World views (Pt. I)

Not as far away as you think

Alex Lemonde-Gray, September 14, 2011

IF YOU'RE PLANNING ON RUNNING AWAY FROM home anytime soon, look no further than your own backyard. Trend forecasters are predicting an earthy, global movement in design, influenced by vintage looks and ancient cultural traditions. Color trends follow this model into 2012 as well - and today's outdoor looks are keeping up with the times.
     The first palette, Global Adventure, evokes a worldly sense of optimism. The feel is breezy and sophisticated - informed, but not cynical. Tropics-inspired purples, oranges, pinks, greens, reds, yellows and blues lend an air of island time to today's outdoor rooms.


     Feeling blue? If so, our second palette in indigo hues digs deep into document dyes where ethnic fabrics get their roots. Escape to a serene and ancient place with this color story.
     Nature continues its call in the next vignette with organic colors echoing the movement to earth. Nostalgia reigns supreme in our final palette where dusted, muted, vintage colors lull you into deep relaxation.

Global adventure

"WE KNOW FOR 2012 that consumers will be leaving a really challenging environment," said Michelle Lamb, editorial director, The Trend Curve. "There will be trends pushing styles beyond what we've ever seen at market before. The colors dedicated to those trends will create completely unexplored looks."
     And while economic uncertainty remains a constant, 2012 looks to be a year of hope.


     "We do live in troublesome times," said Leatrice Eiseman, Pantone Color Institute's executive director. "But at the same time, people want to do something to lift their spirits and give things a sense of fun."
     Even while fuel concerns and an up-and-down stock market signal that the United States is still far from golden again, the time to hope, dream and create has nearly come. Bright, bold colors that recall exotic foreign cultures and superheroes will don the banner of this rejuvenation.
     "These colors need to have a spark, an energy," Lamb said. The Trend Curve's Reggae Brights palette exemplifies those qualities. "Hues inspired by global cultures bring out potential for ancient wisdom. We've seen ethnic trends from around the globe, but a tropical and West Indies look is forming the foundation of a trend I call ‘Cultural Bazaar.'"
     Reggae Brights contains distinct hues with names like Marley Green, Irie Yellow and Roots Red. Rasta Purple, a saturated blue-cast hue, is the most noteworthy color in the palette, with a similar shade forming the backbone of Benjamin Moore's Spirited palette.
     Royal Flush by Benjamin Moore is also a vivid purple, though with more red. "This berry-kissed Benjamin Moore color can be grounded when combined with neutrals or fashionable grays, yet swings to the exotic when teamed with other brights," the company said.
     Lamb holds that blue-cast purples will find favor in 2012. "Purple was still surprisingly prevalent. The best shades came in two different looks. At Kenzo and Vibieffe, for example, saturated hues hugged the blue side of the color wheel. This pushed purple up against emerging red-cast blues in a move meant to extend purple's trend status," Lamb wrote in The Trend Curve.
     Pantone interpreted this color movement toward excitement about a new day with a palette titled The Comics. "Funny paper hues pop off the page in whimsical ways that bring a smile and create the need to take some time to play," the company said in its 2012 color forecast. Green Flash, a hue resembling the Green Lantern; Strong Blue, like that of Superman; Sulphur Spring, a darker yellow like Thor's blonde locks; Red Orange, resembling the flame-covered Human Torch; Phantom, a Batman black; Fiery Red; Primrose Yellow, Cyan Blue and 2011's color of the year Honeysuckle make up The Comics.
     In the words of Pantone, "quirky joy and spontaneity" characterize this trend toward bold, bright colors.

Indigo inspirations

EMERGING FROM THE ONGOING gray trend, this palette expands beyond a gray horizon to one spotlighting dark, bold shades of blues, indigos and slates.


     Blues of varying shades, tempered with distinct and separate hints of gray and purple, form a base upon which soft tones of mauve, maroon and rose flourish. Pantone's palette Indigo Effects exemplifies this relationship that looks to blossom in 2012. "Like the twilight colors of a descending night sky, Indigo Effects evokes a mood of broad expansiveness and depth - enveloping and protective, yet mysterious," according to the color authority.
     "These colors are very deep, protective with a mysterious quality to them," said Pantone's Eiseman. "We are seeing that continuing idea of mystery in films, and these shades bear that kind of a magical quality that goes along with it."
     With a strong gray titled Quarry, a darker turquoise titled Celestial, and a soft pink tinted with brown titled Woodrose, all encased by five other colors, Pantone describes Indigo Effects as containing "variations on a blue theme - celestial and majestic blues, purpled and deep blue indigos - all deft ly brushed with contrasting strokes of maroon, mauve and moody gray."
     The colors are timeless and classic, and work well with trendier shades.
     "Times are such that we are looking for classic colors for major purchases that can transition with trend-based colors," said Jane Matteson, founder of Trend Strategy and principal of Matteson Design and Consulting.
     These subtle, rich colors are less saturated than in past years. With lighter, almond-colored and whitewashed woods and vintage styles gaining prominence in furniture, consumers will dip deep into this palette of darker, elegant colors when redecorating their homes.
     "Gray and its ability to range from a cold mist to deep graphite has the ability to stand on its own or create the perfect foil for color," Matteson said. "It is timeless, and allows us to change its demeanor in a setting with simply a change of dynamic."
     The Trend Curve Colors 2012 also spotlights these tones, including Riff Gray from the Vagabond Mid-Values palette, described as "darker mid-tones with body," and Blue Velvet, a rich, full shade of blue, from the Sumptuous Deeps palette.
     Roseanna Roberts, director of color trends for The Color Association of the United States, said the blue interaction relates to nature, and because of that will gain popularity in 2012. "Blue becomes an important color, replacing green as the ‘eco' color," she said.
     According to Roberts, The Color Association found its inspiration from "natural hues of rocks, minerals and earth" for some of the color stories found in its Interiors/ Environmental Forecast 2012-2013.

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