Home decorating palettes this year have come a long way, and yet not far at all. If I were to use just one word to describe the overall color trend in home decorating for 2007, it would be “luminescent.” The vibrant and retro-inspired interior design colors of the last few years are still de rigeur in the world of interior design — they’ve simply mellowed with age and are now taking their cues from nature.
The intense yellows, blues and reds that were nostalgic palettes from the heyday of our parent’s youth have give way to the era of nature. Look outside your window and take a look at the hottest colors of the year. Natural colors in their native environment are the inspiration for this year’s updated home decorating palettes.
The lovely, luminescent nature of interior design
Yellows, reds, greens and blues are warmer, sun-drenched versions of their former selves. Colors follow the sun throughout the day, from dawn’s gentle awakening (think montages of bluey pinks and oranges) through mid-day warmth (sun-dappled greens, yellows and reds as well as icy blue skies) to the sun’s soft descent into dusk (blues commingling with red into delicate purples and yellow/reds morphing into luminescent orange).
Less intense, yes. Pastel, no. We’re now in a lovely middle-ground and it’s a wonderful place to be.
Say “good-bye” to the industrial age of home decorating
When it comes to kitchens, buttery yellows are coming into their own. Stainless steel has a softer edge. Gone are the days of heavy-metal industrial steels and aluminums. Interior designers and paint manufacturers have discovered grays with more complexity and visual interest.
Taking a page from fashion magazines, brown is the new black. It has universal appeal among men and women. It’s the perfect neutral as well a welcome alternate (and companion) to the taupes of the last decade.
Withstanding the test of time, blue is still king. Ever loyal, blue graciously adorns any room, any time.
On a more exotic note
Exotic interior design is still in, however. It’s the one home decorating scheme that’s enduring from seasons’ past. It’s a global world where Asian- and Caribbean-inspired hues continue to please the palettes of consumers.
Here, deeply saturated colors remain popular and appropriate. Rich reds, majestic blues, opulent purples, fertile greens and glamorous golds are an interior design staple.
On a more personal note, I’m gleefully witnessing white getting the bad rap it deserves. Okay, perhaps “bad rap” is taking it a bit too far. But I’m delighted to see do-it-yourselfers and rental property managers starting to see the stark, bright white for what it is — something interior designers have lamented for years.
White walls that are mistaken for a neutral backdrop are my favorite pet peeve of all time. White reflects light and works best when showcasing a striking piece of artwork. It is not suitable for warm, welcoming spaces.
I once heard that Barbara Steisand has a room in her home which is entirely white — walls, furniture, window treatments, accessories — because she finds it soothing. Different strokes for different folks, I suppose, but it would blow my blood pressure off the charts.
Now don’t get me wrong, white has its place and can be used quite effectively. But it takes more engineering than you may realize. Whites don’t play nicely with one another. In my estimation, there’s no such thing as analogous whites. Bright whites, creamy whites, dusky whites — none of them coexist harmoniously.
Interior designers are even moving away from white baseboards, doors and mouldings and are now embracing warmer creams with underlying yellow in home decorating. White ceilings are still the standard, however.
What’s it all about?
Bottom line, people are more inclined to turn their homes into sanctuaries, rather than showplaces designed to impress. Flashy boldness and excess has given way to cozy retreats. High-end warmth is all the rage.
Home decorating do-it-yourselfers and interior designers are getting back to basics by taking their cues from the environment. Thankfully, the drab but eco-friendly “reduce, reuse, recycle” palettes as well as the overly saturated “retro” colors are going by the wayside. Instead, we’re witnessing an homage to nature and natural elements.