Inspiration: White

By Annette Callari, Allied ASID; CMG

Tinted Whisper is a new design trend coming out of Europe - floortalk.wfca.orgBeing a member of Color Marketing Group International certainly has its benefits. Not only do I get to participate in forecasting colors for the North American market, I have access to what’s important in other global markets. I am particularly enthralled with a forecast color that came out of Europe, and it deserves some special attention.

What does the name “Tinted Whisper” bring to mind? Picture something soft, subtle, gentle and refreshing. And that is exactly what this inviting hue accomplishes. Starting with white, subtle measures of pastel blue are added to create a whisper-soft blue/white. Here’s what’s incredible about the color. Fashion, of course, has embraced it. Every textile wears it well, from lace blouses to leather handbags. But this contagious color has captured even more surprising markets.

Kitchen appliances, large and small are wearing Tinted Whisper. Because it is such an airy color, it can easily be enhanced with special finishes and metallic accents (especially stainless steel). Next in line to embrace the color is home interiors. As a wall color, it keeps spaces light and open. It marries well with black, brown, white, and navy, which offers no-fail color combinations. Residential fabrics for upholstery and draperies love the color. Leather furnishings wearing this tint of blue are exploding onto the design stage as well.

You know that an emerging color has made it BIG when you see automotive introducing luxury cars and high-end sports cars in this whisper of white. It’s timeless, elegant, and is going to be on the design radar for years to come.

Design From a French Perspective

By Annette M. Callari, Allied ASID; Chair Holder CMG
Design associates at Kontor in New York City (specialists in workplace design) flew to Paris in January for the Maison+Objet show and shared their feedback with me. Internationally, this show is renowned for premiering new trends in both workplace and home décor. The photography they brought back was interesting and speaks to a coming design direction I thought I would share with you.

If you haven’t heard of “industrial glam”, well you have now. We are on the brink of a design frontier that is melding the best comforts of home design with pure industrial design. I see this as an outgrowth to design’s insatiable desire for contrasting textures. Here are some of the photos from C.S. Brown at Kontor and my commentary on how this will influence floor coverings:


Linear and striated designs - floortalk.wfca.orgLinear and striated designs in lighting are borrowing from industrial design. Line, shape, and form are the building blocks and that will spill over into home interiors. Clean spaces that play with industrial born shapes will become the artwork of our homes. For flooring, we will see porcelain tile, luxury vinyl tile, and carpet creating new styles using linear and large format themes. Once again, it seems that residential design is moving towards commercial design.


Puffy Light Fixtures - floortalk.wfca.orgI didn’t say that I was enamored with everything that came out of Maison+Objet, and these puffy lighting fixtures, in my opinion, missed the mark both at home and in business environments. The shape is pleasing, but it’s a little too avante garde for mainstream residential use. Is there a nugget of wisdom in this for floor coverings? Yes—comfort reigns supreme. Thick, plush carpets, resilient floors with cushioned backings—all of this reflects floor coverings moving away from hard, cold surfaces underfoot.


Mazed Light Fixtures - floortalk.wfca.orgDual-purposed design goods are taking center stage in creative interiors. This picture takes dual-purposing very seriously—the mazed lighting fixtures in this photo are called “white forest” and provide some serious lighting while at the same time, serve as metal wall-art. Carpet manufacturers understand the dual purpose concept. Technologies incorporated into broadloom address soil and stain resistance, eliminate static charge, and provide acoustic buffering. A new twist in flooring comes from Lauzon. Resilient flooring already offers a warmer floor underfoot, but imagine a new feature that helps to purify indoor air! This is exactly the type of dual-purposing that takes flooring to the next level.


Bright Colors - floortalk.wfca.orgInteriors are bursting with color, both at home and in the workplace. Feel free to surround yourself with primary colors, or the colors of spring. Americans are staying in their homes longer, so please discard the idea of decorating blandly for “re-sale value”. Choose the colors you love. What captures your personality? That will give you satisfaction for years to come.


Contemporary Clean Lines - floortalk.wfca.orgThis contemporary setting is at home commercially, and “at home”. Clean lines define the space, and it is my understanding that the room design was created by a notable French chocolatier. That would explain the milk chocolate color of the accent chairs and dark chocolate lacquered coffee table. Notice the extreme long-denier pile of the area rug. Once again, high texture carries the design.


Well there you have Parisian influences that are edging their way into design—and influencing the direction of floor coverings as well. Thank you Kontor for sharing!