Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 Interior Color Trends

Before we get into this pretty lengthy post - a HAPPY NEW YEAR (again) - to all of my readers old and new! There are a lot of sources for finding the new, now, next color choices of interior paint colors for 2011, and many of them are obviously on completely different paths. From the rich and vibrant wines to the light and sherbet citrons, it's a full spectrum that can be peculiar in deciphering.
Pantone, what many describe as THE authority on emerging popular colors said that the big color of 2010 would be turquoise, but as Joni Webb of Cote de Texas blogged about here, we didn't see as much turquoise in the mags and homes of both bloggers and designers - but gray! It was everywhere, from the pages of design mags to the shelves of decor outlet stores like Homegoods and TJMaxx. So, do we look at this very bright pantone honeysuckle as a calling back to the bright and saturated light? Or as a perfect pairing for what many say will be the longest lasting neutral we've ever seen?

I thought about it for a while, because most of you know we went gray on the bottom floor of CDLV this winter, and I love it. And though I'm not trying to clumsily follow trends for myself - you'd be surprise what having all this useless knowledge does for you when you get into a client meeting. So, what would you do with Pantone's Honeysuckle? That's the question today.

I personally love the way that Amanda Kyser brought in the exotic nature of the tone in rugs and linens in this library painted Benjamin Moore's Deep Taupe 2111-10.
You could be bold enough to use it quite literally, as designer Gary McBournie did with this room, painted Benjamin Moore's Florida Pink 1320. This is an anterroom between a master bedroom and bath, what many of us would call a dressing room or sitting room. Accented with white, gray, and upholstery with pops of orange and olive, it's a room with a very definite color confidence.

Or in this very feminine living room painted Benjamin Moore's Milano Red 1313 by Libby Cameron. Now, for conversation sake, there is always the topic of color psychology, which suggests that a rooms painted pink often give a calming or soothing feeling in the initial exposures, but after living or working in a pink room, one can become agitated once accustomed to the color. So maybe you're not ready to walk in everyday after the first month of having a pink living room and be so agitated you want to walk right back out. How do you keep on top of projected color trends without jumping in head first?

Bring in the color in the easily transitional fresh flower, like these pink peonies in a dining room by Suzanne Kasler.

You could decide to make a bigger investment with pillows like Angie Hranowsky did in this collected living room. Keep your eye on the orange pairing. I remember in 2002 when the hot color combination was turquoise, pink, and orange ... can you expect Pantone to choose orange the color of 2012? Perhaps ...
Here in this more sophisticated and neutral room, the pink really pops doesn't it? You'll be surprised if you take a look through your collection of books how many have pink bindings under the protective jacket. This is a great way to introduce the color unexpectedly, and carry the look throughout the room. When you get tired of the pink - throw the jacket back on, and voila!
Fabrics like these are perfect for people who find it hard to choose only one color to commit to. Here, pink, teal, chartreuse and turquoise, some hues vibrant - others muted, allow for you to be on trend, but also have the flexibility of change. Some of my favorite fabrics from Calico Corners this year are here:

Now, I go to Pantone - obviously, but I tend to prefer the layout of the fine color psychologists and forecasters of Benjamin Moore. They hold yearly color conferences to focus on themes and trends which involve, define, and affect color and they believe that 2011 will trend on four themes:

1. FARM (top left): This hearkens back to a simpler time, a return to the basics of life, and where it really starts and stops. Look for the sandy tones of grain, burlap, and rich clay earth along with milky whites, buttery creams, and rich browns, greens, and blues that relate to the life of a simple tilled field. Decor will include more rustic decor, old unfinished, weathered, and hand painted woods, inventive reuse of aged materials for art (think pitchforks and rusted farm tools) and gray will take a backseat to browns, the more earthy neutral.

2. ORDER (top right): This is an urgent plea for order to the chaos of our immediate and figurative "worlds", calming the raging colors of disaster, fighting, war, and break downs. A throw back to monochromatic spaces of black and white, with pops of primary colors used sparingly. Look for geometric, and long linear lines.

3. ESCAPE (bottom left): This is a last stitch effort to pull away from the threats of your reality. If the soft and simple FARM doesn't put you there, and you can't find ORDER in geometric black and whites, perhaps the pearls, and soft watercolor like pinks, purples, blues, and greens; gray sticks within this theme, and the overall goal is for a more translucent approach. Pink takes the place of red, and pearlized and frosted or satin finishes push gloss and matte finishes to the back of the line.

