New Year, New Hues

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Although yellow is expected to reign supreme with its optimistic, cheery warmth, there are other hot wall color trends for 2009 that may appeal to your design style. If you're looking to liven up your home in a more subdued way, paint experts also predict simple, warm, natural and neutral shades as key themes for the year.

Similar to '08's earth-inspired collections, you'll see lots of beautiful neutrals taking their cues from organic materials like wood, stone and natural fibers. A raw, minimalistic feel will be big this year as we create a calm, peaceful atmosphere by going back to basics. Doty Horn, Director of Color at Benjamin Moore, suggests accomplishing this monochromatic look by using paint in whites and sands, then adding depth with texture from organic fabrics and found objects. That's good news for all of us who jumped on the gray bandwagon last year—that new favorite hue isn't going anywhere.

For those who need a little more drama, try adding personal touches to your otherwise subdued decor with accents in bold, high-gloss or metallic pigment.

Most color collections are slightly warmer than last year's, according to the experts at Sherwin Williams, who are offering their popular violets and plums in more red-based shades for the New Year. You'll see reds hot as ever, with rich warmth from hints of fiery orange. And last year's soft green trend gets lively with an infusion of yellow to brighten up this popular palette.

Or, take Horn's advice and introduce dramatic black to mossy greens and blues. If that scares you, start by painting the frame of a mirror with this chic shade.

With just a few cans of a new hue—whether it's one of these new trends or your tried-and-true favorites—and your living space can be transformed. Choose your color, review painting tips and tricks, and you'll be on your way to a fresh new look that's perfect for the year ahead.

Happy painting, Rachel

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