2012 Spring Color Trends in Small Spaces

Molly Sims’ SoHo apartment is a study in fabulous use if Indigo Effects in a small space!

Now that we have broken down the barriers to color and feel more at ease with those 9 Pantone 2012 Spring / Summer Color Pallets, let’s translate those summer colors into some inspiration for hands on design. Let’s begin with color treatment for smaller spaces. I love rising to the challenge of a smaller space. Small rooms are an invitation to respect and model an awareness of the bigger picture. Occupying smaller spaces helps conserve vital resources, and extracts a disquieting awareness of what is really essential by defying the ability to accumulate clutter. The creativity that a smaller space demands is an invitation to demonstrate skill as a designer!

I researched the unconventional wisdom of top flight interior designers offer to rise to the challenge of making a smaller space shine. In combination with the 2012 color trends to keep it fresh, great design advice will usually works whatever your scale!

From Interior Designer Thomas Jayne:

“Take the focus off the architecture and beam it on an astonishing object – it can be anything from a specimen plant to a Da Vinci cartoon to a nude portrait”

Not an expensive focal point, but fresh and Stunning with a focus on Flamingo, from the Resilience Pallet

Sharone Einhorn & Honey Wolters Suggest:

“Stay with a monochromatic palette of light-colored walls, floors, and window treatments. The paint color should be an atmospheric neutral, such as Farrow & Ball‘s Shaded White. You could do a sisal or sea grass matting or a rug in a similar tone as the walls.”

Here’s a watermark version of The Indigo Effects pallet – atmospherically light and lovely! Image from The Turquoise Room Blog

Designer Frank Roop of Boston takes the opposite approach:

“Instead of painting walls bright white to make the space feel larger, take the counterintuitive approach – go deep, dark, and mysterious. A teal blue silk wall covering or an entire wall of leather floor tiles gives you a striking look without taking up any floor space.”

bedrooms - blue bedroom striped wood headboard blue brown bedding fireplace  Candice Olson ~ Divine Design  blue bedroom  born striped headboard,

I remember more than one occasion where Candice Olson of Divine Design fame repurposed flooring material for feature walls, but the small bedroom left stands out in my mind for it’s multi-function style and utility in a true economy of space – all marks of a great designer. If you added just a pale pink accent or two, this look would integrate Pantone’s Nonchalance Color Pallet, too!

Amanda Nisbet NYC goes for the gusto with all-over print:                                                                                                                                                 “Do the whole room in the same fabric, and I do mean everything – wall, curtains, upholstery, even the lampshades shades and picture frames, whether it’s a leopard print or a toile. One wild print all over the place enlarges a small space makes it feel cohesive, and adds a big wow factor.”

If I died and came back as a fabric I would be Schumacher Mai Chiang Dragon or any pattern by

Josef Frank

(left), glimpsing the future in the 1940’s  well ahead of its time using Pantone’s “The Comics” Pallet.

From Stephan Shuball of San Francisco, CA

” Gather a fabulous motley collection of mirrors – antique, new, vintage, French, Italian. Starting with one large mirror in the center, arrange a grouping on one wall. It’s the one instance where more is more.”

A focal wall of Mirrors creates art, depth and expansive interest in a small space! image from lovinglivingsmall.blogspot

Bedroom at Gritti Palace in Venice – image from travelmatters.co.uk

For proof that there is no trend like a re-Trend, note the colors of The Pantone Reflections shimmering from the former residence of Andrea Gritti, the Doge, circa. 1525 – now the Gritti Palace Hotel in Venice, inspiring this pearl from Malcolm James Kutner of NY / Key West FL –

“Create a pampering little jewel box, like the cabinet-size rooms of  Gritti Palace in Venice. Do upholstered walls, silver or gold-leafing on the ceiling or bedposts, upholstery in silk velvet. At $300 a yard, Fortuny fabric is a splurge, but you could do a pair of lamp shades and get bang for your buck.”

Living Room image from HGTV’s Small Spaces

If guild-trappings are more window display than lifestyle for your comfort center, combine the best of both worlds – the essence of Gritti, Pantone Reflections colors, rich velvets, exotic turquoise, dress down the gilded surfaces and voila – a look that’s part Gritti, part Pantone Reflections, to become a style all your own!