2011 Colors of the Year

There are many, many companies that proclaim to have the “color of the year” for interiors and graphic design. Some usually make good honest predictions that actually do come there in product design and eventually into individual homes.  The three most respected color trend predictors are Pantone, Benjamin Moore, and ICI Dulux. For those of you that don’t know these companies. Here is a brief background from each of their respective websites.

In 1963, Lawrence Herbert, Pantone’s founder, created an innovative system of identifying, matching and communicating colors to solve the problems associated with producing accurate color matches in the graphic arts community. His insight that the spectrum is seen and interpreted differently by each individual led to the innovation of the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM®, a book of standardized color in fan format.

Over the last 45 years, Pantone has expanded its color matching system concept to other color-critical industries, including digital technology, textiles, plastics, architecture and contract interiors, and paint. It continues to develop color communication tools for a variety of industries and aggressively adopts new digital technology to address the color needs of design and production professionals.

Benjamin Moore
In 1883, Benjamin Moore and his brother Robert opened Moore Brothers in Brooklyn, New York. True entrepreneurs, they started with $2,000 and one product, “Moore’s® Prepared Calsom Finish,” which was sold exclusively through independent retailers. Moore Brothers built their company on Benjamin Moore’s belief in “the exercise of intelligent industry in the spirit of integrity,” and a dedication to manufacturing excellence and quality.

Today, Benjamin Moore & Co., a Berkshire Hathaway company, is a high-performing, innovative manufacturer and retailer of quality coatings and provider of related goods and services for decoration and preservation. We continue as a leader in the architectural coatings industry with products that set new standards of excellence. We manufacture at 7 plants, distribute from 22 facilities, and sell the finest paints, stains, and finishes through a network of more than 4,000 independent retailers across North America.

ICI Dulux
ICI Paints Malaysia is one of the world’s largest paint manufacturers, and holds a prominent position in the decorative paint industry in Malaysia. Acquired by AkzoNobel in 2008, we strive to live out our corporate philosophy of ‘Adding Colour to People’s Lives’. This is reflected in our thrust for sustainability across all facets of our organization, including operations, products, and external programs. Putting our customers’ futures first, we understand that we are accountable for actions and the long term consequences to our environment and future generations.

Now that we have all that boring background information out of the way, lets really talk about the color trends. Pantone predicted a beautiful, rich shade of pink called “Honeysuckle.” They declare it a color for all seasons.

“Courageous. Confident. Vital. A brave new color, for a brave new world. Let the bold spirit of Honeysuckle infuse you, lift you and carry you through the year. It’s a color for every day – with nothing ‘everyday’ about it.”

Benjamin Moore’s color choice is a bold, deep shade of purple called “Vintage Wine.” They declare that Vintage Wine is the new Black.

“First seen on the fashion runways of New York, Paris, and Milan, this rich hue with a deep brown base and a hint of smoky violet is just as magnificent in the home. As an undertone in many of the latest wood finishes, leathers, and other textiles, vintage wine, and its lighter variations, will make a great paint color pick for many applications over the coming years.”

ICI Dulux’s color choice is a bright, lively Lime Twist. It is a “light, airy, citrus yellow that symbolizes a freer spirit, sense of fun and positive energy. Encapsulating a mood of hope and optimism, it conveys a feeling of fizzy sherbet, new growth, relaxed fun and the goodness and vitality of sunshine.”

You might wonder how three companies could pick three completely different colors as the color of the year. Honeysuckle and Citrus Yellow have more in common that you might think. They are both brave colors that symbolize confidence, creativity, and create a young energetic space. On the other hand, Vintage wine creates a dark, mature space with an almost calming effect.  It exudes luxury. It really speaks to wood finishes, leathers, and heavy textiles just as Benjamin Moore explained.

In many ways these selections of colors reflect the huge difference in styles between modern and more traditional interiors. You are not likely to find much bright pink or citrus yellow in a traditional home nor would you likely find much dark purple in a more modern space. Of course, any good designer could blur the lines between modern and traditional to create a space using just about any color; however, it may be difficult to complete a traditional space using pink and yellow and vice versa.

Personally, I love all three of these colors and have recently used shades similar to these in some of the model home projects that I have worked on. I will make another post to show my work as I am not able to get this blog post to cooperate and add the slide show.