“We find a cooling of the palette as we move into 2012,” says Sonu Mathew, senior interior designer with Benjamin Moore, “which reflects a sense of calm inside our homes and environments.”
And so blue—a calming, comfortable color family, and a longtime crowd favorite—will move to the forefront. (Wythe Blue—a “softer, more livable blue with a modern edge”—takes the stage as Benjamin Moore’s color of the year.) In a home, blue pairs beautifully with a variety of wood tones, whites and grays, as well as other shades of blue for a layered effect.
Also fitting for the times is the way the hue, as a cooler color, affects our experience of a room by rendering it more spacious. “If you come back to the idea of the economy and people scaling down, it’s interesting that blue opens things up,” says Mathew.
Perk up with Persimmon
Copper, pumpkin, persimmon—whatever you want to call that vibrant rusted orange hue—is all the rage in 2012. As a warmer color, it balances those cooling blues because, after all, colors only make sense to us within a spectrum, Mathew explains. “You have to vary color so it doesn’t get boring. So we’re seeing fun injections of color like persimmon that warm up the palette.”
The spicy and provocative shade of orange will pair easily with cool gray for a combination that feels oh-so modern. On the flipside, the hue can just as easily swing retro. “In a nod to the 70s, it will work with brown, as well,” says Michelle Lamb, internationally known color forecaster and editorial director of The Trend Curve.
“That’s going to have legs—oh my gosh, that’s going to do well.”
Gray: A Modern Neutral
2012 is a pivotal year for gray, Lamb says. “The newest grays will fall on two different sides [of the spectrum]; they’ll be counter trends. One gray will be so cool, you might mistake it for blue. On the other side are grays that warm up almost as a taupe.” As a neutral, the hue will make a handsome backdrop for bright trend colors (think cool gray with spicy persimmon, synthetic yellow or vibrant purple).
While gray may be an of-the-moment neutral, according to Mathew, it’s also a classic hue. And classic neutrals will always be in style. So slather your walls with gray, opt for some punchy accessories and fear not that the look will fast become dated.