October 11, 2009

tzi trend alert: gone country … among other things

Last week I attended a Benjamin Moore webinar entitled Color Pulse 2011. The idea, of course, was to give a preview of the direction in which color trends will have moved by 2011. The overarching trend is Balance – who doesn’t strive for that in their lives? – and within that, Benjamin Moore highlighted four themes or color groupings: The Farm, Order, Escape, and Tribe. I’ll take them each in turn.

The Farm is inspired by the return to our roots and fresh, locally grown products. Color inspiration comes many of the foods you find on a farm – not only the creamy soft whites and pale neutrals (i.e., eggs) but also the rich browns (i.e., soil), buttery yellows (i.e., hay and butter), botanical greens and vegetable brights (i.e., eggplant, tomatoes, and peas).In the words of the moderator, in addition to the soft shades commonly associated with nature, you’ll see the “peas, corns, and carrots” that ruled in the seventies.

With a return to nature, however, also comes a desire for Order in our lives. With Order, geometrics take center stage, and primary colors dominate. It’s a move away from the neon shades and towards more livable, long-term color translations.

Of course, we all want to escape – even if it’s just the idea of a vacation or some peace and quiet. With Escape, you’ll see dreamy pales with feminine undertones. The colors are sheer and almost translucent, but often paired with a rich carbon gray for contrast. A pearlized finish with Escape is a softer translation of the metallic trend.

Finally, we are all comforted when we are part of a Tribe. That might sound strange, but we are all part of various urban and social tribes. With the desire to identify with a tribe comes a movement toward rich tones – berry and teal, for example – as well as a “liquid gold” bronze finish … perhaps inspired by the amazing gold jewelry worn by some African women.

Interesting, isn’t it? New directions or trends generally show up through accessories first – pillows, throws, lamps, and the like – and then are later translated to walls through paint. Some of the trends are, of course, a continuation of things we are already seeing, and those are the most likely to become popular paint shades first. After all, who doesn’t love the soft, creamy pales of the farm? A house simply done in shades inspired by fresh eggs would be gorgeous. I dare you to tell me that this isn’t beautiful.

But here’s what I thought was just great. I’ve spoken often about the intersection of fashion design and interior design, and the moderator even spoke about how fashion is generally a couple of years ahead of interior design. So, as I was reading The New York Times that very evening, guess what showed up at Chanel (of all places) for Spring 2010?

Hee haw! Seriously, Karl put on a barnyard show. As Cathy Horyn wrote here, “Inside the Grand Palais, Chanel built its version of Marie Antoinette’s barn, with a straw mound that contained a hidden door for the models to come and go in their natural-looking tweeds, clogs, egg basket purses, and lovely white crocheted outfits with French blue and red flowers.”

In the words of Jason Aldean (I told you I like country music; don’t be a hater), it seems the whole world’s “gone country” … chic!


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