Contract - Colors to Live By: Experts Predict Color Trends for 2010

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Colors to Live By: Experts Predict Color Trends for 2010

10 February, 2010

-By Alice Liao


Yes, there's been a flurry of stories about color trends, including Pantone's announcement of its color of the year. In fact, the response to that bit of news was such that we decided to ask other experts for their take on what colors will be popular, and what will be driving the popularity of these colors? Here's what they had to say:


Sonu Matthew, ASID, IIDA
Senior Interior Designer, Benjamin Moore & Co.


In a year that's also the beginning of a new decade, we see fresh and exciting design in front of us. Colors are a great way to translate that message, and this year, we're seeing Cedar Green 2034-30 coming forward. It's a very versatile color that is reminiscent of the green in the leaves of Van Gogh's Irises painting. There's a hint of yellow that warms up this green and makes it inviting. The idea of green is important because it is symbolic of so much that's important to many of us—reuse/recycling/restoration. It's also a color that's in the center of the visible spectrum (ROYGBIV), making it one of the most balanced families of hues. This is important because green is now seen as a neutral that can be partnered with a variety of colors. Flexibility again being key, Cedar Green can work with colors that may already be in your home (Midnight Navy, Punchy Red-Oranges, Traditional or Modern Flair). So, we can find balance, versatility and excitement in Cedar Green in 2010.

From a paint standpoint, we're seeing a dulling of paint finishes to matte or flat, a use of low-VOC paints for environmental and health reasons, and we're also seeing people experimenting by coming back and adding stencils or patterns using translucent, high-sheen finishes like pearlescent and metallic glaze. This adds a touch of indulgence in special areas and allows us to create an effect and colors that are unique to our home.

We all have a new perspective when it comes to spending. Everything is seen as an investment, so we're choosing wisely. What we're seeing is that larger items like appliances, etc. are more neutral so they live on for quite some time. However, we still want the space to speak to our personalities, so color through paint is the perfect solution. Punchy, fun colors can be uplifting for a society that has become more confident in their color choices over the last several years. With the departure of the all-white environments, we're redefining the concept of neutral colors in our interiors. We're seeing new marriages of mid-tone-range color combinations that excite, invite and invigorate our senses.

 Patricia Call, Allied Member ASID
Call Designs Inc.
Color Marketing Group Chairholder Board of Directors


A soft, slightly grayed white is forecast to be very architecturally expressive. It is cleaner and purer than the whites we have seen recently. It reflects the consumer's desire to re-balance their life and reflect a positive outlook.

Reds are going in two directions: deep coral and grayed tomato. They each express an interest in heritage and tradition. These reds are especially appealing in the kitchen where they pick up on spices and evoke tasty aromas.

Grays take three directions. A rich wet-cement gray is used to replace the deepness and richness of black. This gray is gorgeous on cabinets, flooring and countertops, reflecting the consumer's mood of balance and comfort with an edge. Powdery, slightly purple-infused light gray shares the purity of intent with white and takes it in a whimsical direction. Lovely for bathroom wall applications and cabinets, it plays well with both chrome and brass hardware. Cool silver is another direction for gray. It is a safe neutral with longevity, softly elegant and timeless.

Leslie Harrington
Executive Director, Color Association of the United States


We usually do 44 colors in our palette, which sometimes is segmented into three or four different subgroups of colors and combinations. But in our forecast for 2010/2011, it's one palette that we titled "Contrast and Contradiction," which responds to all of the ambiguity that we see in the marketplace and the confusion that consumers are having. The palette has three different areas, which we laid out in a very specific way: There's a group of 16 neutrals that live in the center, and to one side, we have one set of colors that centers on pink, purple and blue-teal together; on the other side live orange, yellow and green.

Within the pink family, there's a full range of value, from a very pastel pink to an electric pink with more orange-based colors and mid-tones in between. The purple family covers everything from cranberry to plum. We see purple forecasting even into 2012/2013, where it will continue to be very strong. In the blues, we have a peacock-colored blue and Lagoon, which is more of a green-based aqua-type of blue.

On the other side of the palette, the orange area leans toward the warm side, while the yellows tend to be greener—not hot—which makes them more manageable. The greens have more of a yellow base. There's a green that's the color of foliage when it first emerges in the spring and another that's darker, like that of a mature leaf.

