Inspiring homeowners to take a broad brush to their builder-basic walls, paint manufacturers are introducing their annual color trend palettes.

Color Commentary

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Sherwin-Williams develops a color wheel for 2012, and other manufacturers weigh in on important aspects of color trends.

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For 2012, “colors that are analogous, or adjacent on the color wheel, are a dominant trend,” says Jackie Jordan, director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams. The brand took its cues from natural red, blue, green, and neutral bases to develop its ColorMix forecast for the coming year.

At Benjamin Moore, blue is the foundation for 2012 color trends as homeowners seek “a sense of calm, trust, and the tried-and-true,” the maker says.

Color experts at BehrPro agree that calming colors will be among top sellers for 2012. “The economy is one of the biggest factors that makes an impression on color and design right now,” says Erika Woelfel, director of color marketing. “When times are tough, people tend to use color conservatively. We see colors that tend to have great longevity ... calm, natural tones like stone gray [and] driftwood taupe. Accent colors help balance the overriding neutral direction but tend to be conservative as well. Bright splashes of red feel iconic and patriotic, and navy blue feels stable and comfortable.”

—Lauren Hunter, associate editor, REMODELING.