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Trend: Calm Colors

Color trend forecasters seem to agree on one thing for 2016. We’re all in need of serious serenity. So here’s a look at some traditional rooms that speak to classic, but totally au courant calm.

Written by Sally Finder Weepie
  • Werner Straube

    Pantone topped the color headlines with its declaration of a pair of colors of the year: a soft blush hue dubbed “Rose Quartz” and a calm blue that’s called (you guessed it) “Serenity.” Dreamy blue is a perfect choice for a bedroom santuary, like this retreat designed by Phoebe Howard for the 2014 Hampton Designer Showhouse. Blue on the walls was just the beginning. Howard piled on layer upon layer of the blue in this elegant space, using it in luxe fabrics for the bed canopy and curtains, sheer panels on the winows, and a tufted-velvet bench. 

    Design: Phoebe Howard

  • Werner Straube

    Beautiful in Blue

    Sumptuous drapery fabric brings the blue into this living room of a Beaux Arts-style mansion in Chicago, once owned by Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. The hue ups the elegance of the room's rich ivories.

    Design: Gail Plechaty

  • Werner Straube

    In Good Taste

    Blue has even more of a presence in the dining room of the former Hefner house, appearing not only on draperies, but also on walls, chair fabric, and the table covering. It pairs perfectly with fine antiques and glamorous gilding.

    Design: Gail Plechaty

  • Dustin Peck

    Fashionably Dressed 

    Blue brings a soothing mood to this spacious dressing room designed by Gray Walker. The color is a pleasing contrast to the adjoining bedroom, which is white, but still creates a calm that's perfect for starting and ending each day.

    Design: Gray Walker

  • John Bessler

    Eye Appeal

    Blue can add plenty of dazzle to a kitchen, too, as demonstrated by this space, designed by RitaLuisa Garcés. It's a fresh palette that's easy to live with and warmer than basic white.

    Design: RitaLuisa Garcés

  • Emily Jenkins Followill

    Serene Team

    Pantone got it right: Soft blush and calm blue can pair beautifully. Interior designer Clay Snider let the hues mingle in this sophisticated bathroom for the Atlanta Symphony Showhouse. Blue on the tufted chair blends with the blush hue of linen draperies.

    Interior design: Clay Snider
    Bath design: Matthew Quinn

  • Werner Straube

    Girly Getaway

    Blush doesn't have to stop at the draperies. For this elegantly feminine guest bedroom, designer Jan Showers also splashed the color onto walls. A sophisticated blush hue is a great choice: It complements any skin tone to make the occupant of the room look lovely.

    Design: Jan Showers

  • Gordon Beall

    Bed of Roses

    This master bedroom's centerpiece iron bed stands out against a soft backdrop created by light rose-hue wallpaper. A deeper shade of rose on pillows, the table covering, and the curtains keeps the room from going flat. White bedding and a splash of yellow in modern art lends a fresh note to prevent a saccharine feel.   

    Design: Dee Elms and Andrew Terrat

  • Emily Jenkins Followill

    Serene Scheme

    Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams concurred with the conclusion that some calm is in order. They chose “Alabaster” and “Simply White,” respectively, for their trend colors. Some critics complained, “Is white even a color?” But these whites, with their warm undertones, make sense. Space to clear our minds and rest our screen-fried eyes can be a good thing. And while you can go all-white for an ultra-soothing scheme, the other option is a white canvas that allows bold hues on fabrics or accessories to pop—just look at the art in this chic, quiet family home.

    Design: Bradshaw Orrell

  • Emily Jenkins Followill

    Sparkle & Shine

    Art—and even cookware—provides the hits of color in the kitchen of this home designed by Bradshaw Orrell. Oversize glass vessels and a nice smattering of silver bring shimmer—and plenty of interest—to the white space.

    Design: Bradshaw Orrell

  • Emily Jenkins Followill

    Seated in Elegance

    Soaring white walls create a breathtaking dining space in this North Carolina home. The white canvas is a perfect backdrop for rich woods, like those seen in the classic Rose Tarlow table and legs of contemporary upholstered armchairs.

    Design: Phoebe Howard

  • Gordon Beall

    Nature's Neutral

    PPG went a different, though still serene, direction with its pick, “Paradise Found.” The organic eucalyptus green with blue undertones brings the calm of nature to a room. Here, pair of sofas from Donghia are covered in green “Oxytone” fabric from Donoff Textiles, making this family room comfortable and inviting. The “New Leaf” rug was custom-colored to complement the room’s palette. 

    Design: David Herchik

  • Joe Schmelzer

    Green Day

    An antique hutch and refinished dining table contrast nicely with tranquil green walls in this dining room. The soft hue lets collected pieces visually pop from shelves. White on the ceiling, trim, and slipcovered chairs keeps the green pleasing, never overwhelming.

    Design: Ellen Small

  • Jack Gardner

    Cook's Paradise

    Green is also being seen on kitchen cabinets. Here, a nature-inspired hue coats the cabinets. It's complements by cool gray granite countertops and more natural hues in the backsplash tile.

    Design: Susan Massey