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Color is one of the first things we see when we look at an interior space and the items in that space. With spring just around the corner, this is a good time to discuss color trends as seen at the most recent markets since many folks are considering spring cleaning, painting and/or changing the interiors of their homes.

Gray has been a favorite neutral color of the home interior industry for the last several years and is certainly considered in the "established" category when discussing trends.

Gray washes can be found in wood products, in lighting and accessories, and in fabrics for upholstery, bedding, and window treatments. With the furniture and accessories markets decidedly moving more transitional, gray works great with this trend. Although there is talk about the popularity of gray waning, the alternative (beige or tan) is not gaining traction in the aforementioned markets, especially the largest, the International Furniture Market in High Point, North Carolina.

Gray is such a wonderful backdrop for many colors which is also a reason why it continues to be the neutral color of choice. Over the last few years, the Color Marketing Group has promoted orange, pink, lavender, and most recently emerald and other greens. All are wonderful accent colors and work perfectly with gray.

Introducing a color

Moving from neutral to color, the color that shares popularity with no other and has demonstrated the most staying power is blue. From brilliant cobalt to calm, soft blues to deep, rich navy, blue has crossed multiple design styles. From casual coastal themes to a sophisticated city, all forms of blue can be found.

Don't be timid, add some excitement to your décor by adding a blast of color. Navy has been so popular that many consider it to be the new neutral! Add a red accent chair to a navy room and wow, an exciting, bold statement is created. So, paint your blue with a broad brush with confidence.

Timeless elegance

A timeless color combination that never goes out of style is black and white. Elle Décor states, "Nothing packs a more powerful interior design punch than this bold color combination." This enduring combo pairs well with gray as a neutral or any number of popular bights to add a pop of color and interest.

Therefore, you can bring a striking aesthetic to any design theme when you use black and white. Changing bright accents such as pillows and accessories is an easy, inexpensive way to also change the décor with the seasons. Remember, to add interest when using black and white or a monochromatic color scheme, employ texture and variations of the amounts of each "color."

In closing, don't be afraid to experiment with color. Whether using gray as a neutral, blue in any shade, or the enduring mixture of black and white, make your statement with color.

ANGELA ROWE, DDCD is Owner and Interior Designer of Decorating Den Interiors.

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