One of the best ways of injecting some new life and energy into your living space is by giving the walls a fresh lick of paint. A new colour can completely transform the energy and vibe of any space and it’s a relatively inexpensive way of giving the house a mini makeover. Painting can also be quite a relaxing activity once you get into the swing of it and give yourself plenty of breaks for tea! 2017 was the year of dark neutral colours like mushroom and taupe, which featured regularly in the pages of Home and Garden magazine and were a real favourite with interior designers. We also saw lots of boutique hotels opting for these chic shades in foyers and bedrooms, so this sophisticated look was everywhere. And so to 2018! According to those in the know, including Leatrice Eisman, the executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute, we are likely to see much bolder, more playful colours next year with an intensity that reflects our increasingly hectic lifestyles. Pastel shades are no more and the soft mushroom tones of 2017 are to be replaced by much darker and more striking shades of charcoal grey and even onyx. Opting for something like this in the living room takes real colour courage and it certainly won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but when married with pops of brighter colour on soft furnishings and curtains this combination can look fantastic. If the idea of painting the whole room is a bit much for you, why not consider just painting a feature wall or the chimneybreast instead for just a touch of statement grey. At the other end of the colour spectrum shades of yellow and lime are expected to be very popular, especially for things like scatter cushions, throws and curtain fabrics, while those of us who prefer more subtle shades for our soft furnishings should look out for colours like Robin’s Egg, Berry Purple and Celery Green. We can also expect to see plenty of shimmering, iridescent shades, and colour combinations like black and pale gold are expected to be popular for things like upholstery fabrics. It’s all about the neutrals when it comes to metallic so anything too intense like yellow gold or deep bronze has been relegated in favour of more subtle shades that don’t shout too loudly for attention. If you’re planning a fresh look for your home in 2018, why not pop to your local paint store and take a look at the new colour charts to see what catches your eye. Try a few tester pots to see what works best and choose colours that reflect the kind of vibe you want to create in the home. And remember, don’t rush any decisions; be sure that you absolutely love a colour for at least a week before committing to it for a whole room.