As the year is coming to a close, I have been reflecting on the most popular paint colors of 2016 and what is being embraced by clients and promoted by the industry moving forward into 2017. There is more than one way to recognize a trend, but I am pulling in information from the paint manufacturer forecasts and what I'm hearing directly from my clients.
I often have people ask me if the color they are going with is a trend or a design classic. A design trend is generally a new idea that quickly captures the imagination of people. Trends can last for a few months or years, or even decades. On the other hand, a design classic has timeless aesthetic value. It serves as a standard of its kind and remains up to date regardless of the year of its design.
As a color consultant, my job is to make sure that colors work together in a home and to offer advice on what will last. I have found that a lot of my clients are very on top of trends but they really want a classic look that will last and most are unsure of how to pull that off! Today I will discuss what I am seeing in the field vs. what the industry is saying and hope it answers questions you may have when considering choosing a new paint color for your home.
So, lets dive into it then, what does the industry say vs. what are people actually doing in their homes? Below are 5 trends comparing the paint and design industry to what I see in my clients' homes. (Disclaimer - this is mainly in the Denver metro area, and I'm sure that industry influence is stronger in areas like New York & LA)
Trend #1 - Still a Gray Area
WHAT THE INDUSTRY SAYS - The industry says that grays are on the way out. They have been pushing this idea since last year (as noted in industry color trends below).
WHAT MY CLIENTS SAY - My clients still love grays, but I am seeing a shift away from colder blue grays to warmer green grays mixed with soft color and whites. It should come as no surprise that HGTV Fixer Upper Joanna Gaines is a big influence here!
Trend #2 - The Brighter the Better
WHAT THE INDUSTRY SAYS - Pink, Blue, Yellow, Olive, Green and Lavender are all the rage. The Intrepid and Unbounded Collection from Sherwin Williams are proof of this.
WHAT MY CLIENTS SAY - I haven't seen a shift to embracing bright color just yet. I am still seeing subtle and grayed out color. Joanna Gaines again provides a big influence here - just look at what she chooses for the homes she designs - subtle colors and grays! To be fair, a few clients are starting to go bolder and I suspect that we'll be seeing more bright colors as we move into 2017.
I/C HGTV Fixer Upper
Trend #3 - Drama in the Kitchen
WHAT THE INDUSTRY SAYS - Drama is being pushed for style in the kitchen, which goes right along with the Moody Darks of Trend #3. Get ready for two-toned cabinets featuring dark paint colors with metal finishes, such as Blacks and Charcoals with brushed gold or bronze finishes.
WHAT MY CLIENTS SAY - I see the tuxedo style (white on top, dark on bottom) waning from the beginning of the year, but painting the island a darker dramatic color is a trend I see becomming more of a classic in the kitchen. Ironically, my clients ask for white, white, and more white for their cabinets. I'd say 90% of the cabinet colors I spec are a shade of white. The other 10% are usually gray.
As for the rest of the kitchen, my clients are embracing a simple backsplash, such as white subway tile. Who doesn't love a classic white kitchen? Fixtures are a mix of metals - brushed gold, rose gold bronze and copper are finally making their way into the home. Quartz countertops are replacing granite and many are finally saying bye bye to stainless steel and embracing new moody finishes on appliances.
I/C Architectural Digest
Trend #4 - Mood Swings
WHAT THE INDUSTRY SAYS - Moody color is forecasted to be big moving forward. Benjamin Moore's 2017 color of the year, Shadow is a dark moody color. Creative Director Ellen O’Neill explains, “It ebbs and flows with its surroundings, and light brings it to life. Rich, royal amethyst can fade into the soft lilac-grey of distant mountains or morph into lustrous coal. Indulge your mysterious side. Let Shadow set the mood.” Sherwin Williams also embracing this with their Noir Collection for 2017. "Mindful melancholy is fueling a new romanticism marked by medieval patterns, revived customs and bittersweet beauty. The Dutch masters knew the secret: dark hues set a dramatic stage for sensuous luster."
WHAT MY CLIENTS SAY - Yes, this trend is in full force with my color consultations and looks to be here to stay. Clients are opting for deep moody colors such as , Turquoises and especially Navy, which has been used as an accent in about a third of my color consultations. These colors are often used as an accent wall, in a dining room or on a kitchen island.
Trend #5 - Going Green
WHAT THE INDUSTRY SAYS - We'll see olive green, bright green and green gray. Pantone's 2017 color of the year, Greenery is proof of this.
WHAT MY CLIENTS SAY - In paint color I am seeing primarily gray greens, and even when I spec a gray, it is one with a green undertone, such as Sherwin Williams' Sea Salt, Repose Gray, or Mindful Gray or Benjamin Moore's Grey Owl. Warmer green grays such as Revere Pewter and Balboa Mist are still popular. I suspect in 2017 we will see more green in decor, but I'm not so sure we'll see it in paint color.
That rounds out the 5 color trends the industry is pushing and what I see clients embracing. Please feel free to contact me to ask any questions you might have about colors in your home.
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