When it comes to trends in interior design, the forecast through 2014 is looking bolder, brighter and more adventurously colorful than has been seen in a while. Up-and-coming palettes are earning descriptions including “youthful,” “vibrant” and “positive,” heralding the rebounding market’s ready return to color.
Color expert and interior designer Barbara Schirmeister equates new, energized color palettes to growing economic confidence, as well as the influence of the youth market.
“As the economy ticks upward, designers and consumers are expressing hopefulness by incorporating statement colors, mixed palettes and vibrant patterns ... inspired by dominant trends aimed at the youth market,” says Schirmeister, who has spent decades as a color consultant for companies such as Crossville Tile, Hunter Douglas, American Standard and Motorola.
She explains that today’s trends are in contrast to those of the recent past that were more cautious, offered less variety and had longer "shelf lives” - staying popular over time as homeowners were hesitant to change.
“It’s as if the market is molting, shedding its cautious colors to display new palettes that are all about getting noticed,” she says.
Saturated, bright and nonconventional, colors of the now are more assured with wider options. The hues reflect influences from both nature and technology, mirroring the quest for balance a busy society strives to achieve. Schirmeister cites Argent, a new porcelain tile line by Crossville for which she developed the colors, as an example.
“This product offers 20 colors that engage the entire color wheel. Even the neutral tones incorporate more colorful influence,” she describes.
Schirmeister showcases the trends by color collections to describe what consumers can expect to see - and enjoy incorporating - in interior design, in the days ahead.
Warm colors - red extensions
The warm side of the color wheel features red, yellow and orange - colors often associated with excitement, confidence and emotion. The red family is extending in all venues: yellowed, blued, pale and saturated, peach, peony, azalea, and crimson, even into bordeauxs, red violets and oranges. For the coming year, yellows will be uplifting - buttercup, citrus, butterscotch and gold.
Cool hues - clean and clear
On the cool side of the color wheel, which includes green, blue and purple, clean and clear will be the dominant trend. Expect to see jade greens paired with turquoise blues. The greens will be expanding, a trend that hasn’t been seen for quite some time. Military, emerald, parrot and even a green almond are glimpses of the trend. In addition, blues are gaining importance. Navy is often taking the place of black, and indigo will continue to be a fashionable, foundational color. Shades of nature-inspired purple are appearing as accessible, support tones.
Neutrals - whites, browns and shades of gray
Neutral colors remain versatile and simple, yet also nod toward color confidence. The gray family, very popular in recent years, continues to have influence, while white neutrals are escalating. Also coming back are the browns. From camel and bisque to burnt sienna and taupe, these base colors will add complement and contrast to bold color schemes, while nodding to natural influences.
Want to see these color collections in action? Schirmeister suggests looking to online communities like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Houzz for inspiration and ideas.
“Social media is driving today’s trends. Color lovers constantly post about their passions,” she says. “And those exciting, youthful colors we can’t resist sharing in our news feeds are already showing up in interior decor.”