I was surfing for fodder about the new color trends to kick-off this first mindful missive for the New Year and the color trends were all over the place – no consistency at all. From Ben Moore selecting Caliente AF290,
“Caliente is the signature color of a modern architectural masterpiece; a lush carpet rolled out for a grand arrival; the assured backdrop for a book-lined library; a powerful first impression on a glossy front door. The eye can’t help but follow its bold strokes. Harness the vitality.”
—Ellen O’Neill, Benjamin Moore & Co.
to Sherwin Williams in a totally opposite direction proclaiming Oceanside SW 6496 their color of the year.
“A collision of rich blue with jewel-toned green, a color that is both accessible and elusive… A complex, deep color that offers a sense of the familiar with a hint of the unknown, Oceanside, bridges together a harmonious balance of blues and greens that can be found in what’s old and new.”
What? Are we straddling now? Do we have one foot in one color trend while the other stretches across the color wheel and causes us to nearly do the splits trying desperately to hang on?
The walls of my east gallery space were a spicy version of Caliente for nearly 20 years! Bold at the time and unheard-of for gallery walls – it was not to be changed for nearly 2 decades!!!
Whew – that was a run. I even named the retail space “Caliente.” And the color-band between the crown and picture molding at the back was a version of Oceanside – a lighter value of the blue-green hue.
The Grand Re-Opening July 2016 presented a dramatic transformation to a pale aqua resulting in a diametrically opposed feeling – a cleansing from what was crowded and hot to spare and cool.
But I digress…
Annoyed by the seeming authority, but weak contrasting rationale that I encountered with the wide range of picks and opinions, I left the paint companies and clicked over to the Pantone site. There I encountered their authoritative, ethereal color forecast of the year – Ultra Violet!!!!!
Yikes – they were coming at me from every conceivable direction!!! How on earth is any eager apartment dwelling or home-owning individual supposed to know how to go forward in sprucing up their space without fear?
Then I came upon a piece by Mehgan Nesmith Ugh, What’s With These Generational Color “Trends”? From observing the broad reaching trend surrounding millennial pink to snippets from other sources, I scanned the paragraphs amused, but still not satisfied. Until I arrived at paragraph 6 and there it was – the true fact that keeps the world moving forward – for better or worse – TRENDS DIE.
Yes they do and for good reason. I’ve said it before, take care in making costly selections that will stay with you past their prime. Trends are there for a reason. Designers dabble in creativity every day of the year to come up with things to tantalize, inspire, evoke, and entertain – and most importantly, SELL. Some of these trends stick. Then they are no longer trends, they transition and become classics. But to transcend the fleeting status of trend, “it” must have something very solid about its being.
And when it comes to interior design, with all the style trends for furniture, fabrics, architectural elements, finishes and decorative accessories – colors race through history like no other design element has or will. Colors rule and when they are good, they are very very good, but when they are bad, they are horrid!!!!! Thank you Mr. Longfellow!!
Take the massively graceful modern art piece suspended from the ceiling of the East Wing of the National Art Gallery in Washington, D.C. – classic – both in form and color. Red and black. Strong and simple. Bold and brilliant. Imagine if it were this year’s Pantone pick Ultra Violet Aghhhh!!!!!!!
Actually, methinks I protest too much. The shade of purple picked, by Pantone, is heavy on the blue rather than the red. The blue cast gives it a calm. Not whacky like Barney screaming purple – but, rather a royal shade. Nonetheless, it is better served as an accent – don’t buy wallpaper in it. Go ahead and paint the walls and have your fun – but know that you can change it without peeling off hundreds, if not thousands of dollars of wall-covering or re-upholstering your sofa like Meghan was tempted to do!!
It’s a color that stands alone – plays better by itself than with friends – like the child’s report card where the box that says “plays well with others” is not checked. In my estimation, it will read well with clean, crisp white. However, like Ms. Nesmith aptly says in her piece “if you are still curious about that Gen Z yellow, buy a vase!”
That’s how we play with colors and create a bit of collision, unexpected off-key harmony, intrigue and suspense. But it is not for the faint of heart and the chance of tiring of it is paramount. Trends die and colors are tricky.
So Happy New Year and Happy New Colors in your world to refresh and renew!! Thank you Meghan, for your lively contribution to today’s story.