There is an insidious agency at work in our country and it is called the Color Marketing Group. No, the members are not color repressed former officers of the Soviet Union, military olive palette all the time, that have broken out in a fit to ensure a more chromatic world. They're part of a group that is, if not trying to push the hot colors of the future, at least attempting to predict what will be fashionable in the near future. And if you think this is new, it's not. The Color Marketing Group has been around since 1962, which is much younger than the Color Association of the United States, which has purported to have a finger on the proper color choice since 1915. So we should believe the Color Marketing Group when they tell us purple will reign in 2009 right?
Well, before you go out and buy ten gallons of purple paint and splash it all over your walls, consider the words of Jackie Jordan, director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams. Her prediction for 2009? She says she is "starting to see some corals coming into the marketplace."
Well, that clears things up. Now that you have moved your accent chairs and end tables into the center of the room and covered it in advance of purpling the walls, you need to figure out a way to get coral colors involved in the mix, because we have to be "current." After all, our friends are paying attention.
Department of Color Redundancy Department
Now we're worried that maybe there are more colors that we need investigate in anticipation of a 2009 home makeover. Pantone, the self-regarded global authority on color for the design industries, announced the 2009 color of the year is Mimosa, a warm engaging yellow that represents the hopeful and radiant characteristics associated with the color yellow (their words, not ours).
Barbara Schirmeister, a member of the American Ministry of Color, I mean, the Color Association of the United States, issued her thoughts on color for 2009. "The (popular) colors themselves are interpreted in various textures," says Schirmeister. "Reflectivity is all important in the selection of colors. Satin, high gloss, luster or matte, and metallic effects determine the appearance of a chosen hue. These finishes lend a subtle quality to the palette."
- Metals - the copper family, bronze, and graphite/pewter are growing in popularity.
- Gray is a dominant neutral. Gray, creamy whites, and varied colors of taupe make up the contemporary palette titled "urban chic."
- Colorful mid-tones remain a favorite choice for the home.
While all segments of the spectrum are represented, there is also a new emphasis on blue. Schirmeister says, "From soft to vibrant blues, the above popular neutrals provide a beautiful foil (background) for an extensive palette of new blues, ranging from turquoise to periwinkle to peacock. The blue palette works very well with the metal colors."
Trust Your Gut
Your floor is littered with gallons of paint now, right? So what's a trend chaser to do?
You ever notice that before an area of a city becomes popular to live in the artists and musicians and creatives have been there for years? Our belief is that you never catch up to a trend, it only slows up to meet you on its slip back towards monotony. Instead, look and consider all the colors and textures offered in the array of choices we have in home decor, from funky faux fur Puff lounge chairs to glossy turquoise ceramic table lamps . When you feel that spark light inside yourself, you know you've found your personal color of the year for 2009.
So do we believe that all the differing opinions make these groups evil marketers attempting to implement planned color obsolescence? No, we actually like them and agree with their objective, which is to enliven our living environment and inject new life into a room that has begun to feel drab. However, in economic times that are uncertain and with the general populace stashing money away "just in case we need it," there are ways to enjoy a hot new color without breaking the bank. Splash, don't douse, your room with the new color that resonates with you through accents. You'll enjoy the energy of a new jolt of color without encountering buyer's remorse. Don't go out and buy a purple couch (artist formerly known as Prince and drug-induced ankh symbol aside). Instead, keep your beige-toned sectional sofa and toss a few decorative pillows on it.
If you like the pewter color that Barbara Schirmeister says is getting popular, there are ways to incorporate the color into the room and also accomplish other functional goals such as adding a room screen to divide up your loft or apartment into different living spaces. Purple with doses of pewter and silver - very cool. Or bronze?
It goes on and on. Once we really look at the "new" colors, we realize that they aren't new at all, they're just fresh. After all, everything old is new again. We have to admit that we've not been paying attention to what the new 2009 color should be. In a post election world in which Obama stands tall, we thought green was supposed to be the color of the year. What do we know? You and I are not the color experts. Or maybe we really are.