New interior hues for the new year

 Carol O’Callaghan takes a look at the top fashion colours for home decorating in 2018. 

This year, for a change, let’s not hang on the lips of colour trendsetters at Pantone, who have named Ultra Violet as the colour dictate for the coming year.

Singularly unimpressed was I by their predictions for 2016.

Two colours, pink and blue — and particularly saccharine versions at that— put the kibosh on using them together in a house lived in by anyone other than small children.

Nearly two years on, versions now comprising a dusky pink and midnight blue are something nearer natural bedfellows that can work successfully in an interior decorating project.

Last year fared better, with the more workable Greenery touted, but best used as an accent in accessories, or in a statement piece of furniture, rather than as an all over colour.

Paint manufacturers, on the other hand, are reliably spot on about what works when it comes to trend predictions.

Plus, their skill at translating them into what is tonally suitable for the home is a boon for interior enthusiasts and those challenged by choosing colour — and particularly colour combinations.

Dulux’s colour for 2018 is Heart Wood, which amounts to a warmed up neutral somewhere betwixt a smoky taupe and dusky mauve. As a wall colour, it has a muted sophistication which works with soft pink, white, grey and even mid-range blues.

For a complete room makeover, black leather furniture comes out of the man cave and into the Heart Wood environment, as do accents of warmer metals like brass and brushed copper which give the look a feel of lived in luxury.

If you’re in quest of drama, the colour being touted by American paint brand Benjamin Moore is a red called Caliente, which happens to be Spanish for ‘hot’.

Indeed, it’s decidedly hot, and lush with it; the sort of tone we associate with rolled out red carpets, or one to make a striking impression in gloss on a front door.

It’s spirited on its own and worth investigating, especially when used in varying proportions with one or more of the palette’s 22 tones and shades, bearing alluring names like Golden Retriever, Texas Rose and Excalibur Grey.

For flat, chic tones, Farrow & Ball’s offering combines blue and green, debunking the idiom that the two never ought to be seen together.

But the quiet sophistication of this brand means that its Calke Green and Pitch Blue work together when used in equal amounts, rather than using one to accent the other.


So picture this: Dispense with a dado rail, but make sure you’re confident with a spirit level and have a steady hand to draw a line. Then apply Calke Green below and Pitch Blue above.

Farrow & Ball maintains the combo works particularly well in rooms with poor natural light.

Little Greene touts hues of aquamarine for a fresh option, full of the forward-looking optimism of springtime.

It plays to preferences for a lighter touch, without going the route of Dolly Mixture pastels.

Their Aquamarine also offers a strong partnership with grey accents on woodwork, and smaller accents of off-white. If you dare, add a daub of pink to give the look a 1980s vibe, but keep it dusky for a more up to date version of the combination.

This past year of mellow yellows and pops of orange added punch to interiors for spring and summer, so it was probably inevitable that winter versions would appear in burnt orange, copper and soft browns.

But who could have predicted it would prompt a revival of the once loved, now much maligned, terracotta?

Last time we saw it, home improvers of the ‘90s who longed to recreate a look from an Italian holiday villa, were applying it liberally to walls and floors, massively encouraged by the glut of interior makeover programmes which saw little else beyond it for years, until the chilly whites of minimalism usurped it in the noughties.

Valspar is now leading the revival with a version named Rustic Wicker. It’s a flatter tone than its predecessor which means it works equally well with yellow as orange.

Fleetwood offers the Pantone range in paints, so if you’re taken with the choice for 2018, or any year for that matter, there are nearly 60 options to choose from.

More in this Section

Sale away into January with discounts on home interiors


New father’s life ‘changed forever’ after he was run over by surgeon

The biggest cancer killer will take your breath away

Hopefully she had an idea...

Power of the press: Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks discuss 'The Post'

More From The Irish Examiner