Individual style, mixed with budget-conscious decorating, will drive 2011 paint color trends.

"There's no escaping the state of the economy, even for homeowners who want to beautify their homes," says Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert at the Paint Quality Institute. "Rather than diving into large-scale renovation projects, in the coming year, consumers popular paint colorswill search for inexpensive ways to freshen and update their homes.   Many will conclude that painting is the perfect solution."

By incorporating a few new paint colors, either as accent walls or throughout a room, consumers will be able to enhance their living spaces economically with paint.

Here’s a sneak peek at three paint color trends for 2011.

TREND #1:  BACK TO BASICS

Homeowners seeking comfortable and serene spaces in 2011 will gravitate toward a range of casual neutral and pastel paint color hues to create warm and inviting spaces.  Neutrals provide versatility and allow homeowners to quickly change the look of a room just by adding a few new accessories, without spending time and money to remodel or repaint again.  This is the ultimate in practical remodeling, and the time is ripe for it.

Warm whites, tawny tans, "barely-there" coral, and green are some of the colors that will find their way into countless kitchens, bedrooms and baths

TREND #2:  "WELL WORN" HUES

Like a pair of favorite jeans, blue shades of paint will grow in popularity in 2011, not just as a wall color, but also as a ceiling choice. "Well Worn Hues" are represented by blues across the spectrum, from denim dark to blue-grey. 

Since most blues tend to be calming colors, this hue helps to create a perfect retreat from many of life's stresses.  As a secondary or complementary hue, yellow or yellow-green adds a bit of “spunk” when used in family spaces.

Well Worn Hues can be used virtually anywhere in a home.

TREND #3:  SHIMMER AND SHINE

For thrifty consumers looking for a bit of sparkle, higher paint sheens and metallic paint finishes are on the radar for 2011.

Don't be surprised if you see spaces such as hallways and living areas painted top-to-bottom in a very glossy hue.  More gloss means more reflectivity which means more light.  Gloss can subtly create a brighter, more upbeat mood in a home.  At the same time, it adds style and pizzazz.

Dining rooms and master bedroom and bath spaces are the perfect areas for this sophisticated choice. 

Coupled with the "high shine" trend, gold will return as both an in-demand paint hue and a key metallic choice. 

Paint color is a homeowner's most versatile decorating tool.  It can be used to change the appearance of a room, the perception of its size, and even how warm or cool it feels, at very modest cost.

Gear up for your 2011 interior paint overhaul by downloading a free decorating app from the Paint Quality Institute.