As summer blinks into fall, we set the stage for the monochromatic months to come by drilling into color, color trends, and how to use all that information to transform all that defines the shelter that we call home.
Each year, I cover the Pantone trends; not for want of more original concepts, but because many people find color challenging. Pantone’s color gurus relieve some of that challenge for you, but creating groups and palettes of color that evoke and influence emotion and function seamlessly with one another. It’s how these colors are utilized that in the end create the distinction that defines them as Pantone’s colors, or color schemes unique to your home and personal style. By beginning with these engineered color palettes, the hard work based on years of study has been done for you, and the process of editing significantly simplified.
Let’s begin bt examining both Pantone’s predictions for the year ahead, but also with the impetus for their color choices. “The expression ‘balancing act’ is something we all relate to as we strive to find harmony in the frantic pace of our everyday lives,” commented Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “The same can be said for fashion as we look for balance between light and bright, classic and new. This season’s color palette emphasizes this need for balance, while at the same time allowing for individuality, self-expression and excitement.”
There is a tremendous amount of influence that can be felt between the colors that influence what we wear and what we choose to put in our homes – the closet and the room its in are connected by the muse of our style. This being said, designers tend to have their own thoughts regarding color direction and their collections.
Not even 15% of clothing designers conform to trend predictions, as illustrated below.
In fashion, it’s all about trend-setting – collections are defined by exerting rather than bending to influence. But home is a bit different – what has worked before always works again. Outside those four walls, your avant garde style sets the tone for first impressions. Home is the place where classicism finds its kudos – like Pantone’s self-appointed “anchor” color, monaco blue. There is almost nothing new in home design – just ideas that have been up-cycled.
Monaco blue is a brand new take on a century old color. Chinoiserie was introduced in the late 17th to the early 18th century, in England found it’s solid blue roots grounded in cobalt oxide, once an inexpensive Chinese dinnerware often featuring a blue-and-white pattern called “Two Birds,” the “parent” of the Blue and Nankin Willow patterns. The price-point drew many takers unable to attain Wedgwood.
Delft in the Netherlands sported this classic shade of blue as well, which persists as a popular staple in design today. Despite its striking potential, three design tips can be used dampen this blue’s proclivity for sucking the light from any large area where it’s used:
1) Use Monaco blue in smaller proportions aside crisp porcelain white.
2) Use this blue in rooms with a combination of Southern exposure, and layered lighting (recessed or track fixtures, floor and table lamps)
3) Try grass cloth wall paper as below – the striations in the paper inflect light into the color field; the same effect can be attained by applying paint with a striation brush used in faux applications (available at most paint dealerships).
Confining strong color use to accents expands the color comfort zone for many people, such as accents like pillows.
Using blue in the company of likened color families (found on the same half of the color wheel) known as analogous colors. By varying the hues of these colors, depth and great color conversation (an ease of communication between color fields) are created in your room design.
Triangulating complimentary colors; one with heat and two coll colors (or visa verse) creates lively interest and sets the stage for the numerous vignettes that add up to one solid unified design.
Some of this year’s colors lend further credance to my nothing is really new mantra, standing on the backs of popular shades in the recent past….
Click here to check out the apricot painting of onions fro Joss & Main
To update these shades and keep them from looking dated, a new spin is applied – the Spring 2012 incarnations are a little bolder, standing on less influence from white.
Lilac or violet shades can be a challenge – the best way to get the most from them is take down the barriers that you might feel inclined to impose on this color – sometimes the only way out of a color challenge box is over the top!
Bohemian design is the refuge of any tight budget – and yellow applied to design schemes featuring ditressed surfaces, up-cycled elements, antiques (or an eclectic mix there of) always inflects a cheerfulness that casts a warm glow on the entire space.
Stay tuned! Next we make it yours…..