Serious About Repainting in 2016? Lighten Up!


Undecided on the hues to use in your rooms? Then take a tip from the trendsetters: Lighten up your interior with some airy tints – they’re 2016’s hot new sensation in interior color!

While deep, saturated shades have been popular for what seems like forever, this year’s en vogue paint palette is just the opposite. Interior designers and color experts now favor lighter hues – including every imaginable off-white — that tease the eye with ever-so-subtle hints and traces of color.

Vaguely reminiscent of yesterday’s “pastels“, the soft colors that are so popular right now are much more sophisticated, often blending three or more different hues to create light color that is often difficult to describe. In fact, many have a chameleon-like quality, shifting in appearance when the light changes.

To take an example, a wall color might seem to be pale green in daylight, yet take on a yellow cast in the evening under artificial light. In the same way, a light bluish off-white may “migrate” to pale gray on a cloudy day, or when viewed in dimmer light.

Because of the tendency of these colors to shift in different lighting conditions, it’s wise to pre-test them before committing to a particular light tint. Purchase one or more samplers and apply some sizable swatches to several of your walls, then live with the test areas for a couple of days. Soon, you’ll be certain of your color choice.

The current trend away from bold color and toward off-whites and light tints is part of the natural ebb and flow that occurs in the paint industry every five years or so. And this stage of the cycle offers some tangible rewards to those who hop on board.

To start with, repainting walls, ceilings, and woodwork in lighter-colored paint will visually “open up” interior spaces, making them seem larger and more spacious.

There’s a psychological benefit, too: Lighter, brighter surroundings can lift the spirit, no matter what the color. And certain of the most popular soft tints – notably, those rooted in green and blue – have a restful quality that can relax jangled nerves after even the most stressful of days.