T’is the season of color! From October through February, the holiday season creates a race through the color spectrum. We kick off with oranges, reds, and golds of autumn, the deep purple and orange of Halloween, moving to plum and brandy colors of Thanksgiving then into deep reds and greens for the Christmas season. The crisp blue and silver of Hanukkah and the bold black, red, and green of Kwanzaa bring even more festivity. We welcome the new year with silver, black and gold and finish the winter with the barren feel of white and brown. Yes, there is the red and pink show for Valentine’s Day, the green parade of St Patrick’s Day, lavender shower for Easter and the colors of spring and summer flowers, but no other time of year is color ever more present in such a rapid succession. Color is all around us and quite rightly so. It invokes feeling, reaction, ambiance, mood, and stimulation. So, take these feelings and bring them indoors.
The trick to using color well is understanding its undertones, meaning, the colors that are behind the front color. For example, is it a pure color or does it look “dirty”? By that I mean that the color isn’t a true color, but rather a gray or beige version of it. Is there another color in the background? White, for example, is famous for having a second color present. As an experiment, hold your paint swatch next to a piece of blank printer paper and you’ll see what I mean. Then, look at how much black or white does your color contain (how far up or down is it on the paint swatch card.) Does it read as a pastel, mid tone, or a deep tone?
Current color trends are getting darker, bolder, and a little dirty. This works better for walls and lets the furnishings and decor hold the true color versions to accessorize and feature. These types of paint colors tend to change in the daylight as the day progresses and become moodier as the evening sets in to create ambiance. The black undertones come out allowing the contrast to increase of adjacent white trim and metallic hardware. If wood trim is your preference, opt for middle tones of the color.
The trend used to be an accent wall, now its more of an accent area or alcove. Painting a bigger space creates a bigger impact. The corners of the room blur as the color continues to define to an area rather than a single, flat surface.
Colors in the Home
The 60’s and 70’s brought avocado and burnt orange. The 1980’s brought mauve and pastels. The 90’s brought the golden oak craze paired with jewel tones of hunter green, navy blue, and burgundy. The 2000’s brought espresso brown and beige, mimicking the Tuscany region in Italy. The Tuscan influence touched everything from bronze fixtures and lighting to large scale stately furnishings and dark wood trim. If you didn’t choose the brown Tuscan style, did you have the red accent wall in the kitchen and brushed nickel finishes? Coming out of the 2010’s to present day is the all white kitchen, gray or “greige” walls and shiny chrome metal.
The color trend is moving into drama! Dark and dirty jewel tones are even showing up in kitchen cabinetry. Mid tone woods are also raging due to the renaissance of the mid century modern style. Its time to bring color back. Below are the selected paint colors from various paint manufacturers for 2o17 and 2018. These colors are where the paint industry believes the trends are headed. It should be noted that Pantone (considered to be the industry leader in color) at the beginning of every year announces their choice of the “hot” new color, driving influence into all design fields from interiors, to clothing, and graphics.
Sad to say, but the pale neutrals of the Farmhouse style have had their time in the spotlight. Moving in aggressively are neo-classic styles that take the standard furniture profiles and turn them on their heads. Traditional armchairs are showing up in bold colors with animal prints. Mix in a little bit of the eclectic granny Chic and some feature mid tone antique wood pieces with a bold wall color and you have the new classic. It’s the navy pin stripe suit with a dark fuchsia tie and caramel color shoes.
Bring in the color, don’t be afraid! Contact my studio for assistance in selecting the perfect colors for your project.
P.S. Tune into my Facebook page, routinely I post “Design Ideas” featuring a specific color. These montages are great ways to get some inspiration for the specific color you desire. Also if your’re working with the exterior of your home, check out my previous blog Creating curb appeal and exterior detail for additional color tips.
Sarah Daricilar, NCIDQ
Studio Owner & Interior Designer
Daricilar Design Studio – Medway, MA