Color Tips and Tricks

1. White and neutrals. One of the best ways to avoid color trends is of course to avoid wild colors altogether. A palette of pale neutrals is as close to time-proof as you can get, especially if you use a lot of classic white.

A neutral palette doesn’t have to be boring, either. Include rich textures (like woods and plush fabrics) and subtly different neutral shades to give a space life without introducing any dramatic hues that may or may not stand the test of time.

For a while now, stark ultrawhite has been the ultimate in fashion, but the tides are turning back to slightly warmer whites, and this can be expected to last for years to come. Cool and warm whites can suit whatever color scheme you might find yourself craving down the road, so they’re a safe bet either way for walls, cabinetry and other large surfaces.

2. Keep your cool. When you’re ready to dip your toe into some nonneutral hues, the best long-term bet is always going to be on the cooler side of the color spectrum — that is, greens, blues and blue-purples. Reds, red-violets, oranges and yellows, no matter the shade, will never be timeless the way their cooler counterparts are.

This may be because fiery colors feel more passionate and vivid, and therefore we tire of them more quickly. It’s hard to say definitively why, but hot hues always become a thing of the past much faster.

Specifically, shades of blue tend to be the most enduring of all the hues you can choose, with the color on the opposite side of the color wheel — orange — being the most associated with flash-in-the-pan trends.

This doesn’t mean, of course, that you should never dare to dabble in a hot hue again. But it does mean you may want to save reds and oranges for lower-commitment accent pieces, and look to cool hues for big-ticket items, as was done with the blue upholstery and orange accessories here.

A great aspect of blue in particular is that it works well tone-on-tone, with dark shades like navy and royal blue working well with lighter and brighter shades, complementary colors or simply one another.

3. Embrace opportunity. So, strict blue-on-blue isn’t for you? There are other ways to add dramatic colors without feeling like you’re stuck with yesterday’s trend down the road.

Take the opportunity to choose a risky hue for pieces that will naturally have to be replaced someday anyway. Items that receive a lot of wear and tear (sheets, towels, dishware and the like) are great starter items for trying out a bold color choice and seeing how it holds up.

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