A lot of the neutrals are brown-based. They range from camel to an espresso kind of brown; in the middle are more brownish taupe tones, as well as a cigar-brown. There's also a yellow-based beige and Foundation, which is an off-white with a gray influence to it. Fog is a misty light gray, and as we go down in value, there's Mica, which is probably a 30 or 40 percent gray, and Slate, a rich, dark gray that we see as being somewhat glossy.

The groups are meant to be analogous color palettes. We're not dealing with complementary color combinations, so you don't have a lot of contrast in terms of hue. The contrast is coming from value—light and dark, bright and dull—within the same color family.

If we had to put our money on colors, the new-kid-on-the-block teal will be making a strong play. We haven't seen it in the home in a while, so it has a new fresh feel and a certain level of security. I would also put my money on the neutral category, as consumers are still risk-adverse with color in their homes. They're really looking for color that isn't too much of a rebel, which is why purple continues to be very strong. It can be very colorful, but it can also be neutralized quite a bit. The darker purples—the plums—can function as a great neutral. For consumers who want to be able to have color without it being too risky, the purple side of the spectrum is a pretty safe place to live.

Barbara Jacobs
Barbara Jacobs Color and Design


For 2010, I'm seeing colors fall into two main categories. There are the safe colors, which are typically considered the "neutrals" and tend toward earth- and stone-inspired tones. I'm seeing warmer neutrals, warmer yellows that lean toward orange (and away from greenish yellow), as well as more grayed blues.

The second category is what I refer to as energetic colors. These offer an antidote to the low feelings surrounding the current economic and social climate. Bring on the sun! In this group, the yellow has more of a golden tinge—think marigolds. I'm also seeing colorful combinations with cross-cultural influences. Of course, the two can be combined for a space that grounds one yet also energizes one's spirit.

In addition to the above, there seems to be an emerging interest in the futuristic/industrial, which is being expressed in new textures and combinations of materials that juxtapose rough, rusted surfaces with oil-slick and highly polished finishes. These tend to appear in purples, olive greens and aqua/turquoise (especially in glass), and evoke such ideas as reconstructing the new from the ruined, a phoenix rising from the ashes and Mad Max goes one step beyond. These would probably not be colors for entire rooms though! Related to this are accent colors like lavender-pink, orange, dark indigo, charcoal and glowing emerald green.

-- Nielsen Business Media


Colors to Live By: Experts Predict Color Trends for 2010

10 February, 2010


Yes, there's been a flurry of stories about color trends, including Pantone's announcement of its color of the year. In fact, the response to that bit of news was such that we decided to ask other experts for their take on what colors will be popular, and what will be driving the popularity of these colors? Here's what they had to say:


Sonu Matthew, ASID, IIDA
Senior Interior Designer, Benjamin Moore & Co.


In a year that's also the beginning of a new decade, we see fresh and exciting design in front of us. Colors are a great way to translate that message, and this year, we're seeing Cedar Green 2034-30 coming forward. It's a very versatile color that is reminiscent of the green in the leaves of Van Gogh's Irises painting. There's a hint of yellow that warms up this green and makes it inviting. The idea of green is important because it is symbolic of so much that's important to many of us—reuse/recycling/restoration. It's also a color that's in the center of the visible spectrum (ROYGBIV), making it one of the most balanced families of hues. This is important because green is now seen as a neutral that can be partnered with a variety of colors. Flexibility again being key, Cedar Green can work with colors that may already be in your home (Midnight Navy, Punchy Red-Oranges, Traditional or Modern Flair). So, we can find balance, versatility and excitement in Cedar Green in 2010.

From a paint standpoint, we're seeing a dulling of paint finishes to matte or flat, a use of low-VOC paints for environmental and health reasons, and we're also seeing people experimenting by coming back and adding stencils or patterns using translucent, high-sheen finishes like pearlescent and metallic glaze. This adds a touch of indulgence in special areas and allows us to create an effect and colors that are unique to our home.

We all have a new perspective when it comes to spending. Everything is seen as an investment, so we're choosing wisely. What we're seeing is that larger items like appliances, etc. are more neutral so they live on for quite some time. However, we still want the space to speak to our personalities, so color through paint is the perfect solution. Punchy, fun colors can be uplifting for a society that has become more confident in their color choices over the last several years. With the departure of the all-white environments, we're redefining the concept of neutral colors in our interiors. We're seeing new marriages of mid-tone-range color combinations that excite, invite and invigorate our senses.

