That's life

Trendy colors nudged along

If you painted the inside of your house recently, you don't have to worry about your color selection going out of style, at least not in the short term. The color specialists at Dutch Boy Paints envision only a subtle shift in the popular colors this year. Among the more noticeable changes are the many blues (ranging from periwinkles to sky blues), copper-colored oranges that are becoming the new red, and sophisticated shades of neutrals (pale yellows, soft taupes, and beiges) that are taking the place of more traditional off-whites.

Among the Dutch Boy colors expected to be "in" are:

• Nantucket Sound (blue)

• Nectar (peachy beige)

• Warm Sunlight (light yellow)

• Glockenspiel Brown (reddish brown)

• Candlewood Hill (light gray-green)

• Spanish Tile (deep gold)

• Beauty Pageant (lavender)

Tips for maximizing small rooms

Designer Brian Ogan learned a lot about working with small spaces when he overhauled the inside of a 1987 Airstream motor home. Mr. Ogan, who owns a furniture and accessories website (, converted the interior of the classic, rounded silver shell, giving it a sleek, contemporary, yet functional look. In doing so, he developed the five secrets for maximizing small rooms with style:

• Choose gentle colors: A light wall color with a white ceiling makes a room feel airy and bright. Another strategy: Paint three walls one color and the fourth a muted or slightly darker shade of the same color.

• Do not super-size your furniture. No overstuffed sofas or chairs, please, since they crowd a small space. Choose a few functional and attractive pieces. Simple, clean lines lend a sense of calm.

• Eliminate knickknacks. Don't overwhelm the space. A handful of small pictures and accessories should do the trick.

• Create open space: Arrange furniture so it doesn't block views to windows and doors. Modern benches, stools, and ottomans are good because they don't obstruct views.

• Add sparkle with mirrors: Reflective surfaces extend space and make a room feel more open.

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