I am frequently asked, “What are the new colors for next year?” It’s a great question, and one I always enjoy answering. So this week, we focus on the new colors for the coming year.
It is important to understand that the world we live in – including politics and the economy – has always had a significant influence on color. Issues such as the housing crisis, foreign turmoil and the economic downturn have a decided impact on the color tastes of Americans.
Both our country and the world have been in a state of relative uncertainty for the past three plus years, and this is evidenced by the prevalent color schemes. The country as a whole has gravitated towards a muted color scheme in homes and work places – displacing real color.
Bland – and safe – monochromatic grays, browns and whites have essentially set the tone. This, to me, is unfortunate. Color palettes that consist of varying shades of only one family of color (in particular when there is no definitive color that stands out) are very one-dimensional and lack depth of any kind.
Grays and muddy brown shades should be considered “bridge” colors – and are ideal when they are used as secondary tones. These – along with other more muted colors such as pewter, dove and taupe – are wonderful when used as a counterpart to color itself, and work best when linking two or more colors.
Recently though, many trendsetters have tired of the overall lack of color, as was evidenced on the fashion runways this past spring. Black and beige tones were replaced with an explosion of color in every possible combination, which bodes well for the interior design industry.
Bright pinks and shocking coral, juxtaposed with intense peacock blue, will see us through 2012. Brown will continue to hang on, as it has become the new “black.” Gold has been replaced by a more lively limoncello. Blues will continue to be popular and emerge in even more intense shades. White still works, but only when used with bold splashes of color.
Beige has taken a back seat to crisper, creamier off-whites, and will not make a strong come back, except in small doses – and when they do, they will be more golden vs. rosier as was the trend in the past. Greens will be used, but will be yellow-based, in lieu of the ‘hunter green of yesterday’s decade.
Gold leaf has been on hiatus for a while, replaced by platinum and silver leaf; soon emerge with a bronze wash.
Why the sudden resurgence of color? Perhaps consumers are tired of the drab monotony of grays and browns. Despite the fact that the economy remains stubbornly stagnate, people are recognizing that their lives are passing them by very quickly – and so are yearning for good times, happiness, fun and laughter again.
I think the juxtaposition of bold colors – as opposed to color schemes with matched and muted shades – will stay with us for many years to come.
Color is a wonderful thing! Vibrant pops of it stimulate the senses, inspire creativity – and signal hope.
While we typically focus on interiors, a home’s exterior should never be neglected.
In fact, whenever possible one should complement – even enhance – the
other. And this frequently entails starting at the front door.
Often either the exterior or interior of a home is inherited, and there may
be limited opportunity to create cohesiveness. Yet regardless of the
scope of work, an interior design project should still be approached
holistically – with the exterior under careful consideration. If you are
fortunate enough to custom create a home from the ground up, you have a
unique opportunity to ensure that both the exterior and interior work
Many of our clients, friends and followers are familiar with our work as
interior designers. However we create “conceptual design” home exteriors
as well, and are often called upon to act as a consultant to our
client’s chosen architects.
When we do act as both the conceptual and
interior designer for a project, we prepare the exterior elevations,
exterior finish specifications and roof plans, and then either work with
our longtime architect, John Kunz, A.I.A., or align with a local
In such cases, we typically start at the front door – for total
continuity. At present, 50% of our projects are those in which we design
the complete project from outside in, or conversely from inside out.
This method certainly has its advantages, as we can work to seamlessly
integrate the interior and exterior – and make sure they enhance one
The concept of embracing the exterior as part of a home’s interior design
also holds true to the landscaping. An interior design plan should not
be restricted to what is inside the home, but should also take into
consideration what is seen through its windows.
Pictured here are examples of exterior design projects we have completed – in
all cases the interiors and exteriors were created to work together.
So the next time you embark on a major home renovation, begin your project at the front door – you won’t regret it!