Summer is on its way out, along with beach houses, barbecues and picnicking. Projects that have been pushed to the bottom of the to-do list are working their way to the top: applying a fresh coat of paint to the family room walls, searching for throw pillows for the couch in your sunroom, scouting for new drapes to add punch to the bedroom.
Clinging to your old color choices can be comforting, but it's time to depart from the cranberry reds, Wedgewood blues, hunter greens and tasteful creams that have worked so well in the past.
We've sought out local interior designers who know a thing or two about merging individual style with the trendiest tones on the market. Granted, selecting new colors for your home can be daunting. Whether it's painting or accessorizing a room, committing to a color theme can mean living with it for years to come.
But with the help of these design experts and a little self-reflection, there's no reason to stick with a traditional palette. Here are five colors that can relax, rejuvenate or revive a space in your home.
Color: Deep Aqua
Designer: Kathy Corbet, Kathy Corbet Interiors, 309 Clovelly Road, www.kathycorbetinteriors.com.
How they met: A few years ago, Corbet worked with a client who moved from California and wanted color variety in her new home. The dining room and living room were adjacent to each other. After selecting a rosy pink for the dining area, Corbet thought it natural to turn to the opposite side of the color wheel for a complementary living room hue. In the greens, she landed on deep aqua and fell hard, especially when she discovered metallic accent pieces and lovely art to accompany the shade.
Why she's hooked: "During different times of the day it looks very blue, then green, then gray," Corbett says. "It evolves."
Who will like it: Someone "who wants a room where they can escape," Corbet says. "If you're not a yoga person, this might be a good alternative. When you're in it, you're enveloped by it."
Color: White with Silver
Designer: Deborah Valentine, V for the Home, 5615 Patterson Ave., www.vforthehome.com.
How they met: Valentine has always considered white to be a staple in design. "With people getting into contemporary furniture, white has evolved from shabby chic to a sophisticated, edgy look," she says. In the last year, Valentine has seen more and more silver accent pieces paired with white to give a room a sleek yet inviting appeal.
Why she's hooked: A variety of textures can keep this modern look from feeling cold. "There's been a resurgence in antique silver," Valentine says. "And mirrored furniture, crystals, zinc and chrome finish off the look to keep it simple and elegant."
Who will like it: This design approach is fresh, modern and chic, but it can also be comfortable and cozy. Those looking to go a little modern but not too sterile will enjoy taking this baby step toward stark white modern without throwing away pieces they'd like to keep.
Designer: Janet Brown, Janet Brown Interiors, 3140 W. Cary St., www.janetbrowndesign.com.
How they met: When Janet Brown traveled to Istanbul this summer, she encountered turquoise used liberally in design. She was taken in by the dramatic effect of turquoise tile and ceramics in the palaces she visited.
Why she's hooked: "I had always thought of it as an accent color, but when I saw it used so much, I realized how it can really intensify and liven up a room."
Who will like it: Someone who likes a little drama. Go for broke and paint your room or an accent wall to create a bright and cheery space. The more timid should use turquoise in accent pieces for pops of color.
Designer: Susan Jamieson, Bridget Beari Designs, 3210 Hawthorne Ave., 321-4747, www.bridgetbearidesigns.com.
How they met: Over the past year, Jamieson noticed that orange tones were gaining popularity in fashion. She knew orange might be a little much to paint an entire room, but when it was paired with a chartreuse green, the combination really packed a punch. In a dining room she recently completed, Jamieson incorporated tangerine-and-chartreuse-striped drapery to complement copper and neutral shades.
Why she's hooked: "I always think of orange as sort of like pink," Jamieson says. "It's vibrant, loud and shocking. It's hot and citrusy, so this shade can warm and cool a room at once."
Who will like it: Someone "who likes something fun," she says. In accent pieces, especially used with green, it can add color but maintain elegance.
Designer: Robert Rentz, Robert Rentz Interiors, 1700 W. Main St., 358-1650.
How they met: When Rentz redecorated his own home recently, he was inspired to create a bronze faux-leather finish that serves as an ideal backdrop for his antiques as well as his contemporary paintings.
Why he's hooked "The way the light hits it creates a dated, older look. I like that leathery, patina look," Rentz says. "It's almost like a frame around my paintings."
Who will like it: Someone who wants a warmer neutral. The only colors that don't go well with it are pastels. "It has a very masculine look and coloration," says Rentz, who feels strongly about letting clients dictate color choices.