From cottage to clarity: the colours of 2011

The colour palettes predicted to dominate consumer products in 2011 have been revealed in the US.

From cottage to clarity: the colours of 2011

The nine colour combinations and themes are forecast by executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, Lee Eiseman, who, for the last 20 years, has unveiled colour palettes for the year to attendees at Chicago’s International Home + Housewares Show.

The Cottage Industry palette brings together quiet pastels like light blue, pink and golden yellow, along with a group of neutrals, the colour grouping being rooted by earthy brick red and grey.

In Simply Stated, simplicity and comfort meet urban rustic in the blend of dusty rose, avocado, antique moss, periwinkle blue, warm taupe and white.

Elegance and sophistication characterise Style and Substance, in which jet black and metallics of gold and silver are juxtaposed with subtle blue and frosted grey, and which also includes purples and wine brown.

The Clarity palette illustrates a very clean approach to design and colour, showing a striking contrast between cool blues and greens and pure white, sparked by mauve, violet and red.

Cultures from all over the globe come together in Fragments. Kilims and carpets, fabrics, ornamental beads and bottle caps are joined together to form an eclectically-coloured patchwork of amber, grenadine red, hot pink and baked clay, citron, grape, cadmium green and bright gold.

The Archetypes palette never goes out of style, according to Eiseman. It includes basics such as black, brown, beige, gray and taupe, and can also be redefined in the home by introducing colourful accents such as red.

Focal Points creates theatrical, intriguing colour combinations, a palette of warm shades of musk melon, clay and burnt coral with dramatic red, purples and wine, while Mixed Media is a group of different surface treatments and their light-reflective properties. A contrast is provided by complex patterning and the subtle use of deep teal, as well as aqua, ermine, ochre and berry, highlighted by the metallic glimmer of gold, copper and frosted almond.

Finally, Wit and Whimsy “invites us to put on a happy face”, says Eiseman. An energised yellow-green plays against pink, while carrot and coral are cooled down by ultramarine and clematis blue.

Eiseman also notes current lifestyle trends in relation to housewares products. Excessive glitz is being downplayed in favour of warming and more varied surfaces, including stressed and etched treatments, and people want products that improve their health and living environment.

They are also seeking simplicity and clarity, authenticity and honesty in housewares products, and sustainability will become an even more important issue in the marketplace.

Consumers also respond to the whimsical, Eiseman notes.

“If you cannot make it in the product, then do it in the packaging, especially with the colours,” she says. “Whimsy captures a consumer’s attention.”

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