Color Trends

By David Savastano, Ink World Editor | May 8, 2013

From metallics and earth tones to greens, blues and yellows, experts say there are colors for everyone.

So you are ready to paint your house, and are interested in checking out the “hot” colors. Reading the predictions from the color experts at many of the leading paint and coatings companies, it seems that a person could pretty much pick any color and be right.
From metallics and earth tones to greens, blues and yellows, experts say there are colors for everyone.

For 2013, AkzoNobel selected Indigo Night, a rich blue shade that the company said suggests maturity and elegance.  

“Indigo Night is a stunning color that can be applied to many areas within the home,” said Barbara Richardson, director of North American color marketing for AkzoNobel, makers of Glidden paint. “So much of our lives are touched by the global community leading to our desire to connect and communicate; blue is a true communication color.  Intense hues, like indigo, reflect stability, reassuring confidence of the world that lies ahead.”

AkzoNobel’s ColourFutures book noted five key trends:
• Collective Passion: Attention-grabbing pastels that are combined with chalk whites and warm grey.
• Switching Off: Silent colors and ethereal hues.
• The Art of Understanding: Sunny and uplifting, such as vintage-inspired candy tones with laid back neutrals.
• Home Factory: Natural colors such as bright greens, warm burnt orange indigo tones.
• Visual Solace: A gentle, feminine color palette.

Sherwin-Williams’ color of the year is Aloe, a soothing pastel shade the company says is reminiscent of the relaxing sense of a spa.
“Aloe is highly adaptable, making it a perfect pick for everyday spaces such as a breezy sunroom or a well-dressed living room,” said Jackie Jordan, Sherwin-Williams director of color marketing.

As for its key trends, Sherwin-Williams offers Midnight Mystery, featuring moody colors; Honed Vitality, with chalky and earthy colors;  Vintage Moxie, with bolder pastels and semi-precious gem tones; High Voltage; and Opposites Attract.

For Benjamin Moore, pastels are the hottest trend for 2013, with Lemon Sorbet 2019-60 the number one shade.
“The palette is shifting from super saturated and strong hues to softer, lighter pastel shades,” said Sonu Mathew, Benjamin Moore’s senior interior designer.

As for Lemon Sorbet, “It’s the ideal transition color as we move from the more vibrant spectrum and mid-to-deep tone hues that we’ve been experiencing in home furnishings and fashions,” Mathew added.

Founded in 1989 by Rohm and Haas, which is now part of Dow Chemical, the Paint Quality Institute (PQI) offers insights into the world of color. This year, Debbie Zimmer, PQI’s director of communications and alliances, says that greens and blues will be popular choices for interiors.

“If you’re into what’s ‘in’ when it comes to interior paint colors, just look outside in 2013,” Zimmer said. “The greens and blues that characterize the world outdoors are the same hues that will be popular when beautifying our living spaces this year.
“It’s fitting that green is expected to be one of the top paint colors used to refresh and renew the interiors of homes and buildings,” Zimmer added. “Green has always been symbolic of new life. Only now, it will be giving new life to tired interiors. Then there are the greens that gravitate toward blue, which just happens to be projected as the other popular paint color this year. Bluish-greens like teal, turquoise, aquamarine and cyan are expected to be hot designer choices.”

Valspar Paint has developed three color trend palettes for 2013: Simple Delights, Gathered Stories and Electro Noir. Simple Delights features soft and sophisticated lights. Gathered Stories includes, warm, grounded and comforting colors. Electro Noir includes cool metal tones with rich earthen elements.

“As we move into 2013, we overcome our fear of uncertainty and need for control by pursuing happiness within our home life. While going through economic downturn, we turned back toward the home as a safe haven,” said Sue Kim, Valspar color strategist. “The Valspar 2013 trend palettes show that our home is ready to break out of its own cocoon and we are ready to start dreaming in color again, inviting the transformative power in color into our lives.”

BASF breaks down color trends by region. For example, for Asia Pacific, BASF is pointing toward Scent (the scent of one’s homeland), rich colors such as red, gold-based colors and nature color such as brown and olive. In North America, the trend is COPE, or dealing with challenges in a sincere manner, which BASF categories as visually stable colors with low color saturation. For Europe, the trend is toward PLY, or multiple layers, with the emphasis on dark colors as well as contrasting colors.

Behr Paints’  2013 Color Trends were diverse in their own right, with four home decor themes and 20 original colors, ranging the gamut from bold to natural.

“Behr’s 2013 Color Trend palettes “help consumers express themselves through color,” said Erika Woelfel, director of color marketing for Behr Paints. “Whether consumers are interior design divas or redecorating rookies, these trends help channel self-expression to create home décor that realizes all of the drama, liveliness or ingenuity they envision.”

According to Behr Paints, the four trends for home decoration are:
• Classic Caprice: Old-world charm and an added spice, such as painting bright magenta walls or adding black borders. These include Daah-ling, Empire Porcelain, Black Lacquer, Golden Age and Belladonna.
• Color Metric: Cool, modern tones and geometric elements. One idea from Behr is neutral gray walls with bright blue cabinets.Drak plum is another choice. The five new offerings are Twilight, Tan-gent, Matrix, Electrify and Plum Orbit.
• Sweet Jazz: A retro and art deco theme with feminine colors. For example, Behr suggests pastel jade and light pink, combined with dark navy trim. These colors include Bee’s Knees, Jazzy Jade, Flapper Dance, Heavy Sugar and Shanghai Peach.
• Après Ski: Cozy, woodsy trend complete with lived-in comfort. For example, forest green showcases natural wood and rustic materials. The five new shades are Pine Cone Pass, Timber Town, Ski Patrol, Gnome Green and Folk Song.

PPG Industries said that for 2013-2014, people can anticipate more color and more individual expression. PPG noted five trends:
• Every Day Hero: A low-key, functional aesthetic, with soft and desaturated hues, such as Ginger Root, Chaps, Light Sage, Cream Puff and Whippet.
• Illusion:  A theme that balances dark and dramatic designs, with a color palette that is mixes dark and delicate, including Rose Marquis, French Riviera, Spice Cookie, Black Magic and Gypsum.
• Discreet Luxury:  Contemporary design that combines rich reddish-browns with rich blues and pale blues and greys, as well as mixed metallics. These colors include Copper Beech, Warm Mahogany, Blue Fjord, Gray Marble and Blue Beard.
• Artful Expression:  This theme is loaded with intense hues, with vibrant mid-tones and bright colors from the full spectrum working in powerful combinations. Among these colors are Cinnamon Stone, Willow Herb, Indian Maize, Copper Kettle and Macaroon Cream.
• Modernist Tech: Modernist Tech is described as cool and precise without feeling cold, and includes blocks of black and white against almost-primary hues. These colors include Sun Shower, Newport Blue, Red Gumball, Silver Sword and Atrium White.

Color is ultimately a personal choice, and these listings are by no means the final authority in the matter.  “This is meant to be a starting point in their color selection process,” Mathew concluded.