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Neutral colors the latest trend with staying power

By Marla Caceres, Tribune Content Agency

When it comes to home design, there are always new trends. Whether those trends look great years from now, though, is another question. Anyone still stuck with an avocado-green kitchen can attest to that.

Neutral Bedroom But some trends have staying power. Many interior designers — both in Florida and beyond — are pointing to one that is sure to become a timeless classic: the pairing of neutral colors and natural textures.

“I think (those) are here to stay, definitely here in Florida,” says Janet Graham, an interior designer for Baer’s Furniture, a home design storewith locations throughout central and south Florida. “Living in Florida is a lifestyle, it makes people feel like they want a relaxed home. They don’t want to see heavy colors and textures.”

As far as color, neutral can be defined as soft, natural and versatile — think tones like cream and sand. Although these colors are trendy now, designers say they have the power to look timeless in any home.

Ageless appeal

Part of the appeal of neutral colors is its effectiveness when paired with various colors, textures, fabrics and surfaces. “There is a trend today toward natural materials,” explains Abigail Shachat of New York-based AJS design/s. “It stems from a resurgence in midcentury modern design and crafts — and the offshoot is (designers) are looking for palettes complementary to that.”

This look is also fueled by an emphasis on being green — not the color, but the efforts toward a natural and sustainable lifestyle.“There’s a lot going on with materials that look and feel natural because they’re (seen as) healthier to be around,” she says.

Subtle changes

Shachat says there definitely is a “Florida look,” and acknowledges that the look is broader than ever before. “The look is primarily because the climate demands you use a certain type of material,” she says. “You’re not going to make a ski house look like a beach house and vice versa.”

Still, Shachatsays there can be slight modifications from the traditional palette of colors, but not much. “We’re seeing a lot of neutrals and a lot of grays, but they’re warmer,” she says.

Neutral Living Room Two other colors to consider are gray and platinum, according to Dallas-based designer Jan Showers. “These colors are good choices for walls because they look great with everything,” Showers says. She particularly likes them combined with a few gold metallic accents in a room.

Showers also suggests homeowners consider both beauty and practicality, and window dressing such as those by Hunter Douglas that offer energy-efficiency benefits as well as modern designs in a subtle, on-trend metallic sheen.

Going natural

Neutral colors are also enhanced by natural surfaces and textures. This means textures and surfaces drawn from and inspired by nature — think bamboo and slate instead of brass and plastic, or stainless steel and butcher block.

Designers say this new emphasis on light and neutral colors and textures is just a reflection of how people want to feel in their homes — soothed, relaxed and comfortable.

“Decorating is a reflection of how you want to feel on the inside when you come home,” Graham says.