Summer color forecast
Home Matters.BY DAVID BRADLEYSummer temperatures are hot, but not so for colors.Color-minded homeowners should expect to see buttery yellows, reds influenced by oranges, and darker red-based blues through the remainder of this summer and into the fall.
“Homeowners are becoming comfortable with deeper, saturated colors,” says Sheri Thompson, director of color marketing and design for Sherwin Williams. “People want to bring a sense of warmth and comfort back into their homes.”Gone, however, is a cookie-cutter approach that saw many homeowners mimic identical prescribed color schemes that resulted in little color variance from home to home. If the experts said go with white, consumers went with white. That lock-step approach has changed.”People really want to create their own identity in the home,” says Thompson. “They’re more determined than I’ve ever seen to define their own style within the home.”At least some of the stimulus for this stylistic direction stems from what Thompson calls the “spa inspiration.” Homeowners, it seems, want to bring the calm and soothing spa experience into the home. Hence the dark, bold shades.
Those bold tones are chiefly prominent in kitchens. With kitchens ever larger and often open to the great room, a workable transition of colors across multiple rooms becomes a real challenge. Full-bodied reds and blues are fast becoming staples in this new family gathering space. Expect to see these colors become richer and darker through the rest of this year. Yet, yellows remain king of the hill, color-wise. More than any other color, derivatives of this sunny, cheery hue dominate in at least one room in a majority of North American homes, according to market research. Thompson sees this trend as strong enough to “remain on the horizon” well into the coming months.Additions to the decor mix are rich, robust browns. Once considered “muddy,” this earthy color has since taken on a “good connotation” according to Thompson. She says browns today “are the new black and are a key component for the home.” A relative of brown, orange, is slated to be a strong shade.Some don’t see orange as overly dominant. Midwestern interior designer Robert Schoeller says he advises clients to use orange chiefly with accents or accessories on a “limited basis and certainly not in profusion.”Schoeller is among decor professionals who expect neutrals to remain as a balance to strong colors. “Neutrals are as classic as they’ve always been,” he says. Thompson of Sherwin Williams pegs these offsetting colors as skin-toned and red-based pink neutrals along with various whites.
Color trends tend to evolve slowly. The lifespan of a color can extend for several years as it moves through a cycle of modification.So how do consumers match their interiors to colors in vogue? Paint is a cheap and fast way to introduce a primary color to a room.Thompson advises homeowners to bring pillows or other easily toted accessories into the store. Rather than leave the color match to guesswork, new technology pinpoints colors within those items to create a definite match. She cites customers who’ve brought in leaves or flowers they hope to mimic with paint. Sherwin Williams stores sell small quantities of paint so homeowners can try the paint out under their own lighting and decoration conditions before committing to gallons at a time.But as is sometimes the case, homeowners shouldn’t be overly stressed if their choices don’t seem to hit the mark once on the walls. After all, it’s only paint, and homeowners can re-do a room relatively quickly at modest expense.
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