Hue are you?

Color. It’s all around us. From the ground to the sky and the clothes in our closets to the walls in our homes, color is an integral part of our lives and affects our moods and feelings.

For 2009, color trends will be influenced by the economy and the nation’s optimism about the future, according to the Color Marketing Group, the leading international nonprofit association of color design professionals.

“We’re finding comfort in colors that are familiar, and yet, at the same time, we’re embracing colors that make us happy — especially as accents,” said Jaime Stephens, executive director. “Everyone’s concerned about the economy, yet the spirit of the country coming together after the election is powerfully reflected in these choices. Also, the demand for colors and products that reflect an environmentally ‘greener’ world goes way beyond a trend. It’s now ‘a given.'”

The group has been accurately predicting color trends for more than 45 years. CMG predicts more evolution than revolution in color trends for the coming new season.

The experts on Dutch Boy’s color marketing and design team, which is part of the Color Marketing Group, also expect nature and fashion to influence this year’s colors.

The stand-out accent color for 2009 is bright, vivid yellow. Just as the sun lifts our spirits, yellow will provide energy as the nation rebuilds the economy.

Purple is 2009’s “must have” color, according to CMG. Emerging as a hot fashion color last fall, purple is not just a fad — it’s an entrenched trend, strongly influenced by the election. (After all, red plus blue equals purple.) Look for a grayed-out violet that works equally well as an accent or a neutral, as well as redder, plummier purples and bluer-influenced fuchsias in a huge range of products.

Also playing to the optimistic touches we crave are oranges, turquoises and teals, reds and yellows. CMG believes these hues from far-away countries that now seem very near will be plentiful in the coming year. The rich colors also embrace our nation’s cultural heritage and evoke strong and comforting memories of our ancestors.

Although green living has been symbolized by various shades of green in the last few years, it will be replaced by blue this year. The focus is on bringing the outdoors, such as watery blues and sky blues, into the home.

For the spring, bright and airy colors with cheerful, fun-loving names will fill the paint palette.

“When spring comes, most of us are ready to replace winter grays with livelier colors to usher in the new season,” said Melissa Birdsong, vice president of trend, design and brand at Lowe’s. “Simply painting your walls with a more vibrant hue such as Valspar’s Coral Reef or Blue Arrow is a sure way to brighten your spirits. But your room’s personality will also get a huge boost from this small investment of time, effort and money.”

For a bright alternative or to add some color to a dark bathroom or closet, Birdsong recommends Valspar’s Canary Yellow. The sunny yellow brings cheery spring air to smaller spaces.

Sometimes using your senses to assess the atmosphere you’d like to create in a given space helps with color decisions, she said. For example, if you’d like to re-create a vision of ocean waves in your living room, invest in a refreshing blue with an aptly named color like Valspar’s Sea Sparkle or wake up a boring bedroom, by painting the ceiling in a soft color like Olympic’s Sandy Beach, Cloud Nine or another hue to complement the room’s décor.

“Ideas for color can come from many places, even in the name of a paint color,” said Sue Kim, color, trend and forecast specialist at Valspar. “Think about the color, how it makes you feel or what special memory it might remind you of to help create an inspiring space in your home.”

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