Color Forecasting for 2011

Color Forecasting for 2011

Mark Chamberlain
Jan 4, 2011

It's that time of year again: trend analysis. Pundits of every profession are eager to offer the next big thing. Let's take a look at what prognosticators are predicting in the field of color.

Followers of Color Therapy will know that I look at such predictions with a wry smile and a shake of the head. I fancy myself an original, and look not to follow trendsetters over the cliff like lemmings to the sea, but prefer to take any new ideas for my own inspiration and see how I can make them one better.

Nonetheless, let's parse a few photos. Pink is in the air. Pantone sent the opening salvo a few weeks ago by calling Honeysuckle the color to beat in 2011, and as per cocktail party talk this is indeed a hot pink, not a chartreuse. The New York Times also ran a puff piece on vintage pink bathrooms just last week, though this is Mamie Eisenhower poodle pink ca. 1950. I've noticed how hot pink threads through color preview photos from Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams, perhaps an escapist color jolt in dark times. Must be something in the ether.

Payne's Grey continues in its supporting role of the last few years. It's strong without being splashy, elegant and urban without being service elevator, and perhaps contains it's own whiff of nostalgia à la Dior and the New Look.

One of my surprises here is Ben Moore's Royal Flush. We've seen plenty of purple the last few years, albeit on a warmer note, and I've painted aubergine rooms left and right recently. This, too, looks back and feels redolent of Victorian England to these eyes.

Personally, I'm doing a lot with texture lately, layering paint glazes with putty knives and wallpaper brushes in my own palette of smoke and storm. More on that in the coming weeks.

But let's hear it from the people; what trends are you following, or are you starting your own?

- Mark Chamberlain, interior and decorative painter

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