PAINT

Freshen up your home with some new paint in the new year.

If you're looking for a fresh start to the new year that doesn't involve diet or exercise, why not try on a new color in your home? Changing up paint colors doesn't require you to forgo your decor in favor of new items, but a new hue can help you see your current furnishings in a new way. Best of all, you can get the change you're looking for to brighten your outlook and transform your space, all without making a big commitment.

Go fresh

One of the quickest and most dramatic transformations on decor shows involves simply changing paint colors. This is true here. By taking dark colors and adding a new, lighter hue, you can easily take a big design leap. Look for colors in your current decor, and choose one that is on the lightest end of the paint chip. This will help you keep your furnishings but still make a big change. Some of the colors for 2020 are soft, muted and dreamy, with a pastel-like quality, like Golden Straw, Heron and First Light by Benjamin Moore (www.benjaminmoore.com).

Be intense

If you're looking for a deeper feeling, look for bolder colors, like Pantone's color of the year for 2020, Classic Blue. It's a well-balanced blue that will work well in any room, bringing a nautical feeling to a coastal home or a rich depth to a bedroom or reading nook.

Jewel tones are also finding their way into the color wheel in the year ahead. Deep peacock blues and emerald greens have returned and offer a calming option in their rich, saturated tones. Look for a relaxing, yet sophisticated pick such as Ripe Olive, a thoughtful deep khaki green, by Sherwin Williams that would be perfect in a living room, dining room or media room (www.sherwin-williams.com).

Brighten up

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Give rooms a pick-me-up with punch of color that has verve. Whether in curtains over big windows or a deep lacquered coat on your front door, bold colors such as burnt orange or golden ochre feel trendy and fresh without relinquishing any verve. Try Sherwin-Williams' Tassel, a golden yellow that has a richness that would look great as an accent wall behind a bed, or in a breakfast room where it will add a cheery yet grounded feeling.

Color swaps

To get the most pop out of your new hue, look for ways to add contrast and show off the furniture with the new, light backdrop. In rooms with dark furnishings, try adding a light shade to help you see them in a new way. Light-colored upholstery will pop against an opulent color, like Pantone's color of the year, Classic Blue.

Give color a shot in unique places too. Instead of simply changing wall colors, give some attention to unexpected areas, such as doors. Give them a coat of Obsidian Q5 by Benjamin Moore to make each door enticing and helping them standout.

For more daring color, swap ceiling and wall paints by adding a dark hue on the ceiling and white on the walls. Go a step further by using a new sectioning technique, bringing the ceiling color down on the walls a foot. It adds interest and will shake up your style for the new year.

(For more information, contact Kathryn Weber through her website, www.redlotusletter.com.)

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