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What’s here to stay, and here to change? Color Trends. Period.

Color trends? Here, to stay… and here, to change.
It’s that time again, Color Trends are all over the place! Most recently, Pantone reports “Emerald Green” as the latest thing. Green is what I call an “available” color, since because it’s right in the middle of the light-wave spectrum it’s a color most comfortably viewed in many instances. It’s mutable and earthy; inspiring of new life, growth, and positive direction. As a paint color, “green” can be flexible in interiors and can be used in many settings.

Pantone ENERGIZE greens

The Pantone “Energize” green palette

Small World, Indeed
While I don’t have an “emerald green” in the palette, I’ve been delighted to see that many of my own EcoHues Full Spectrum Paint colors  seem to have aligned with some trend colors over the past year. These are from Pantone:

Pantonep palette Nonchalance

What’s my own personal opinion?
While I don’t really have one personal favorite color, I do have a definite point of view. As an architectural color consultant, paint palette designer and rug designer, my viewpoint is threefold.

My own primary, professional focus as a color consultant is a strong belief in supportive color design. Foremost is function, coupled with aesthetics and, in the homes of individual clients, personal color preferences naturally have a role as well.

Where function is concerned, color trends are interesting—and of course they are an indicator of products we’ll be seeing going forward. However using a ‘trendy’ color as a selection simply because it’s “hot” or popular does not serve either my client or myself as the consultant. I always take note of trends but no decision or recommendation I’d ever make is trend-driven.

As a paint palette designer, I’ve created the EcoHues line of Full Spectrum Paints as a 32-color curated palette that serves a variety of purposes. Because each of our colors has no black or gray—even in our muted ‘neutrals’ or most highly saturated colors—they are easy to decorate with. So, many “trend” colors can create interesting harmonies with these richly-colored full spectrum paints as part of a design plan.

In creating the palette style and the actual colors, I’ve been influenced by client requests in both commercial and residential settings.  That request is usually in the form of an expressed feeling. The client desires a particular kind of experience.  A typical kind of request is, for example, “I want a relaxing space, a happy, energizing space, and also something that will complement my furnishings.” So, with that as the impetus, the EcoHues palette includes pale to deep stony neutrals; underwater blues; luminous, ethereal sun-filled yellows; antique-flavored greens; bright blues, and richly warm reds and browns evoking exotic sources.

How do these fit into upcoming trends?
While I agree with others that we’re influenced by the economy and world events, what I see as important in general is something that’s been happening for a while now:  a resurgence in health and well-being beyond today’s blood pressure. Certainly, the deeper aspect of the experiences that we all desire in our color environments is well beyond the transitory nature of “what’s hot” right now or even for the near future.

A quick color trend note
In the world of color and design—in what appeals to us at the deepest level and that will endure well past this year’s colors—is a reference to organic plant and earth sources, natural materials, and textures. As the world becomes culturally smaller and smaller, international flavors will continue in an ongoing appreciation of solid, earthy tones and textures; warm, natural pigment-inspired colors like rusty oranges, paprika and cinnabar reds; brighter, rich hues like Hydrangea and Phoenix Blue, and the deep tones of Mulberry, Nomad and plum.

More EcoHues colors are represented here, too
Pantone palette Resiliance

Cultural blending has, in fact, been well underway for some time and will continue to evolve into new and exciting preferences in color combinations and styles. And, in any space or product, surface sheen and texture are important and often dictate a color’s appearance and therefore contribute to our color preferences and uses.

Third: Home decor follows fashion
As a rug designer, I incorporate color from an instinctive perspective, starting with what feels right to me from the artistic standpoint. That said, I can of course change colors in any way to suit individuals’ requests. It surprises me sometimes that many of the colors I initially use in my rug designs do show up in a future trend forecast. That is always interesting, and just demonstrates once again that color is universal—and cyclical.

Pantone "Heritage" palette

Pantone’s new greens in the Heritage palette can be flexible.

My basic belief doesn’t just “belong” to me.
It’s much broader than any individual, and does not depend on color trends at all.
As humans—without regard to “trends”—we all crave color in myriad varieties of light and bright, muted yet clean, and deep, rich, and dark. It’s all about proportion, balance, and use. I see color trends as something interesting and cyclical, worth observing, with variations in each re-occurrence of a particular color.

Are you Into Color Trends for your own home, or your business, or just for fun? Visit these places for more inspiration:

Ellen Kennon Full Spectrum Paints
Kate Smith, of Sensational Color
Color Marketing Group: Where Trends are Defined
Pantone: a great resource for color information and products

Change is dynamic. That’s the fascination that keeps us coming back for more! What’s Your “take” on the trends?


Color of the Week!

Why wait for “color of the year?”
Introducing “Color of the Week,” something to keep you going throughout the year!

Just as colors do not exist in isolation, nor do they function in isolation. So, this feature will sometimes include colors in combination, not just single colors. As a color consultant I have wonderful opportunities to help create beautiful environments, both interior and exterior, using a variety of materials. Not just paint!

I look forward to offering many enjoyable and inspired pairings of colors—as paint colors with each other; paint colors and “faux finish” colors; and, paint with tiles, rugs, and other materials.

Because where I live it “almost” feels like Spring, I wanted to start this feature with the color of warmth, sun, and new energy.

Viburnum flowers

Viburnum flowers offer a welcoming, golden yellow.

A friend’s garden offered the inspiration for a number of the colors of my new EcoHues full spectrum paint palette. As with all the EcoHues Full Spectrum paints, there is no black or gray in the mix and they are NoVOC, No Odor as well. The Viburnum flowers translated into the paint color “Viburnum,” a richly saturated yellow but one  that will be very enjoyable to live with.

Viburnum: Full Spectrum paint color from EcoHues

Viburnum: digital images are always approximate, so see it in person, get a sample.

Coming up: Colors in combination, and paint colors paired with other materials!

Colors for 2010 – Starting with Blue for Paint and Beyond

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , , — Barbara Jacobs @ 8:00 am
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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