Authors Note: This article is a follow up to Color Trends for 2008, Part I. Some of the content will assume that you have already read Part I. To view the previous article click here. In Color Trends Part I, I discussed new color trends and went into detail on colors and how they become fashionable for the year. However, I fear I through in some technical terms and didn’t explain them. At the request of some of my readers, I would like to explain basic color theory and schemes: The Primary Colors are pure hues that are combined in different ways to create different colors. There are only three pure hues: Red, Yellow, and Blue. Secondary Hues are the result of combining two pure hues together to make a new color. Orange, Green, and Violet make up this category. Tertiary Hues are created when you combine a primary hue with a secondary hue. The hybrids created from these unions are Red-Orange, Yellow-Orange, Yellow-Green, Blue-Green, Blue-Violet, and Red-Violet. Monochromatic color schemes are based on one color and are most successful when using light, medium, and dark tones to create a dramatic effect.
Direct Complementary color schemes are formed when two colors directly across from each other (Yellow vs. Violet, Blue-Green vs. Red-Orange) on the color wheel are used in combination with each other. A basic Analogous color scheme will use three adjacent colors to create a harmony with one color being the dominant color, another in the series next in importance, and the third being an accent color. One such popular combination for this year is Yellow, Yellow-Green, and Green hues. Keep in mind that this is a basic analogous scheme, but an advanced analogous scheme can use up to six adjacent colors! (Do not attempt the advanced scheme on your own, seek professional designers help.) Without the above knowledge, we could never conceive the amazing phenomenon’s called color trends. They grow and change with our culture and the time period. Many different companies have their own personal color forecasters on staff, yet most of the predictions these various companies make all seem to coincide with each other. How is it that two different companies, with two different sets of color forecasters (who don’t ever share information), come up with such similar color palates every year? The reason is simple, they are both seeing the same colors pop up in the fashion, artistic, automobile, accessory, and design industries. This is very important for interior designers to pay close attention to, because if both companies present similar colors for the year, it’s a safe bet that the trend will be accurate and will appeal to their clients. Don’t expect the colorings to be exact when compared next to one another though. Most of the time the new colors from separate companies will be just a shade or tint different, but in the same color family. This is usually true for all of the core colors that are premiering, but since there are different groups from different companies making these predictions, they may toss in a few accent colors to test out to see if they sell in the current market. If they do, they become core colors the following year. One excellent example of a neutral that is making its come back as an accent color for this year is gray. Gray is considered to be a neutral color because depending on the hue it is mixed with; it can be a warm or cool tone. Gray is expected to continue growing as a trend for the near future. Shades of white and cream continue to dominate the market and help provide tranquil and organic backgrounds for our hectic everyday life style. Chocolate brown, taupe, and sand colors are some choice neutrals for the year. Jewel tones and other rich hues like Benjamin Moore’s Peacock Feathers (724), French Violet (1427), and Gypsy Pink (2077-20) can help turn a dull room into a private gem box. Yellow, red, and blue (primary colors) are definitely in for this year, they are huge emphases in color predictions from multiple sources. Muted greens are always a good bet for a natural, relaxing space, and will continue to grace us this year. (Information based on Benjamin Moore’s 2008 Color Seminar in Conjunction with Pottery Barn)