2012 Color Trends Home & Interior – Nouveau Neon!

Pantone Color Forecast 2012 Nouveau Neon

When I look at Pantone’s Nouveau Neon eye-candy pallet of guilty pleasures, instead of a single first impression, (on which I have been basing the inspiration for using colors of the other eight 2012 color trend pallets) I am instead overcome by a veritable rush of imagery – my most vividly imprinted visual impressions, like my life’s inspirations passing before my eyes. This sounds less pleasant than it is – visually it’s like watching fireworks, or seeing the tulip fields of Holland while riding a luge..

I see the video of Annie Lennox performing “Why?”, Dale Chihuli Glass, the sparkling jewel-like paintings of artist Pierre Bonnard, the overwhelming frivolous majesty of Versailles combined with the quirky pop art of Takashi Murakami, Coral reefs, macaroons, Andy Warhol, Wayne Thiebaud….whew! These colors in concert leave me visually breathless!

So what’s with all this over-stim?  There is not one single cool tone – all the colors of Nouveau Neon are warm, active colors, even the oak and chardonnay tones, meant to ground all this eye candy. But Look at my impressions of this color group; it’s a lesson in color psychology (left). Although the pallet involves nary a green or blue, my brain is so engaged by the activity of this veritable coral reef of color that my mind relieves the visual heat by imposing blues or greens. So what does this all have to do with how to use Neon Nouveau?

A lot of people might see this group as a little girl’s or teen color group. Nouveau Neon is an invitation to experience color through a new lens – and isn’t that what art and design are all about? I am not alone in this thinking.

Here are 5 ways to optimize this pallet and create the sophisticated whimsy that is intended. It is again, your comfort level with color saturation.

1) Try a minimalist approach to that Louis – Bohemian style – an oxymoron to express, but a home run in applied style. This places emphasis on one color, and sprinkles the room with suggestions of the rest of the Nouveau Neon pallet. The background color is at your discretion!

A focus on the Chardonnay Yellow – image from Apartment Therapy

2. Use white as a background, and add weathered or patina woods (pale blue washed, or pale green). Tiled floors add real dimension (below). White is a specialist as diffusing bright colors, and black is a catalyst for drama and sophistication.

3) Remove pink and purple from the equation – even without the pinks, there is allot of potential to convey the flirty, yet sophisticated vibe of Nouveau Neon. A mechanism as simple as flowering branches, tulips or ranunculus ads that sparing addition of pink but keep the look in tact.

There are some stunning tones in Neon Nouveau even without the pinks!

4) Add black – black is a catalyst for drama, adding presence and weight to lighter colors and lending a maturity and sophistication absent in a kids space.

Bright color stays light with weight and gets an diffusion of sophistication and drama from black – the Chardonnay Pillows provide middle ground. Image by Designers Guild

5. April’s addition of Veranda Magazine offers inspiration for a third alternative, saturated wall color with the smart addition of black and white transforming Nouveau Neon into a Channel or vintage glamor vibe that is such a hot trend for 2012:

The pallet is changed around completely when violet is the dominating pallet, shown here with vintage Louis XV style chandelier and a bust of Doryphoros and coral sconces – flea market makes it bohemian; the style is rather Bohemian Rococo. Image from Veranda Magazine

Flea market Furnishings and accents dominate this color-soaked space and ground the spirited Nouveau Neon Pallet – Chic and Green! image from Veranda Magazine, April 2011

Whatever your approach, try something you never thought you would – make this pallet your personal expression! Your reward will be coming home to color and energy that revive and put a smile on your face!

To get the look:

Areaware fauna Pillow

Designers Guild Pillows

Throws by Merben