flowers) pops. If you paint them white, your eye stops at the white.
  • Teenagers inexplicably love purple. Naturally, this very strong color is hard to work with (and isn’t everything hard with teenagers?).
  • Go-to Colors: Benjamin Moore Rock Harbor Violet, Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White

 Alessandra Branca’s observations:

  • She wakes up to “spring every day” in a room that’s apple green and white
  • Black balances… it’s as much a color as any other.
  • No color is bad unless it’s overused.

Find lots of other great color tips from House Beautiful here:

Photo courtesy House Beautiful