“With whites, I’m seeing both pure and creamy whites, depending on the design style,” notes Wood. Contemporary, urban styles are getting a dose of pure white, while Old World looks are traditionally done with off-whites.
Pure white is also returning in partnership with black in the classic combination.
“We haven’t seen black and white combinations in the kitchen in a while, and they’re definitely coming back,” states Wood. “White cabinets are coming back, as well as black countertops. It’s a very clean, urban, black/white/stainless look that for some reason starts to look new to us, and very fresh.”
“White and black remain popular, and are being seen together in many creative and bold mixes,” reports Abbate.
Becky Ralich Spak, ASID, CMG, color marketing & design department, The Sherwin-Williams Company, in Cleveland, OH, reports that black and white combinations will work well with gray contrast, as well as unexpected color. “Neutral countertops with colorful sinks will make a statement,” she reports.
Sherwin-Williams cites the black-and-white story in its Kinetic Contrast Collection, which teams vibrant hues such as blue Gulfstream, red Ablaze, purple Juneberry, Gold Crest and Luau Green with black and white.
Carlstadt, NJ-based Pantone notes that its Grass Roots influence looks to indigenous crafts and materials that bring a regional flavor to products or environments. “Some of these regions may be far-flung, while some are much closer to home,” the company reports.
Grass Roots begins with variations on a green theme, and moves on to mineral blue and various wood tones that are enhanced by unexpected mixes, including grape, rose and terracotta.
Horn stresses the diversity of the cultural landscape reflected in the trends. “The design landscape for this is China, India, Hispanic regions and the Baltics,” she reports.
CAUS notes that, for 2008 and 2009, its Interiors forecast shows a “strong shift from chromatic arrangements to three distinct, multi-colored stories” – one of which is influenced by India’s “warm, lively browns accented by pink and gold.”
Finding additional inspiration closer to home, one of DuPont’s hot colors, Relic, reflects the consumer’s desire to return to something familiar, points out Ebnesajjad. “Today, we’re finding a new exoticism right in our own backyards. What’s right around us has all of a sudden become exotic,” she observes. “We’re looking at it in a fresh way. It’s a form of reaching back to our own heritage.”
Benjamin Moore also offers its take on the importance of heritage with its Timeless Simplicity series. “It’s reflective of the memories of your household and your family – when you go into your attic and discover things you’ve never seen before that have been passed down through the years,” offers Horn. “There is an aged quality about those items; they have a grayed or yellowed quality. The colors in this group are reflective of that. They are light and airy and soft, but they’re very livable and have stood the test of time. They offer a rootedness and a sense of safety and comfort.”
For 2008, richer, more complex tones will continue to shine.
“As we look toward the end of the decade, consumers’ color and design moods are noticeably shifting,” states CAUS. “Our color forecasts present palettes that are richly toned and multi-colored in arrangement, signaling Americans’ increasing color sophistication.”
“There’s a lot more color in this forecast, and there’s a psychological reason for that,” comments Walch. “One of the things that we’re going to see in the near future is an almost [complete] farewell to the plain, blah neutrals.”