4. TRIBE (bottom right): This is right in line with the overall theme of simplicity, and understanding what is at the core of our "fine" living. A deep understanding of where we come from, and what we wish for relates heavily to the tribal finishes of rust, brown, berry, and spicy hues of orange, red, and bronze. Metallic finishes of copper, gold, and brass take over, and decor elements such as wooden, glass, and metallic beads, hand-forged items like wooden bowls, or archaic sketches and simple fruit dye fabrics and paintings will play an important role in carrying this through.

Now, if that wasn't enough - I have MY Color Trend "predictions" of 2011. (For what it's worth - I mean, why not! If they can do it, why can't I? WHY CAN'T WE!?) So in case you're wondering what's going on in my head ... I see:

Gray/Grey/Greige is here to stay with a pairing of soft chocolates and browns, rich wheat tones of sand and beige with a pop of the muted blue/green and warmer pinks/reds. Blue will more than likely make many appearances this year, in the Asian imports of the early 19th century and in fabrics, along with a deeper fondness for the antiqued and aged metallic finishes of brass, gold, and silver ... think mercury glass and smoke.

What about you? What are your predictions? Do you already have plans to make change, or have you made changes that you think will be popular in 2011!? This is the perfect place to share! Just leave a comment below!


  1. Great post~!
    My birthday was dec.25th and several days before I had a long conversation with myself and decided to accept I am a very beige/brown person.. I tried other colors and nothing else draws me, sooths me, or makes me smile like BROWN, in all its shades from antique white to deep chocolate. I believe having finally accepted that will save me time, money and the agony of wrong choices.. For short periods I can add accents of other colors but my main palette is beige/brown and I'm sticking with it...
    I am looking forward to seeing what others do with this years chosen color -- just cause its fun to look at...

    Happy 2011 ~!

  2. I am with you, still loving grey and greige. However I am happy about the Honeysuckle as my favorite color has always been pink. I love soft pink with grey tones, but I couldn't live in a bright pink room. All things in moderation. Keep the grey toned background and change up the accent color according to mood.

  3. Great and very thourough post ARtie. I think the pink will slide in under the arm of gray for sure. I also think it is going to be used in the form of a cameo or blush in order to go with the linens and grays that so many are using. I am not one of the gray lovers but I know it is a wonderfully classic base for most homes. I am in hopes of brighter happier colors in my own life but that is what I have always gravitated towards. The general public will still be on the white and gray bandwagon but the design world is going to slip some new color in the mix and I think pink it is!! Kathysue

  4. You know I love me some pink, um, I mean honeysuckle! ; )

  5. I LOVE that honeysuckle color...and just painted over a foyer that was essentially that color. May paint our library wall that color...who knows...time will tell!

  6. great post artie! I LOVE talking about paint and color!! Love the physcology of it all. I read all of the 'professional' opinions, but it wasn't until reading yours that I felt truly convinced! I think you are spot-on with your predictions.


  7. Interresting post. I love color, some neutrals are good to but I really prefer color.

    Happy New Year to You.


  8. Oh that was real lengthy as you've said, but very informative and I honestly find it interesting...I'm still loving greys...but I could go with the this year citrus...

  9. Oh, I can't believe I'm not yet a I made myself one just now...just love your blog so much:)

    Happy New YEar:)

  10. Artie, lots to think about...I love this post.

    I love the deep satuated hues of the grays and teals and then using the fabulous pink, and yellows for accents!

    Happy New Years!

    Art by Karena

  11. I admit to Brown/Beige/Taupe fetish with accents of rose and soft green more holding back for me in 2011...I am owning my interior color preferences.

  12. Love the honeysuckle as an accent color but I could never do it on the walls or in a big way. I would definitely get 'agitated' in its presence after a while. Love the images you share in this post!


  13. I loved the last photo of the four poster and the colors are very livable for me. Happy new year.


  14. Never cared much for brown/beige...but I LOVE that citrus green at the top of your post. That's the color that energizes me. I might add a touch of honeysuckle, but truly I lean more toward the orangy corals. Never have I been one to follow trends...I tend to choose that which makes me happy.

  15. We just remodeled this summer. I went from the "pink" tones to the new citrus green/yellow without knowing any upcoming trends. I also used white with "purple" tones to it and a little darker green. The colors flow well together and make everything feel light and springy. The decision was based on pulling colors from the upholstery of an antique chaise. We are very happy with the new selections.

  16. i am so having to make choices right now and certainly have not found the things i want in the community in which we live. Long story, looking for a couch, chairs, drapes.. I'm not embracing the new pantone color at all, it's not in my vocabulary, but the soft turq finally crept in unforeseen. but we will see. I have a gray/green in the bedroom and I bet the gray makes another appearance in the kitchen this year. It will be the perfect color choice for the yellow tile that I can't change just yet... I love how much knowledge I've gained just by reading here.. Thanks a ton!