The new year is just around the corner, which means that you are probably reviewing ways to improve your business in 2017. Your company might be looking to figure out how to gain more leads or to make better use of your marketing budget, but have you ever thought about planning for color and design?

Each year, paint and color companies name a color (or colors) of the year that they feel will represent that year. The companies try to get people to think about color as more than the finishing touch to the space. Using color to help your clients feel right at home can be tricky, but we’ve spoken with independent color consultants and color experts at paint companies to help you start off on the right foot in 2017.

“Color is often thought of as purely decorative, but it can have a significant influence on how we feel and behave in a space,” Lauri Hafvenstein, a color designer based in Washington, D.C., tells REMODELING. “Researchers have found consistencies in how humans react physiologically to color (heart beat, blood pressure, hormone levels, etc.) as well as in the associations we make with specific colors.”

Because of that, some colors might be better in some spaces than others. Hafvenstein says that reds often go better in a living or dining room because red is “stimulating and energetic,” which is what your clients might be after for those social spaces. Blue, however, might be best for a bedroom because it is a cooler, calmer color.

Susan Mintz, co-founder of America's Color Consultants, tells REMODELING that your first job is to serve your client when it comes to choosing colors for a space. Mintz qualifies her statement by saying that it is also your job as a remodeler, and as a design professional, to avoid creating a “mish-mash” of colors just because that is what the client wants; the design still needs to be cohesive.

While the design you create for your clients will certainly reflect their tastes, there is always room to play with color. Many of the colors of the year are a shade of purple, which can be difficult to include in a pre-existing space, Mintz says. She advises that if a client would like to use purple, it will be easiest to include it in a room you're remodeling "from top to bottom."

Here, Wanderlust is used on the wall of a living room
Image courtesy of Behr Here, Wanderlust is used on the wall of a living room

Every year, Behr creates 20 all-new hues for its colors of the year. This year, the company focused on creating a palette that reflects people’s desire for a home that is “uniquely theirs,” Erika Woelfel, vice president of Color & Creative Services at Behr, says.

“When choosing color for a specific room, it’s most important to consider how you want the space to feel,” Woelfel says. She suggests that a relaxing jewel tone such as Behr’s Polished Aqua, would work well in a bedroom, while a rich teal shade like Wanderlust would work best in a living room because it “creates a calming environment and instills confidence and trust within your family or group.”

Image courtesy of Benjamin Moore Shadow

Benjamin Moore
This year, Benjamin Moore chose Shadow, a rich, dark purple, as its 2017 color of the year. The decision was influenced by arts, music, and culture from all over the world, Priscilla Ghaznavi, Color and Design director at Benjamin Moore, says.

“My experience has been that darker colors are used in spaces to concentrate,” Ghaznavi continues. “It allows people to focus and be wrapped in an envelope of warmth because of the depth of color.” She says purple can connote a sense of unity for the homeowner, which is why she often sees Shadow in formal dining rooms, a space where people often gather for holiday meals or special family occasions.

Honey Glow
Image courtesy of Dunn-Edwards Paints Honey Glow

“The traditional idea of the color yellow in psychology is a cheerful attitude and a curiosity about the world around us, and that really is representative of what we want the 2017 trend to be,” Sara McLean, Dunn-Edwards’ color marketing manager, says of Honey Glow, the company's 2017 color of the year.

McLean says that Honey Glow could be used in any part of the home, but notes that it would be especially good in a living room as an accent or focal point. She also says using it in a hallway to add a pop of color or to provide a backdrop to a piece of contemporary art would be a good fit for this vibrant hue.

Byzantine Blue
Image courtesy of Glidden Byzantine Blue

This year Glidden, one brand of PPG, chose Byzantine Blue as its color of the year for 2017. Misty Yeomans, color marketing manager for Glidden, attributes the love of purple to society’s interest nature, specifically its love of the galaxy. From books like The Martian to the recent revitalization of Star Wars and Star Trek films, Yeomans and her team found that purple was quite reflective of that trend.

Yeomans finds Byzantine Blue to be a “versatile color” that let people “dress it up or dress it down.” Her favorite use for it is in a bedroom because the color, with its grey undertones, “creates a very warm, but almost a neutral feeling.”

Violet Verbena
Image courtesy of PPG Violet Verbena

Violet Verbena, PPG’s 2017 color of the year, is a cozy color which blends “violet, grey, and a little bit of blue,” Dee Schlotter, senior color marketing manager for PPG, tells REMODELING. Schlotter says that only 1% of PPG’s palettes include a purple hue, but thinks that Violet Verbena, because of its versatile, soft shade, will help to expand that.

Schlotter recommends using Violet Verbena in home offices because it matches well with a variety of woods. It also “makes a statements without being too bold or too clean,” Schlotter says.

Poised Taupe
Image courtesy of Sherwin-Williams Poised Taupe

Poised Taupe, Sherwin-Williams' color of the year for 2017, is a neutral that strikes a balance between grey and brown. "It celebrates the imperfections and authenticity of a well-lived life," Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams told REMODELING in an email.

"The real delight of Poised Taupe is its simple versatility," Wadden says. "It's warm, deep, rich neutral that can go anywhere. Literally in any room. Living, dining, kitchen, bath, kids' rooms, basements, man caves...I could keep going. That's what I love about it: Poised Taupe has really broad appeal."

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