Posted on October 3, 2016 by Carol Hartzog

Ashlynn Barton Bourque

Ashlynn Barton Bourque with Sherwin-Williams discusses 'colors of the future' at the 2016 Oklahoma Building Summit & Expo.

By Carol Hartzog
Carol Hartzog Communications

I felt as if I was at a day-spa during the recent OSHBA Building Summit session on colors of the future.

It wasn’t the room or the people and there definitely wasn’t a masseuse nearby.

It was the words of Ashlynn Barton Bourque with Sherwin-Williams, presenting “Colormix 2017.” Here are some of her thoughts on what colors, textures and designs of the future will reflect:

  • Faith and spirit, with a greater need to retreat and meditate by the customer to pursue their ‘inner self.’ No frills.
  • Flowers continue to be ‘out’ and classic designs in with 1980s geometrics starting to emerge.
  • Incense and ‘accords’ of scented oils to calm the soul, freshening the air at Dr Pepper times.
  • Surface textures of damask and starlight sparkle. Color darkened and veined marble with white color ruling the roost, and other colors arising, particularly green.
  • Iridescent finishes still very important with highly glossed lacquered finishes, balancing ‘warm’ and ‘cool’ textures.
  • Mauve, taupe and grey featured prominently across product designs with smooth and powdery finishes. The palettes are duskier, combined with neutrals, mauve, sage and blues, paired with natural finishes.
  • On the intrepid, bold side, ‘you do YOU’ is the mantra. All about self-expression. The vibrant colors are orange and rich purples which blend a throw-back focus. Classic rock ‘n’ roll of the ‘90s associated with activism. Less individual and more tribe, with bold, eye-catching textiles. Surface texture would be lacquers, super glossy. Rich oranges, intense violets, and important grey tones. A warmer look. Painted woods.

Communities are more connected, more purpose driven, adapting to more diverse populations, painted in ocean blues, corals and muds.

Oranges and reds are important for 2017, sunlit yellow and teal, rich hues, deep brown as an anchor.

Global citizenship is emphasizing a “maker movement” with artisanal crafts important, such as metal working, knitting, lace making, all with a “relaxed” design.

African cultures are showing up, with intricate inlays of wood, and ceramics staying in the spotlight, looking perfectly imperfect. Three-dimensional wall coverings and heavily patterned tiles are a major industry theme. As always, there’s a focus on all-natural materials, weaving techniques. Berber-style rugs are displayed as art or on the floor, burnt orange to deep darkened browns. Metals all over the place, a combination of silver, copper, charcoals to enter the mix, notched or hammered.

Furniture is characterized by bulky and plump shapes with rounded softness. Meanwhile, office furniture reflects more and more people working from home, pulling the bulk out of pieces and making them more minimalist to fit in a person’s home.

A social conscience continues to grow – the customer cares about the materials we use with a sustainability movement in the mix. Bottom ash – from incinerating household and industrial waste – is being used more in products. Researchers are finding ways to distill and extract a range of pigments from quick-growing algae in the world to extract dyes such as blue, green and brown. Surface textures highlight leather pieces with natural stitching. An oxidized and weathered look is really making a stronger resurgence, with a rust patina on products that oxidizes over time.

And a back-to-nature appeal includes “forest bathing” which elevates the immune system and decreases stress levels, as neighborhood developments create more wooded areas.

Interior spaces focus on a holistic color choice of neutral, blush rose, browns. Anything natural is very important, such as botanical, pond groves or bush-country landscape prints on everything from dishware to walls.

These all “transport ourselves into calm spaces to escape the pressure.”

“There is an urge to travel, the thrill of being someplace new and disconnecting from everyday life. It is a psychological distance.”

A need to slow down the pace of everyday life.

Ah, Calgon take me away…. 

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