How to choose a longer lasting color scheme and maintain an updated interior at the same time

You can choose longer lasting colors by looking at what decade we’re in…  Color experts have found that by reviewing the differences between the color trends in the odd and even decades, we can better predict which colors of the decade will be longer lasting.  Additionally, looking at current color trends and how they’re affected by our cultural influences and current economic and political climate are also key indicators of the color trends of the decade we’re in now.  Fortunately, color experts have already done all the analyzing for us, but it’s interesting to see what our influences are and the color trends that have come out on top as a result.           

Benjamin Moore



Who would have thought our economy and political climate affect our color trends!   It’s fascinating that history has proven our color trends vary from decade to decade based on these factors.  ‘When we are in conflict, or the economy is weak, we tend to see colors that are “safe” to the point of being drab or grayed out.  When the economy is doing well, and we as a society are optimistic about the future, colors are more bold and clean” ,  according to the Color and Style Trend Report 2010 by Kravet Fabrics.  Looking to the past reveals our color choices…           

Even decades tended toward the cooler colors and edgy design, and these were periods of unrest and upheaval, i.e….             

  • 1920’s:  The “machine age” dominated by black and white, however a selection of rich pastels graced the fashion world. The surplus of beige left over from the First World War, found its way into home decor. Interiors were generally sophisticated light neutrals and grays, but rooms were beginning to be accessorized in strong colors.  Source:


1923 Better Homes & Gardens Armstrong Linoleum Ad


  • 1940’s:  The 1940s and World War II brought soil-hiding khaki and olive green, as well as patriotic reds and blues. Doing its part for the war effort, the American textile industry even restricted the number of colors available for fabric, thus suppressing the appetite for new colors and new clothes every season. Brighter colors started to return after the war years, though the political and social influences of the time kept colors relatively restrained.  Source:

1940 Better Homes & Gardens


  • 1960’s:  It was a decade of rule-breaking styles and colors. It was a time of rebellion as men burned draft cards and the sexual revolution was in full swing.  Hot pink, day-glo orange, and acid green broke with conventions for color in dress and home decor. With its introduction of vivid accent colors – Blueberry, Citron, Antique Red, Coppertone, Expresso, and Jade.  Source:
1960’s Source: 
  •  1980’s:  The 1980s began with a weak economy and muted tones like mauve, plum and seafoam green.  As the economy grew stronger, colors grew more intense as well.  Jewel tones, teal and coral became predominant.  Remember all those white kitchens?    Black and white also made a sophisticated statement in this time of conspicuous consumption.  Source:



Odd decades were times of rest with warmer colors and softer design were more prominent.  Think back to the 1950’s, 1970’s, 1990’s.            

  • 1930’s:  The color palette was more subdued with white, black, and metallic surfaces combined with softer hues.  Source:


  • 1950’s:  While not as vivid as what was to come in the 1960’s, The Atomic Age era colors were quite bright compared to earlier browns, grays, and more subdued combinations. The colors included bright pinks, seafoam green, and chartreuse. Reds leaned toward orange or pink while blues were closer to cyan.  Source:











  •  1970’s:  The colors moved to the more natural color palette of  browns, avocado green, warm orange.      

  •     1990’s:  We moved back toward neutrals and warmer calming colors such as hunter green  burgundy, and tans.        




Fast forward to now:  2009 was a very tumultuous year and our economy is slowly easing its way back in 2010.  Consequently, our color trends in 2010 are a mix of both.    Here are some examples according to the Color and Style Trend Report 2010 by Kravet Fabrics….            

“Safe” neutral colors:  blending with bold shots of vibrant tones.  In a sea of turmoil we are looking for the tranquil shades of nature.            




 Going Green movement:  Earth tones are, once again, leading the way in many markets.  Looking for sunnier days in our economic conditions, greens and yellows will continue from 2009 to be popular in setting the tone for 2010!  There will be a shift away from sage and olive greens toward more of a leaf green. These natural tones are calming yet invigorating, like being in a spring meadow.  Green continues to be a very important color.   Paladino Paladino
















  •   Yellow: one of the most popular paint colors of the past two decades, will be hotter and brighter than ever. For years, interior designers and color experts have sung the praises of yellow’s uplifting impact on our moods.     

Sarah Richardson



Color of the year- Turquoise:   Aqua has been a recommended color by cutting-edge decorators for a couple of years and will continue to be strong next year.  This color is said to be an inviting, luminous hue that combines the serene qualities of blue and the invigorating aspects of green.  Turquoise evokes thoughts of soothing, tropical waters and a languorous, effective escape from the everyday troubles of the world, while at the same time restoring our sense of wellbeing. It is thought that as the economy improves more and more people will once again book vacations, and tropical island getaways, where turquoise water abounds, will top the list of popular destinations.          





“Earth friendly” movement:  Another important trend to watch for are colors that deal with the African continent, including soft green, smoke blue, sand, mauve, lemon and copper. This earthy collection also works well with exotic accent pieces in the room, like African statuary or Middle Eastern rugs. These motifs tie into the sustainable “earth friendly” movement.  Pattern motifs that will reflect this trend will be batiks, paisleys and ikat.          



© Interiors by Decorating Den


© Interiors by Decorating Den


Lavenders and purples:   have become popular for bigger spaces. In the past, bedrooms and bathrooms were sometimes done in these colors, but now lavenders have moved into the larger living areas. In this palette, lavenders can be combined with deep purple or mauve, pink, bluish-gray and beige. The result is a room that is both sophisticated and soothing to the senses. Paint manufacturer Sherwin-Williams has introduced a line called Conscious Luxury which emphasizes this palette.   Lavender will be the hands-down winner in the bedroom. It portrays luxury and elegance and evokes warmth and comfort           

© Interiors by Decorating Den



 © Interiors by Decorating Den Reihl-David


Brights will take their cue from nature.  Colors to look for are “flower colors” such as orchids, vibrant greens and buttercup yellows.      Woodrum


Blue will make a comeback after falling out of favor for a few years.           


© Interiors by Decorating Den


 Shades of red will be darkened with purple and blue tones. Red and white pairings will also be popular.           


Above:  Mary McDonald room   



Gray seems to be emerging as the new neutral.  Slate and charcoal gray will be the hot new neutrals, taking over from the browns and beiges that had been so popular. Cool gray can be paired with almost any color for a winning combination.           


© Interiors by Decorating Den


© Interiors by Decorating Den












2 Responses to “How to choose a longer lasting color scheme and maintain an updated interior at the same time”
  1. recepti says:

    Thank you for your help!

  2. Cheers for sharing this info. It was a good read.

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