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Homeowners reflect their optimism for the future in their paint choices, according to the latest colour trends released by Canada's paint manufacturers. While they disagree about the top colour of the year – one says red, one says blue – they agree that vibrant colours will soon be gracing the walls of homes around the country.

"The 2012-2013 paint colour palette is full of take-charge optimism," says manufacturer Sico. "Our need to take charge – influenced by our public sharing of personal information through social media, being more aware of our impact on the environment, or taking time out from our busy lives for quiet meditation – is reflected in a paint palette dominated by reds, greens and neutrals."

CILalso uses the term "take-charge optimism" in describing its latest range of colours. "This translates into full-bodied hues with lots of character and meaning, but also into tender, hushed pastels, chic neutrals and edgy brights, which complement each other in stimulating new ways."

PPG Pittsburgh Paints says, "Homeowners reluctant before will take the plunge – or the leap – into deep and vivid hues this year. On a quest for intensity, they will inject their décor with deep indigos like Blue Tang, saturated reds like Rum Punch, sharp pinks like Tutti Frutti and almost-neon yellows like Citrus Space."

CIL says "the colour of the year is a blushing, lively, juicy red (called Tea Dance). This radiant shade is the most important colour for 2012 as it is at once whimsical and serious, dynamic and soft, perfect for a tiny accent or for a feature wall. A colour that can be many things to many people reminds us not to look for simple solutions, but to open our minds to new ideas that are waiting to be discovered.

Beauti-Tone Paints, a division of Home Hardware But Benjamin Moore paints (www.benjaminmoore.ca) says the colour of the year is Wythe Blue. "Much more versatile than you may think, blue is truly a classic colour," the company says. "It has universal appeal, never goes out of style, and is overwhelmingly chosen as a colour favourite across North America. It evokes the sea and sky, physically calms us and symbolizes trust and commitment."

A Vancouver painter,

Warline Painting Ltd., says the hot interior colour trend is purple. The company says it has been used in accessories for the past year and now is being featured in show homes. "I think purple is sexy," says Warline Painting's Heidi Nyline. "When it is used in the right way it isn't feminine or too girly. It works to create living rooms with a cool and modern vibe or bedrooms with a smoky and sultry feel."

The paint companies always have some fun with the names they choose for their paint colours. Last year, the best names went to Beauti-Tone, for their musical names Greyful Dead, Going Gaga and I Got You Beige. The company continues that theme this year with its Green Day, Rolling Stones and Blue Suede Shoes hues.

However, the best names this year are from Para Paints, with Hottie (redish), Hoola Hoop (yellow) and Mammas Boy (grey). We also like Behr's Retro Recall names, "a snapshot of the past and present technological world," which include LOL Yellow, Reboot, Level Up and Game Over.

Most homeowners, when decorating, ignore the latest trends and go with the colours they like. Beauti-Tone says neutral greys and browns are still the most popular paint choices. Next most popular is green.

The Paint Quality Institute says patterned paint is also going to be popular this year, with "hound's tooth finishes, lacy designs and bold colour blocking techniques." Patterns can be used as both the main decorating feature in the room or as a textured backdrop.

The institute says the classic combination of black and white is also making a comeback, "in all sorts of settings, from contemporary apartments to historic homes. The pairing is a great way to freshen an interior with something smart and stylish."

Colour zoning is another hot feature. It involves painting one part of a room – such as one wall or an alcove or interesting space – in a bright colour to contrast with a more neutral shade in the rest of the room. It draws attention to the space to highlight artwork or the shape of the wall.

If you just can't decide what colours you like, most paint manufacturers offer website tools where you can pick different colours and see how you like them in virtual rooms online. If you're still stuck, Home Hardware offers a colour quiz that can help you decide between Japanese Blossom or Mexican Clay or anything in between.

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