Colors for 2010 – Starting with Blue for Paint and Beyond

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It’s 2010, Do you know what your colors (plural) will be?

Each New Year arrives with a burst of colorful thoughts, impressions, creative ideas, and…even, in a way, “feelings,” about Colors. Nothing new about that, it’s an ongoing phenomenon of sorts. From predictors to painters, we are people and we all have opinions based on a wide spectrum of information from politics, the economy, product sales, and intuition combined with observation skill.

But any time of the year, color is “in the air.” And speaking of air, according to many sources including Pantone color forecasting, the impression, feeling, and experience of “space” is the one to watch. This color experience is exemplified by a type of turquoise. Since “turquoise” actually comes in many colors, another description could be “clear medium-light green-blue.”

Another viewpoint,  if we’re talking about responses to the economy and other social factors, is that yellows and other brighter, warmer colors are related to a positive outlook in general. According to  Margit Zsedely of  Margit Publications,  “Considering the pall of gloom cast by the dire economy, it’s no wonder color-trend forecasters are predicting a bumper year for yellows and purples — the former to cheer us up, the latter to calm us down.”

Nature Blues

A range of blues, the calm behind the storm!

Blues in general are currently noted as The Color for 2010. There are many ideas about why this is predicted, some of which being that there’s an affinity for the optimism represented by the clear, open feeling of an airy Turquoise. Blue, in the most general meaning, is typically known as a color to use in creating calm, and these days that holds a great appeal!  Without getting in to a lot of detail at this time, we can appreciate that since blue in general is the color most-often mentioned as being a “favorite color,”  and so this will be good news to many people.

Thanks to  Hue Consulting for introducing me to this book!

The Anthropology of Turquoise

The Anthropology of Turquoise, by Ellen Meloy

Converting a “trend forecast” to a practical application?

If its paint you’re using and you want to create a relaxing, calming environment, you have seemingly endless options.

TIPS: Decide which paint color to use, to achieve the result you want

  • The color (in paint, for the purpose of this discussion) will ideally be more saturated than it is pale. More colorful than it is “white.”
  • Paint your ceiling the same or similar color to the walls, to expand the space. Smaller rooms will also benefit from this approach.
  • For most of the space, the color for a relaxing environment will typically have a lower intensity rather than a very bright one.
  • Any color can be made to be more warm or cool, more lively or quiet. Examples below: Slate is a muted warm blue. Gustavian Gray is a warmer pastel in the blue range. Giverny Blue and Turquoise are more vivid and dynamic, but cooler.

One way to make sure your chosen paint color will be the most flexible color possible is to use a product with Full Spectrum ingredients. Some of my favorites are these beautiful blues from Ellen Kennon Full Spectrum paints.

Group of Ellen Kennon Blues

Just a few of the blue group, from subtle to dynamic.

And that’s just a start. Because they are ‘full-spectrum,’ they are so much more than what they seem, having many other tint colors in the mix.

Please remember that what you see here are just approximate, computer-generated colors.

However, you can get your own set of 90, 3”x4” real painted samples directly from Ellen Kennon.  Then you will see the colors as they actually are.

If you’re looking for a cheerful way to have the blues, try something like this treatment, where the actual surface finish creates a big impact.

Waxed Venetian Plaster

Mica-infused wax adds a polished depth to the blue-sky color of this Venetian Plaster finish.This example is somewhere between a clear ‘sky blue’ and turquoise.

Essential Accessories – another way to use the new colors

BrushWorks: Connections/Arbor Shadows

A soft color and hand knotted dimensional design in Himalayan wool and silk, from Silk Road Weaves

BrushWorks/BrushStrokes - Dive-In Blues

Inspired by deep water with moonlight silk highlights from Silk Road Weaves. 12"x18" sample size shown.

LOOPY/Sea Glass. Himalayan wool with silk-filled accents. Paired with the turquoise and chocolate brown pillow, hand woven of cotton. Background rug is LOOPY/Meandering, also from Silk Road Weaves.

The accent pillows in luminous turquoise and orange with a silky finish brings the earth-toned neutral background to life. Source: Timothy deClue Design, LLC. on

Strongly colored art work is another way to create focus. Decor by Linda Merrill of Chameleon Interiors

A touch of whimsy in subtle, elegant drama by LDa Architecture & Interiors. Source:

Three more variations on the blues, from Silk Road Weaves

LOOPY/Ripple from Silk Road Weaves: Wool background with undyed Allo design lines

LOOPY GEMS, Sheer Crystal, Himalayan wool with silk throughout, from Silk Road Weaves. 12"x18" sample size shown

HORIZONS/BlueBlues in Himalayan wool flat weave from Silk Road Weaves.

But “blue” isn’t the only color in the spectrum, or in our lives. Throughout the year I’ll enjoy exploring many colors and I invite you to share your favorites, too. Meanwhile, to close in a couple of words with color references from from Sherwin Williams:

Sherwin Williams - "Treasured," from their 2010 Trends Forecast. Source:

Sherwin Williams “Refreshed,” from their 2010 color Trends Forecast. Source:

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