‘In’ is out when it comes to lasting color schemes

Question: I’m having a hard time deciding how to paint a room. What colors are “in” right now?

Answer: If you want an attractive color scheme for a room -- something that will last longer than a shirt -- don’t follow trends, says designer Genevieve Gorder.

One way to experiment: Go to Mother Nature and find inspiration in a flower, vegetable or fruit. You’ll always have a palette of at least five colors that go together, she says. Take a kiwi: You have various shades of green, plus the colors of the skin and seeds. If you’re scared of too much green, paint the walls taupe and add accents in green and black. Or look to an artichoke.


Bathrooms, she says, are good places to test color schemes. They’re small and easy to paint, and they’re separate from the rest of the house. You don’t have to worry about controlling the flow of color.

The right colors aren’t enough, she says. Add texture by using different fabrics in pillows, perhaps chenille or a nubby silk.

Advice this week is from “Trading Spaces” designer Genevieve Gorder, whose new show, “Town Haul,” is on TLC; go to for airtimes. Readers are invited to submit questions about design, gardening and home life to the Los Angeles Times, Home Section, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, or e-mail Please include your name, city of residence and phone number.