Colorful Interiors: What Are the Top Color Picks for 2012?

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Color experts are already giving their forecasts for the hot hues for 2012. And next year, the inspiration for color is mostly being drawn from the great American outdoors.

“Native plants and flowers, oceans and lakes, and rocks and minerals are the sources of inspiration for the paint colors that will be ‘in’ next year,” says Debbie Zimmer, color expert at the Paint Quality Institute.

Here’s an overview of the 2012 color palette, according to the Paint Quality Institute.








Courtesy of The Paint Quality Institute


Bold Blue

“From sparkling sea-glass blue to colonial blue-grey, blues are suitable for all living spaces, being a naturally soothing color that is loved–in one iteration or another–by almost everyone,” says Zimmer.









Courtesy of The Paint Quality Institute


Vibrant Green

A variety of green shades are expected to make it into more interiors next year, from dining rooms and kitchens to family rooms and bedrooms.

Bringing the outside in, these greens range from celery and asparagus colors to fir and fern, Zimmer says.










Courtesy of The Paint Quality Institute


Majestic Violet

“A harmonious combination of patriotic blue and red hues, violet can add ‘punch’ to any room when used as an accent color, or serve as the dominant color in a bedroom,” says Zimmer.

Melissa Tracey

Melissa Dittmann Tracey is a contributing editor for REALTOR® Magazine, writing about home & design trends, technology, and sales and marketing. She manages the magazine's award-winning Styled, Staged & Sold blog.

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  1. I have always been attracted to the colors that appear in nature and I am happy that people are bringing those colors to their walls. I used a beautiful green on an accent wall of a large bath and purchased a painted framed mirror for the opposite wall that had a bit of the same color along with a touch of red, orange and gold. With low voltage hallogen lighting and the new tile floors, I believe this remodeled bath was one reason the home sold so quickly.

  2. Love the colors Mother Nature provides for us but the blue is off. As a color Specialist in Charlotte, the only time clients use a blue that bold is in a baby’s room and even that’s far a few between. Looks good in concept but not in our homes.

    The green and violet are beautiful and I’ve used them often in the homes in South Charlotte – especially the violet which is a sexy master bedroom choice.