Color Mix 2011

By Annette Callari, ASID; CMG

Finally, it’s Spring! It was a long, color-sparse winter no matter what part of the country you live in. Having spent my first twenty years living in upstate New York, I know a thing or two about harsh winters. If you lived in a single story house, it was quite possible that it could snow long enough and hard enough to cover everything but the roof. The first snowfall was always magical and pristine. But as the months wore on, the ever present blanket of white became monotonous. White, to this day, is not one of my favorite colors. But I have the antidote to the winter blahs, and it’s COLOR! Let’s talk about the hot colors for Spring and Summer. They are in full bloom and bursting with fresh appeal.

RIO-STAT_300RIO-STAT – This color walks the line between red and orange, but in a comfortable, toned-down way. Think of sun-baked terracotta pots and you’ll have the visual of this warm red. Fabric companies are pairing it with charcoal and Oldensage for interesting contrasts.




RASPLENDENT_300RASPLENDENT – Hot pink is going to carry us through the summer in fashion and interiors. Even electronics have borrowed the color for everything from laptops to digital cameras. We are recession-weary and craving colors that speak of fun and optimism.


XHALE_300X-HALE – Borrowed from authentic 1957 Chevy colors, this true blue-green is retro, fresh and energetic. Consumers are finally seeing some encouraging signs of an economic turn-around, and with that comes a deep breath and a long, comforting exhale.


LIMONCELLO_200LIMONCELLO – Yellow is turning up in the most unusual items: wall coverings, fabrics and upholstery, porcelain tile, and even broadloom carpet. The Europeans are calling it “double line yellow” which everyone can relate to universally. It’s vibrant and in some ways retro, which is exactly why it appeals to so many people.









 BON NOIR, STRATUS, BAR HARBOR – Pure matte black is back (Bon Noir). Of course it is, because it’s the perfect counterpart to Limoncello and Rasplendent. Add to that Stratus which is a true neutral gray and Bar Harbor which is a blue-gray, and the neutrals are complete.









OLDENSAGE – Gray, green, and brown combine to produce this complex taupe-y color with strong undertones of green. This color has a timeless quality to it and floor covering manufacturers love it. Carpet, wood floors, luxury vinyl tile, ceramic—all materials wear it well.








GOTHAM_200GOTHAM – Purple has gone deeper and richer with brown undertones, and although this color will reach its height of popularity more towards the end of 2011, it is appearing in the Spring/Summer palette for home interiors.

I love where the direction of color is leading us. Put the winter doldrums behind you, because there is a burst of exciting hues leading the way for the rest of the year. Now that you know the color leaders, be on the watch for them in home interior goods, and especially how well they integrate with new floor coverings.



For more information on flooring visit the World Floor Covering Association’s Consumer Carpet & Flooring Guide.

Cleaning and Sealing Tile Flooring

tile floor kitchenImagine a 10 Commandments of Tile Flooring Cleaning have come down from on high. Here’s what they might say:

I. Thou shalt always ask for manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations when you buy tiles. And get it in writing.
II. When purchasing tile, thou shalt buy it from an outlet that fully understands maintenance requirements. Here’s how to spot such a store: Look for a retailer that makes cleaning products an important part of their store and sale. Chances are, they will be knowledgeable about maintenance products.
III. Thou shalt always know the type of flooring you have. Is it ceramic tile or porcelain tile? Ceramic and most porcelain are nonporous, which will not readily absorb moisture and dirt. However, some lighter colors of porcelain are porous, and must be sealed to stop absorption.
IV. Thou shalt seal porous porcelain tile. Also seal all grout after installation.
V. Thou shalt clean all tile floors regularly and reseal grout every 1-2 years.
VI. Thou shalt not clean tile floors with vinegar, which is acidic and may etch the surface.
VII. Thou shalt use a mild household cleaner, such as dishwash liquid, for regular mopping.
VIII. After mopping with a cleaner, thou shalt always do a thorough final rinse with clean water to remove residue of dirt, grime or cleaning agents.
IX. For times when a deeper cleaning is needed, thou shalt use an alkaline cleaner made for tile. Check your manufacturer’s information to see if there are brand recommendations or other guidance.
X. Thou shalt enjoy the beauty of your floors!

For more information on flooring visit the World Floor Covering Association’s Consumer Carpet & Flooring Guide.