A new year presents fresh opportunities, complete with new plans and lively prospects. Since the holidays are behind us, the decorations are stowed and the house tidied up, it’s time to look forward to a few indoor months we can spend taking stock, organizing and looking forward to a 2017 filled with interesting possibilities and projects.
To that end, decorating experts and design professionals have unveiled their annual “Color of the Year” predictions for 2017. In what has become a greatly anticipated event, major paint and design companies make a yearly splash by naming color trends for the new year — each company usually names a featured color, as well as coordinating palettes.
Annually, companies like Benjamin Moore, Valspar, Glidden, Olympic, Sherwin-Williams and Pantone, with products available at independent retailers like Ace Hardware, as well as dedicated stores across the region, sink months of research into their forecasts for dominant color trends. Color design teams attend major industry shows around the world, while also taking cues from standouts in architecture, fashion, textiles, home furnishings and the arts. Fine art and nature emerged as leading inspirations this year, highlighting the correlation between color and light to create mood. Shades of purple, both moody-dark and cheerful-light, made a strong showing among a number of companies, especially when paired with warm gray-brown neutrals and splashes of leafy greens.
Color leader Benjamin Moore chose a dramatic, royal amethyst for its 2017 Color of the Year: Shadow 2117-30. “Allusive and enigmatic, Shadow is a master of ambiance. It is a color that calls to mind a ‘past,’ yet it can also make a contemporary, color-confident statement,” said Ellen O’Neill, Benjamin Moore creative director. “Shadow is sophisticated, provocative and poetic, it can bring energy to a space or harmony and a moment of respite,” she said. “It is a little bit rock and roll. It’s the color of the galaxy but also the color of a beautiful fig. It’s passion; it’s bravery; but it’s also silence.”
The company may have been feeling a little color deprived after the austerity of its 2016 choice, Simply White. O’Neill and her design team chose Shadow after reviewing about 500 photos of their travels to Paris, Korea and Copenhagen, from cafes to museums, even from fashion shoots and clothing choices at the Met Gala. Aubergine hues seemed to pop up everywhere, she explained. Shadow makes striking use of the play of light in a space throughout the day — from bright and vibrant in the morning, to deep and restful by dusk.
Paint company Valspar joined the trend of sophisticated, jewel-toned amethysts with its offerings of Twilight Purple and Black Currant, colors evocative of mindfulness and meditation. For those who might feel hesitant about such bold colors, experts advise trying one on an accent wall or above a mantle, with a neutral color on the rest of the walls. Splashes of color throughout a room work well too — paint a table in the rich hue, make trim pop, or use a saturated purple on upholstery, curtains or pillows. With all color choices, the more drenched the tone, the more intense the psychological effect.
Other companies have continued the trend of purple passion with lighthearted, cheerful choices of refreshing lavenders and lilacs. Olympic has chosen a soft violet as its 2017 color of the year. Olympic’s Cloudberry is meant to create a sense of respite and solace from the busy world. “Home decor trends for 2017 are reflecting society’s urge to find a space apart from constant connectedness, and to create balance by establishing our homes as places to refresh,” said Dee Schlotter, PPG senior color marketing manager, Olympic Paints & Stains brand. “Cloudberry is the perfect complement to the minimalist style that is strongly trending in the year ahead.”
Glidden has predicted Byzantine Blue as its color of the year for 2017. “The name may say blue, but Byzantine Blue is truly a purple in disguise,” said Misty Yeomans, PPG color marketing manager, Glidden paint. “It stretches the boundaries of purple to borrow all the best qualities of blue and gray, making it an appealing color choice for nearly any room.” It’s an option that tends to be cool and soothing, imparting a sense of serenity.
Every colorful focal point needs a neutral counterpoint and Sherwin Williams’ choice of Poised Taupe, SW 6039, offers just such balance. This timeless neutral is modern, classic and a beautiful combination of warm and cool. Neutrals are beginning a transition from the monochrome gray of the past five years to a more complex mix of taupe and brown. Gray has enjoyed favored status for a while, but 2017 marks the beginning of a warming trend. Influences such as natural or organic materials, weathered and worn finishes and global cultural preferences have suggested alternatives to a primarily gray existence — think driftwood, seashells and birch bark. “Our story of taupe is simple,” said Sue Wadden, director of color marketing for Sherwin Williams. “Earthen brown combines with conservative gray and the result is a weathered, woodsy and complex neutral that celebrates the imperfections and authenticity of a well-lived life.”
Most companies featuring a color of the year choice, also offer coordinating palettes, with rich and sophisticated hues ranging from soothing pales to saturated jewel tones. In addition to the warming trend of neutrals, there are several key color combinations. The purples, cornflowers and indigo hues pair well with whites and taupes for a charming palette, reminiscent of the French countryside. Botanical, citrus, leafy greens pair well with the purples and neutrals to create a contemporary, organic vibe. Colors like Benjamin Moore’s Guacamole; Valspar’s Crushed Oregano, Fickle Pickle or Parrot Feather; Sherwin Williams’ Citronella; and Pantone’s Kale or Primrose Yellow are reminiscent of hues that surround us in nature and inspire the invigorating feeling of fresh air and a spring garden.
2017’s color trends reflect a warm, back-to-nature atmosphere that is both rich and refreshing, perhaps in an effort to create a soothing nest of refuge from a noisy, hyper-connected world.