Submitted By: Annette M. Callari, Allied ASID, CMG
I have just returned from an action-packed meeting of Color Marketing Group International. 233 Color Professionals from across the country came together to identify color trends, and just as importantly, meaningful marketing trends sweeping the country. Do we now have the colors emerging for 2011 and 2012? Yes we do. Can I share some of that with you today? No, I can’t—not just yet. But I can tell you where colors are headed and why. Then, later this year, watch WFCA.org Designer’s Corner segment, and the future colors will then be revealed.
But for the time being, let’s focus on what’s coming up for 2010. Speaking of Designer’s Corner, the 2010 colors are posted (see “What’s Cooking in Kitchen and Bath Trends—PLUS COLOR!” ) These are the colors you need to know about right now, and many of these will carry over into 2011. Look at 2010 and 2011 as years of color evolution rather than revolution. And there is a good reason for that. One of the major marketing trends identified at our conference in New Orleans focused on timeless, authentic designs, built on classic colors. To accomplish that, steer clear of fickle colors—those that are here today and gone tomorrow.
Given the current economy, nobody wants, or should have to, redecorate every two to three years. It’s neither efficient nor economical. So designers will be “cooking with interesting neutrals, and spicing with color.” That approach is beyond smart, and here’s why: spice colors can be changed more frequently, without major cost or upsetting the foundation of an entire design. You can change spice colors via accessories, toss pillows, slip covers, lighting fixtures, and even selective re-painting (a single wall or perhaps only one room). But the more costly basics of the design– window coverings, furniture, flooring and carpet–remain the same. What an excellent way to create a fresh design without starting from square one! Timeless colors can be described as interesting neutrals (complex neutrals created from a mix of several colors) that have chameleon qualities. That means that these colors irresistibly change with the light of day. Add to that clever new paint products that add opalescent, iridescent and pearlescent qualities to paint, and you’ve added radiance to your color of choice. Now you have the makings of a design that is exceptional AND enduring.
Enter one more directional marketing trend that was identified: our gravitation towards comfort colors. These are the familiar colors that have been best sellers for over five years. Professional designers know these colors well, and you can either consult a designer or do a little research on your own. Most nationally recognized paint manufacturers have a list of their “best sellers”, and without a doubt, those colors fall under the “comfort” umbrella. Soft greens, interesting neutrals, warm browns and “grayed” reds are a few of those hallmark colors.
One last prediction that goes hand-in-hand with the comfort trend: look for colors over the next few years to be more “shaded”—not necessarily muddier colors (definitely NOT), but softly shaded by adding a touch of black or gray to a color. This softens and tones down the intensity of the color. It’s a sign of the times that we, as consumers, are now becoming cautiously optimistic—and that mindset translates to the colors we will use.
So there you have the latest news from the world of color for interiors. It’s all good news in that it revolves around practicality, efficiency, and authenticity, with a bit of romance added in for good measure. Here’s wishing all of you a Happier New Year…