tammy forrest
RE/MAX First
8820 Blackfoot Trail SE #115
Calgary, AB
T2J 3J1 CA
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Article dated: January 9, 2011

As you view the thousands of paint chips facing you at your local hardware store, you should know that colourists, stylists, designers and architects have all put a lot of thought into up-and-coming colours.

From global experiences to pop culture references, many resources are used to create the perfect palette for this year.

So, we asked the experts: What are the hottest colour trends for 2011?

Two emerging themes have influenced colour shades: Economy and environment.

“When the e conomy is less than stellar, people often make neutral choices with their design,” says Garry Belfall, senior brand manager for Para Paints. “But as the economy gets going again, you see a lot more vibrant colours and that’s the way we’re heading.”

Olympic Paint colour marketing manager Misty Walker couldn’t agree more.

“We’ve seen a lot of bleakness of the last couple of years and colours are starting to come back now. As things improve, our colours become more cheerful, optimistic.”

Expect to see lots of punchy colours and bold statements.

“Teal is popping up as a really popular colour, in many different shades,” Walker says.

“There’s also a great deal of influence around the globe, so for something more sophisticated and bright, you’re seeing colours coming from Indian and Moroccan cultures.”

Focus on the environment has surpassed trendy, as many consumers demand their products and paints to be eco-friendly.

“We’re going back to basics here,” Walker says.

“The emphasis is on renewable resources, the reusing, recycling mentality, which is becoming a part of our core beliefs.”

Belfall sees that the colour movement is going towards renewing and reusing.

“What’s old is new again,” he says. “A lot of colours from the past are being used, with influence from eras of the past century popping up.”

This retro look includes bold statements in purples, bright greens and burnt corals.

“You’ll find the green from your grandmother’s kitchen in the ’50s is hot right now,” Belfall says. “The 1960s is a huge influence, especially with such shows as Mad Men in the public eye right now.”

For the eco-look, Walker sees a big push for environmentally friendly products and a desire for an earthy feel.

As for neutrals, they are still out there, especially in shades of grey.

“Grey is the new neutral,” Walker says. “As a basic colour, it’s here to stay, as an accent or as a focal point in the room.”
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