 Patricia Call, Allied Member ASID
Call Designs Inc.
Color Marketing Group Chairholder Board of Directors


A soft, slightly grayed white is forecast to be very architecturally expressive. It is cleaner and purer than the whites we have seen recently. It reflects the consumer's desire to re-balance their life and reflect a positive outlook.

Reds are going in two directions: deep coral and grayed tomato. They each express an interest in heritage and tradition. These reds are especially appealing in the kitchen where they pick up on spices and evoke tasty aromas.

Grays take three directions. A rich wet-cement gray is used to replace the deepness and richness of black. This gray is gorgeous on cabinets, flooring and countertops, reflecting the consumer's mood of balance and comfort with an edge. Powdery, slightly purple-infused light gray shares the purity of intent with white and takes it in a whimsical direction. Lovely for bathroom wall applications and cabinets, it plays well with both chrome and brass hardware. Cool silver is another direction for gray. It is a safe neutral with longevity, softly elegant and timeless.

Leslie Harrington
Executive Director, Color Association of the United States


We usually do 44 colors in our palette, which sometimes is segmented into three or four different subgroups of colors and combinations. But in our forecast for 2010/2011, it's one palette that we titled "Contrast and Contradiction," which responds to all of the ambiguity that we see in the marketplace and the confusion that consumers are having. The palette has three different areas, which we laid out in a very specific way: There's a group of 16 neutrals that live in the center, and to one side, we have one set of colors that centers on pink, purple and blue-teal together; on the other side live orange, yellow and green.

Within the pink family, there's a full range of value, from a very pastel pink to an electric pink with more orange-based colors and mid-tones in between. The purple family covers everything from cranberry to plum. We see purple forecasting even into 2012/2013, where it will continue to be very strong. In the blues, we have a peacock-colored blue and Lagoon, which is more of a green-based aqua-type of blue.

On the other side of the palette, the orange area leans toward the warm side, while the yellows tend to be greener—not hot—which makes them more manageable. The greens have more of a yellow base. There's a green that's the color of foliage when it first emerges in the spring and another that's darker, like that of a mature leaf.

A lot of the neutrals are brown-based. They range from camel to an espresso kind of brown; in the middle are more brownish taupe tones, as well as a cigar-brown. There's also a yellow-based beige and Foundation, which is an off-white with a gray influence to it. Fog is a misty light gray, and as we go down in value, there's Mica, which is probably a 30 or 40 percent gray, and Slate, a rich, dark gray that we see as being somewhat glossy.

The groups are meant to be analogous color palettes. We're not dealing with complementary color combinations, so you don't have a lot of contrast in terms of hue. The contrast is coming from value—light and dark, bright and dull—within the same color family.

If we had to put our money on colors, the new-kid-on-the-block teal will be making a strong play. We haven't seen it in the home in a while, so it has a new fresh feel and a certain level of security. I would also put my money on the neutral category, as consumers are still risk-adverse with color in their homes. They're really looking for color that isn't too much of a rebel, which is why purple continues to be very strong. It can be very colorful, but it can also be neutralized quite a bit. The darker purples—the plums—can function as a great neutral. For consumers who want to be able to have color without it being too risky, the purple side of the spectrum is a pretty safe place to live.

Barbara Jacobs
Barbara Jacobs Color and Design


For 2010, I'm seeing colors fall into two main categories. There are the safe colors, which are typically considered the "neutrals" and tend toward earth- and stone-inspired tones. I'm seeing warmer neutrals, warmer yellows that lean toward orange (and away from greenish yellow), as well as more grayed blues.

The second category is what I refer to as energetic colors. These offer an antidote to the low feelings surrounding the current economic and social climate. Bring on the sun! In this group, the yellow has more of a golden tinge—think marigolds. I'm also seeing colorful combinations with cross-cultural influences. Of course, the two can be combined for a space that grounds one yet also energizes one's spirit.

In addition to the above, there seems to be an emerging interest in the futuristic/industrial, which is being expressed in new textures and combinations of materials that juxtapose rough, rusted surfaces with oil-slick and highly polished finishes. These tend to appear in purples, olive greens and aqua/turquoise (especially in glass), and evoke such ideas as reconstructing the new from the ruined, a phoenix rising from the ashes and Mad Max goes one step beyond. These would probably not be colors for entire rooms though! Related to this are accent colors like lavender-pink, orange, dark indigo, charcoal and glowing emerald green.

-- Nielsen Business Media
 


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