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From walls to floors, a few simple updates can breathe new life into tired rooms

Livened up with accents of Pantone’s color of the year, this room features marsala-inspired throw pillows and a two-tone rug in marsala and cream. Shades in a sheer fabric have replaced heavy drapes to let in spring and summer sun.               (Photo courtesy of Oriental Weavers)

Livened up with accents of Pantone’s color of the year, this room features marsala-inspired throw pillows and a two-tone rug in marsala and cream. Shades in a sheer fabric have replaced heavy drapes to let in spring and summer sun. (Photo courtesy of Oriental Weavers)

Wall colors 

Giving a room a new look is often as easy as popping open a can of paint. It’s picking the right color that’s the hard part.

Pantone aims to help by annually naming its color of the year. This year that honor has been bestowed on Marsala. Described by Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the  Pantone Color Institute, as “a subtly seductive shade,” Marsala is predicted to draw “us in
to its embracing warmth.”

In spring fashion as well as on walls and in accessories, Pantone suggests that the color of the year pairs well with “an eclectic, ethereal mix of understated brights, pale pastels and nature-like neutrals” – such as classic blue, vivid orange, warm tans and cool grays.
“Many feel compelled to be connected around the clock because we are afraid we’ll miss something important,” Eiseman says. “There is a growing movement to step out and create ‘quiet zones’ to disconnect from technology and unwind, giving ourselves time to stop and be still. Color choices follow the same minimalistic, ‘en plein air’ theme, taking a cue from nature rather than being reinvented or mechanically manipulated. Soft, cool hues blend with subtle warm tones to create a soothing escape from the everyday hustle and bustle.”

 

Flooring trends

Underfoot, flooring trends also are turning toward grays and taupes in both hardwoods and carpets.

New colors as well as exotic woods continue to make hardwoods a popular choice, updated with satin finishes and wider planks.

In carpets, runners and area rugs, two-tone designs and textures offer a classic look that has modern appeal. Ribbed carpet and carpets with striations mimic the striations that have become popular in tile, and equally popular is tile that mimics hardwood – proving that in 2015 buyers can get the floor they want in their material of choice.

 

Window treatments

One quick and easy way to brighten up a room is to trade out drapes for sheers in a variety of prints and patterns.

Unlike drapes, sheers provide privacy while allowing the sun to shine through, diffusing it just enough to protect floors and furniture from its damaging rays.

Want more sunshine? Consider a Roman shade or shutters that can be closed at night but opened wide during the day.

Shades and sheers in bold colors or pretty prints can do double duty by creating a focal point that breathes new life into a space – even without so much as one drop of paint or an inch of new floor.

 

Accent pieces 

Often the safest way to bring color into a room is through an accent piece.

New art on the walls, an interesting new vase or statue, even accent pillows can give a room an inviting transformation – a little something unexpected – an object of interest set apart so that it catches attention.

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