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A Violet By Any Other Name Is News PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rose Bennett Gilbert Creative Syndicate   
Thursday, 12 December 2013 09:46

Creative Syndicate

Q: What's a good color for a bedroom you share with your significant other? We are moving in together, and he's OK with me repainting the bedroom "as long as it's not pink." (I hate pink!) Is there a good unisex color that's not really a color, like beige but not beige? (I hate beige, too!)

A: It's a shame for someone with your obvious color sensitivity to be looking for an un-color. However, you'll be relieved to hear that some colors are so versatile they can be used in a variety of rooms and appeal to an equal variety of tastes.

Take plum, for example. No, not the sweeter-than-thou, not-quite-purple plum of your grandmother's day. This is Exclusive Plum, so-named by the color experts at Sherwin- Williams, who have just pronounced it their "Color of the Year 2014."

Jackie Jordan, director of color marketing at the paint giant, describes "Exclusive Plum" as a "dusky, filtered violet ... refined without being stuffy, elegant yet easy, and layered with romantic potential." Poetry in a paint can! More practically speaking, it's a color that can be adapted for nearly any space, Jordan points out, including the bedroom in the photo we show here. Paired with gray and accented with bright white, "Exclusive Plum" looks dreamy by day, warm and soporific by night. But pair it with accents of copper and leather, as Jackie suggests, and the versatile plum (aka SW 6263) would be plumperfect for a man cave. Just don't tell the man it's technically a violet! Q: What's trending now for 2014? A: It depends a lot on where you live, according to a recent survey of top American interior designers, conducted by the window fashions mavens at Hunter Douglas. If you live on the West Coast, expect the "greige" color palette of the past to be passe. Opt instead for crisper, more vibrant colors, says Los Angeles-based designer Timothy Corrigan. He also sees the demise of midcentury furniture styles in favor of more comfortable, upholstered seating and wood furniture with easy-care finishes. But Dallas designer Jan Showers can't get enough of gray and platinum walls -- "They look great with everything," she says. Advocating the mixing of contemporary art and traditional interiors, and collecting anything, Showers notes, "Collections give people something to talk about."

She also suggests bringing the TV out of hiding. Get real, she reasons, "TV is such a part of our lives."

New York designers Carl D'Aquino and Dana Pressner are all about revving up the visual energy of a room. Consider bold, rich colors; LED lighting; more textures; metalized and pearlized leathers, especially for upholstery; grass cloths for the floor; and reclaimed wood, slightly aged and wide-planked.

In Boston, designer Gary McBournie says "proper," safe choices are giving way to fun, which he defines as color, color and more color! Think orange, his fave. Also, turquoise (for the kitchen), chartreuse (for a dining room) and coral (for a bedroom).

McBournie sees the return of "brown" furniture -- antiques "add warmth and presence to a room." Ditto, patterned fabrics, patterned wallpapers and painted floors: solids, spatters and checkerboards.

Survey sponsor Hunter Douglas is all about keeping the world's windows on-trend. Check out their new ideas and offerings at

Rose Bennett Gilbert is the coauthor of "Manhattan Style" and six other books on interior design.

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 December 2013 09:54

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