Color Forecasting 2010

Color Forecasting 2010

Mark Chamberlain
Jan 5, 2010

Before I rub my crystal ball and look into the future of colors, let me predict another thing first: the end of color forecasting as we know it. There used to be people like trend forecasters and fashion directors and magazine editors who could tell you things like, in three years from now, all eight year olds will be wearing pink Hello Kitty back packs and using tangerine iMacs. I think that's about to disappear with the cathode tube television and the answering machine.

It used to take a long time for such prognosticators to fly around to trade shows, collect tear-sheets, make mood boards, collate information and get it ready for publication six months later or at the end of the fourth quarter. The camera phones and the internet gave us instant dissemination of such material and trends are out, predicted and over before they've begun. But here's an interesting coincidence.

Pantone released its 2010 color pick and it's Turquoise — chosen as a color of deep healing and tropical paradise. I can never deduce how these things are selected, if it's pink one year only because last year it was chartreuse, but this must be noted: Apartment Therapy readers recently voted the same basic thing "best of" in October's Room for Color contest. Have Apartment Therapy readers lead the leaders, or is there some je-ne-sais-quoi zeitgeist in the air?

I found this color at the Paris trade show Maison&Objet last January (along with Plum and Pumpkin Spice, ubiquitous all year) and have watched it trickle into store fronts across the land since then like a bubbling brook. Now I see Teal in Crate & Barrel window displays.

I personally find this color to be redolent of several things: Europe, especially Paris; Mid-Century Modern, somewhere between Butterfield-8 Blue and Brady Bunch Blue; and, yes, the next wave.

Look also this season for Jade, though I stop short of bringing it into my own home. I wonder what will happen to the cave colors of yore, if they'll lighten slightly or hold firm; and if pattern will become even more exuberant. Only time will tell.

Do you have color predictions of your own for 2010?

- Mark Chamberlain, interior and decorative painter

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