Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Colour Trends: Looking back and looking forward

There's nothing like the end of a year to make you hop around in your thinking.  While I'm busy considering the colour trends for 2015, I'm  also looking back to see connections and possible threads that can make these new colours have a little more staying power.

I'm interested in creating fresh looks through creative use of what is in a home, energized  with a few new purchases.  To pull this off you need a long term view of what is happening in the world of colour.  

Last year dark blues were prominent in  many of the images you saw in magazines and online, first appearing in Pantone's fall 2013 predictions.  That is still a strong look and one that  will  hang around for awhile.

If you look at Pantone's spring  2015 predictions you will see several tints/shades of blue.

Pantone colours spring 2015

My favourite is 4 Classic Blue because it is crisp and deep without being too cold.  Check out  this combination of dark blue with natural colours.

Designing Home; colour trends 2015, modern country

There is also a fresh take on the "old" country look emerging with clean lines, less clutter, natural materials and prominent textures mixed with lighter woods.   Think pared down Pottery Barn.  I've packed a number of possibilities into this style board, but you wouldn't want to use them all in one space.

colour trends 2015, olive green, Scandinavian , Designing Home style board

My personal preference  is more a mix of West Elm meets the Scandinavian countries. Notice the olive green which will be big in 2015.

Designing Home, Margaret Ryall, style board, colour predictions 2015, olive green
This colour would work just as well as the dark blue in the Modern Country look.   And it is so sharp with black and cream.

Pantone's 2014 colour of the year Radiant Orchid came in like a lion, and obviously went out like a lamb because apart from what I saw online, it did not impact my life or design practice in any way.

 I actually liked this colour where many designers didn't.  I've always loved those redish purple hues especially in textiles, but not so much in furniture.  If you bought into this trend, it is easily updated and made even more interesting when combined with yellowish greens.   Just check out the pillow lower left  for an indication of this blend as well as the rug and artworks.

And now for 2015 Pantone is staying in the same arena with its choice of marsala, but definitely browning it down quite a bit to create a heavy bodied colour.  Again not a favourite of many designers.

Pantone 2015, marsala, Designing Home, Margaret Ryall, style board
 I've seen combinations of it with a variety of blues even cool ones and they all look fantastic. It also looks great with the oddest combinations as you can see below. I'm particularly loving it with blues and light creams.

Pantone 2015, marsala, Designing Home, Margaret Ryall, style board

Who knew it would work so well with orange and coral? 

Since I only spec Benjamin Moore paint colours in my business, I am always interested in their colour trends. 

Benjamin Moore's  2014 Breath of Fresh Air at least supported the spa/beach vibe that is still a go- to look with many homeowners.  It is a versatile colour that looks great with pearly grays, driftwood colours and soft or chrisp whites.  It also combines well with marsala and the current  Benjamin Moore colour for 2015, Guilford green.

 How can you possibly go wrong when you have two obvious "earth" colours like blue and green.  Nature never makes mistakes!

When you consider the metallics in your home, the move to warm metals is even more pronounced this year.

Brittany Makes Blog 


 In  European markets  copper and pink gold are hot commodities. They are not as versatile for all over use especially the pink gold which always comes across as very delicate/feminine.  


 In North American decor golds and  brass are prevalent. I'm fond of a more burnished look with these metals.  I can't seem to bring myself around to the shine of yellow brass - too much history. The yellow metallics look great with greens, dark blues and brownish reds like marsala.  And mixing metals is still very trendy.  Go for it.

Lots of connections.  Do you ever consider colour trends when you decorate?


  1. Commuter ate my post. So here it is again. Great post. I love learning about these things. As for following trends I would say yes and no. I generally buy what appeals to me and if I like the current trends I'll try to incorporate it. Cheers

    1. I'm with you Lesley. I am always aware of trends and sometimes incorporate them into my work or home. I will say I always make a decision about staying power before I jump in a bandwagon.

  2. Very informative post. I love the metals, I have been mixing them for years. Metals to me are timeless and classic just like animal prints. Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks for the comment Lory. I don't mind mixing metals at all, but given a preference I still love silver. Must be living with silver hair for most of my life! Silver in decor is more of a supporting case member. It doesn't beg to be noticed'

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