Colour Trends: Seeing Red in a Whole New Way
By Jennifer Brown
Canadians may be seeing red more often in 2012, but it won’t just be on their January credit statements, according to those who set the colour trends.
After years of muted tones, dictated in part by the world economy and politics, decorators have declared it’s time to inject a bit of colour into our lives.
CIL Paints and Sico, among others, have declared red the colour of the year. But it’s not the deep, dark brooding red of yesteryear, it’s a “blushy, lively, juicy red,” says Alison Goldman, marketing and communications manager for CIL.
“Red is held in high regard around the world,” says Goldman, explaining that in China red means good fortune, in India it signifies marital bliss, and in many Western cultures it’s the colour of passion, power and festivity. “Because it can mean so many things to so many people, red is a colour that reminds us to open our minds to new ideas waiting to be discovered.”
When you live in an apartment or condo, paint can be the No. 1 way to change your space — it’s easy to apply and can be finished in one day.
Don’t shy away from the bold colours, says Goldman, who isn’t a proponent of ruling out strong colours in small spaces.
“I find it’s more about the mood you want to create in that room, so if you’re looking for a cosy feeling a darker colour is going to look great,” she says. “It’s not going to give you a feeling of more space — it does bring the walls in a bit closer, but that could be what you want. Go for the colour that makes you feel good. The rules are kind of out the window. The only rules applicable to home decorating is to use what you love.”
“In small spaces, what’s great is you can use a colour-zoning technique in a space on an architectural feature of your condo or simply to put an accent of colour without painting an entire room or entire wall,” says Mylene Gévry, marketing communications manager for Sico based in Montreal. “ You can play with shapes on the wall to bring that colour effect into your decor, so colour zoning is still a very important trend in decoration.”
That can mean adding even just a hint of what’s new and popular to update your home.
“Our red is an absolutely gorgeous colour. It’s not a strong oxblood that can be a little hard to take, but rather a soft peachy-toned red and it’s very useful. Not as bold as reds have been in the past,” says Goldman.
So why is red emerging in these tones now? Goldman says colour trends are typically an indication of the general mood of society.
“The colours that are popular now are taking steps out of the traditional. We are going to see oranges and yellows that are just on the edgy side — not traditional, but modern. I think we’re seeing a desire to step out of what’s been going on economically with politics and the depressing things we see in the news,” she says.
Colour, much like fashion, may see trends return but that doesn’t mean you can revert to what was considered chic five years ago.
“The overall feeling of it can be different. You may think you’ve seen this soft red before but it’s not the same; there’s always something that makes it modern,” says Goldman.
If you’re bashful of bright reds and oranges, fear not, there are also some new neutrals to balance it all out. One in particular is Silver Quill from CIL, which is a soft neutral grey and can be paired with any of the new bright colours being touted for this year, says Goldman.
“Pairing a grey with a bright colour is a strong theme this year. In the ’80s it was pink and grey or pink and dark green. The grey today is taking over from the beige and tan neutrals we’ve seen in the past,” says Goldman.
The yearly colour trends evolution is always somehow related to the state of world. In 2009, the economic times were tough and colour trends were neutral colours, a little darker than usual because it was a way for people to comfort themselves. In 2010, there was a sense of optimism and colour came back.
For 2012, it’s not so much about a specific colour, but a need to express ourselves and share a point of view reflected in a palate dominated by reds and greens with subtle neutrals to bring a balance, Gévry says.
“You won’t see a trend of 100 per cent bright colours. It’s about a balance of neutrals not only on the wall but in accessories,” she says.
According to Sico’s colour experts, there are three prevailing colour themes and styles for the year ahead, each reflecting a need to celebrate personal connections: “living scrapbook,” “one small seed” and “delicate mix.”
With social media and blogs having created a wave of creativity, the living scrapbook theme represents how a culture of showcasing “Who I am” has crossed over into home decor. It presents a balanced, warm and charming palette featuring contemporary corals like Ming Red, sky blues such as Santorini, greens like Olive Chartreuse and luminous yellows such as Star Coral.
One small seed highlights a personal connection to how our actions affect the world around us. Inspired by the process of photosynthesis, popular colours in this group include garden greens like Namibian Desert, dark soil browns like Pen and Ink and pastel blues like Lunar Month.
The colours in the delicate mix palette exude subtlety, silence and visual stillness while promoting harmony, modesty and perfect balance. Highlighting this palette are neutrals, nude pinks and subtle mauves such as Grey Drizzle, Satie White, Frangipani and Furtive Mauve. These colours, which celebrate the mind while soothing the soul, pair well with nuances of forged iron, steel, aluminum, polished concrete, wood, copper and oiled leathers.
So if your New Year resolution is to inject some new life into your living space, consider what aspects of life are inspiring you today.