ColorsAs I said in my last post, paint is the least expensive way to make a big impact.  What I didn’t say is that picking a paint color is easy.  Because it’s not.  It is sometimes very difficult.  If you’re like me, you may have an idea of what color you want, but when you get to the store and see all the varieties, you suddenly have no idea which to choose.

Me:  I want a nice, warm, buttery yellow for the kitchen.

Paint chip rack:  Here.  Here are 37 shade of warm, buttery yellows, and while you’re here why don’t you consider something a little brighter?  How about Lemon Chiffon?  I have 15 different shades close to that.

Me:…Maybe I’ll just stick with white.

Paint chip rack:  Oooo!  Eggshell? Chalk? Cloud?  Cool white?  Gray white?  (tapers off as I run from the store)

I love color, but it’s daunting to pick out one that you want to look at for the next few years.  While I can’t give you a magic (or scientific) formula for picking out the perfect paint color, other than to buy samples of colors you think you might like, I can tell you about some of the current trends in paint color according to some paint and color experts.

You may have heard of Pantone. They’re known worldwide, and are the authority on all things color.  If you can think of anything with a color, Pantone has that shade and can give you the number for it.  For example, and for all you Doctor Who fans, the TARDIS is Pantone 293C.

Every year in December, they announce the Pantone Color of the Year for the following year.  This year, for the first time, they have TWO colors of the year.  They are Rose Quartz and Serenity (Pantone 13-1520 and Pantone 15-3919).  They are shades of pink and blue meant to show balance, and to acknowledge the gender equality and fluidity of the world today.  Plus, they’re pretty:


These don’t really do them justice, so check out the actual colors on the Pantone website.

Those are very pretty colors, you say, but I’m not painting a nursery.  Or maybe you are, but you don’t want either pink or blue in the color scheme.  Here are some other opinions.

Benjamin Moore

The Benjamin Moore paint company also picks a color of the year.  They looked at trends and went to “Trend Shows,” and they looked at everything from decorating to architecture to find their inspiration.  This year, their color is Simply White (OC-117).  It is about as white a white as you can get, and is probably the exact shade I think of when thinking about the color white.  Benjamin Moore should know.   They have over 250 whites in their catalog.  I didn’t even know the human eye could distinguish 250 different whites.

Simply White  OC-117

They chose white because it is the most neutral, versatile color.  It can stand alone or be paired with anything.  If you’re interested, watch the video on their website about why they picked it and what they love about it.  Even if you just watch it with the sound off, the design photos are gorgeous.

Sherwin Williams

Ok, I’m starting to see a trend here myself.  Sherwin Williams has also picked white as their Color of the Year.  This time it’s Alabaster (SW 7008), which they call a “hue symbolic of new beginnings.”


I’ll admit, here it looks more gray than white, but you have to see it on walls to really get the idea.  It’s definitely a different white than Benjamin Moore’s Simply White.  But it’s still … white.  The video for this one is here.

Doesn’t anyone like color this year?  Let’s move on.


As it turns out, Sherwin Williams is in the process of “acquiring” Valspar.  Which I guess basically means Sherman Williams is buying out  Valspar and it will now be a Sherwin Williams brand.

Valspar has chosen 24 colors of the year for 2016.  Their “Color Ambassador” Genevieve Gorder (remember Trading Spaces?) picked the colors.  She actually picked 4 color palettes, each with six colors.


Yes, there is a white swatch on top of each color palette, but it is the colors themselves that draw attention.  You can watch their video here.

Shabby Chic

This isn’t a color of the year, but it is one of my favorite palettes.  I’ve loved Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby Chic since I first saw her books, and now that she has a line of paints out, I want to use all of them.  Everywhere.

Shabby Chic

Seriously.  Even the paint swatches are gorgeously displayed.  If you want more info on these, visit her site.  Or just join me in staring for a little longer.

Better Homes and Gardens

Who better to tell us about painting our rooms than the magazine that has told us how to decorate, both for everyday and for holidays, for years?  No one. That’s who.  Here is this year’s palette:

BHGThe colors are:

pink – Gentle Blush 2084-70 from Benjamin Moore

gray – Foil DE6360 by Dunn-Edwards

blue – Smoke Blue PPG451-5 by Pittsburgh Paints

green – Smoke Bell RL1599 by Ralph Lauren Paints

orange – Tango 6649 Sherwin-Williams.

To see how BHG suggests you use them, go here.  I can tell you that while they already look good together in the swatch picture, they look amazing together in a room.

Now what?

So the experts have chimed in, and they are favoring a lot of white and orange, among many other colors.  What if you need more information?

There are a ton of articles and blog posts out there on picking paint.  Here are just a few you may find helpful.

House Beautiful – 14 Paint colors that make your small space feel bigger

Meadow Lake Road – A Whole House Paint Color Plan

Kylie M. Interiors – The Best Light Paint Colours for a Dark Room/Basement

Are you painting any rooms this spring?  If you are, comment with which room and the color you decide on.  We’re painting my youngest daughter’s room a color she picked out.  It’s called “Girl Talk” and it’s Behr P110-2.  It’s a pinkish purple that she loves.  If I remember, I’ll post pictures once the paint is on the walls, but that will take a while.  It still might snow here on Sunday!

Girl Talk