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In The News - Walls, Windows & Floors

Walls Windows and Floors

Summer 2004
PaintChips By Erika Rasmusson Janes

THINK PIÑA COLADAS AND PALM TREES ARE limited to tropical vacations? While you can’t bring the pink-sand beaches of Bermuda into your home, you can import the color palette of the Caribbean to your walls.

Tropical colors—ranging from soft neutrals that recall sand and seashells to purely corals and teals—are leaving the islands and heading inland."When grouped together they do give off an island feel, and evoke warm, fresh feelings in a room, like being at a beach," says Silver Spring, Maryland-based interior designer Deborah Wiener.

At Dutch Boy, colors from the Hope Springs Eternal collection fit the trend, including Peach Tree State #9D-4, a peachy shade; Campfire #12D-5, a dark, reddish coral; and Nantucket Sound #12-F, a bright swimming-pool blue. “Tropical colors are very saturated and cheery,” says Peggy Van Allen, the company’s color services manager.

At Benjamin Moore, tropical colors include Antiguan Sky #2040-60, a light, misty green; Island Sunset #1346, a deeper, mid-tone pink; and Caribbean Teal #2123-20, a deep sea-glass blue. In addition, neutral shades such as Barbados Sand #1094, a creamy beige and Pale Straw #2021-70, a soft, pale yellow, play into the palette.

“It’s a very popular look right now,” says Dawn Stoecklin, senior associate color marketing manager at Benjamin Moore. “It can be vibrant or calming.” Stoecklin attributes its popularity to the retro appeal of the 1950s— “People are reminiscing about those times,” she says—along with a desire to bring nature into the home.

According to Wiener, these work best on walls when furnishings are neutral. She suggests accenting one wall with the boldest hue and then painting the remaining walls a softer shade. "A teal wall, with golden yellow or apricot on the other three, would be striking," she says, "especially with white and sand-colored upholstery."

Still, she warns against incorporating the tropical palette in your home just because it’s trendy. "Homeowners should start small, painting just one wall in a tropical tone or adding a little color on the ceiling," she says. "Then add accessories like decorative pillows and sculptural glass objects in more tropical colors. In other words, take baby steps."

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