Interior designer Debbie Sheaf of Orlando, Fla., is way ahead of the curve.
Last February, inspired by the blues and greens in her collection of antique majolica pottery, she painted the room that houses her collection a vibrant turquoise.
Turquoise was selected as the color of the year for 2010 by Pantone, a global color authority. The blue-green shade replaces mimosa, the sunny yellow that was Pantone's top pick for 2009.
Combining the "serene qualities of blue with the invigorating aspects of green," turquoise evokes thoughts of "soothing tropical waters and a languorous escape from the everyday troubles of the world, while restoring our sense of wellbeing," said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute in Carlstadt, N.J.
Just the kind of feel-good color we need in 2010, the year in which the depressed economy is expected to start recovering.
To determine color trends, the Color Institute's team of specialists travels the world, observing colors in many contexts and studying consumer psychology. Pantone then creates the standardized color palettes used in the design and fashion industries.
"In many cultures, turquoise occupies a special position in the world of color," Eiseman said. "It is believed to be a protective talisman, a color of deep compassion and healing, and a color of faith and truth, inspired by water and sky.
Most people respond positively to turquoise, she said. Universally flattering, it appeals to men and women, can look elegant or casual, and because it has both warm and cool undertones, it pairs well with any other color in the spectrum. It adds a splash of excitement to neutrals and browns, complements reds and pinks, creates a classic maritime look with deep blues and is especially trend-setting with yellow-greens.
People who like turquoise tend to be complex, imaginative and original, said Ron Redding, vice president of design for York Wallcoverings in York, Pa.
Once seen mainly in resort decor and clothing, turquoise now is making its way into "everyday homes," said Gina Shaw, a designer with York Wallcoverings. In addition, "turquoise and other ocean-inspired blues are 'eco-colors' that reflect increasing consumer appreciation of the environment and nature."
In general, a high-voltage color such as turquoise is best confined to smaller areas, such as a single wall. But if you're not brave enough to splash the color of the year on your walls, at least use accessories to update your decor, said Sheaf.
"Pop in a turquoise lamp, picture frames, towels or a painted chair. The result will be magical."
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