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For Your Home: Deep, rich colors return for home decor

Vicki Payne
The Charlotte Observer

I think we are finally seeing a return to deep, saturated colors — tools for creating rooms that are vibrant, rich and full of life. While neutrals still dominated showrooms during fall furniture market in High Point last month, it was refreshing to see bright dashes of color everywhere you turned.

The hottest color has to be red. Not just plain red, but every imaginable shade. There were deep reds used in rich upholstery and painted finishes. Upholstery pieces in raspberry were easy to find. Some designers took red and twisted it into a bluish tone that made you think purple, but not quite.

Orange, still a hot color for designers and manufacturers, gave a spark to many room settings. Unlike emerald green or peacock blue, orange just isn’t going away. Whether in upholstered pieces, accessories and rugs, orange is still fresh and fun.

Other hot colors are mustard and butterscotch. I know we saw mustard used with gray-brown a few seasons ago, but now mustard is a stand-alone color.

This season many designers chose navy for a dark color instead of black. Their beautiful combinations put deep blue tones with gold, orange, mustard and butterscotch, rather than with the reds or whites of past seasons. I was so inspired I even bought myself a pair of navy suede shoes. They will look great with jeans and gold accessories.

Copper is also a contender. This year it’s rich with rosy undertones, adding sparkle to dozens of displays, from painted walls to lighting fixtures.

High-end furniture manufacturers are choosing gold for their hardware and furniture bases. Not a shiny gold, but a satiny finish that is smooth to the eye and the touch. If you did see a shiny gold, it was more of a gold leaf finish, not the lacquered brass of the ’70s. Silver is off the radar this season.

Gray is still the No. 1 neutral, but definitely with brown undertones. I didn’t see any bluish grays. It makes me think that, perhaps, next year we may see gray being replaced with more browns.

Creamy neutrals also have brown undertones now. The most interesting introduction in this category was the use of texture. Geometric designs woven with texture give a refreshing boost for plain fabrics. For those of us who like the tactile feel of fabric, the new designs are irresistible.

Designer and home improvement expert Vicki Payne is host and producer of “For Your Home,” available on PBS, Create TV and in national and international syndication. Reach her at