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There was a time not long ago when the go-to “it” color for nearly every room in the home fell under one hue: gray.

With 2018 finally here, the question looms: is gray finally waning in popularity?

“Cooler grays are exiting,” predicts Troy interior designer and local color expert Linda Shears of Linda Shears Designs. “Warmer grays — greiges — are still very popular.”

All of the major paint retailers have picked an “it” color for the new year and gray is nowhere in sight. If anything, this year’s choice are big and bold — hues that make a statement.

Oceanside, a warm teal hue, is Sherwin-Williams’ Color of the Year for 2018. Calling it an “adventurous, versatile peacock blue,” the retailer said it reflects our quest for trying new things.

“We have a growing sense of adventure, and it’s making its way into even the coziest corners of our homes,” said Sue Wadden, Sherwin-Williams’ director of color marketing, in a press release. “We are craving things that remind us of stories of bright folklore, like mermaids and expeditions across continents — essentially, the color of wanderlust right in our own homes.”

And Benjamin Moore also went bold, selecting Caliente as its top hue for 2018, describing it as vibrant and charismatic.

“Strong, radiant and full of energy, Caliente ... is total confidence. It is pleasing, passionate and makes people feel special, like ‘red carpet treatment,’ ” said Ellen O’Neill, Benjamin Moore’s Director of Strategic Design Intelligence, in a press release. “Whether used as one note or on four walls, the spirited personality of red turns heads signaling surprise and adventure.”

Pittsburgh Paints & Stains went even darker with its choice, Blackhearth. A grayish black hue with undertones of purple, it can be used as an accent color or all over. Either way, it makes a statement and “offers comfort and a quiet retreat from life’s hustle and constant connectivity, a luxury that many consumers crave,” said the retailer in a press release.

“Right now, many consumers want to ensure their styles and voices aren’t fading to the back, and Blackhearth provides the perfect opportunity to make a statement in the home,” said Misty Yeomans, color marketing manager, Pittsburgh Paints & Stains brand, in a press release.

Retailers don’t make these Color of the Year choices lightly.

Benjamin Moore, for example, has a Color & Design Team that spends months traveling all over the world, visiting more than 30 cities in 12 countries. The team of seven attends industry shows and photographs color trends in art, architecture, design, fashion and home furnishings. Their collective findings demonstrated “an emergence of red hues, embodying the change, strength, confidence and vitality that permeates cultural movements around the world,” according to a news release.

And when Pantone, a world-renowned color authority, makes its choice for Color of the Year in early December each year, it is major news, reported by outlets all over the world.

Its hue for 2018, Ultra Violet, is more than a color, says the famous color institute. It takes our “potential and awareness to a higher level,” said Leatrice Eiseman, the institute’s executive director.

“We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination. It is this kind of creative inspiration that is indigenous to ... Ultra Violet,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “From exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy, to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, intuitive Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.”

But not everyone is predicting dark, even moody hues will be on trend for the new year.

Dutch Boy’s selection, Sandstone Tint, is an example of greige, the hues Shears says are still popular. The retailer says its “unassuming backdrop for décor that features bright pops of color, such as a rich greens or gunmetal grays.”

“We chose Sandstone Tint as the 2018 Color of the Year as it captures the essence of our ever-evolving world,” said Rachel Skafidas, color and design manager of Dutch Boy Paints. “Its adaptability is another reason we love it so much. It can serve as a blank canvas for bold or neutral color pairings and everything in between.”

So as you settle into 2018, consider moving beyond gray and infusing a little color in your home. It’s often so much more than a color. It’s a statement.

(313) 223-4686

Twitter: @mfeighan

‘It’ colors for 2018

Benjamin Moore: Caliente. “Whether used as one or on four walls, the spirited personality of red turns heads signaling surprise and adventure. The eye can’t help but follow its bold strokes.”

Dutch Boy Paints: Sandstone Tint. It “captures the essence of our ever-evolving world. It’s adaptability is another reason we love it so much. It can serve as a blank canvas for bold or neutral color pairings and everything in between.”

Pittsburgh Paints: Blackhearth. “Its deep tones provide a sense of security that consumers are looking for in their day-to-day life. Subtle hints of gray and purple allow for a captivating look that can transform any space.”

Sherwin-Williams: Oceanside. It “is reminiscent of the multi-tonal blues found in nature, offering a memorable, yet calming effect for public spaces. It is a new twist on navy, a common color for use in commercial spaces. When placed correctly, it is refreshing and offers dimension and depth as a statement color.”

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