Color Trends 2012. Aspire to Color!

Color Trends 2012 continue to evolve, as trend predictions hit the pages of decor magazines, TV and real homes like yours.

The 2012 color of the year has led the charge to go a brighter, but it has been embraced in hues from its vivid vivid pinnacle, down the ladder to chalkier hues mixed with yellows and turquoise shade. Yesterday, I qualified two camps of color use; those who love neutral design for all the right reasons to love any sort of design, and those who use neutrals as safe harbor from color that they admire and fear.

Color Trends 2012

black crow studios wallpaper featuring shades of Tangerine Tango and it 2012 compatriots

No one should ever compromise on color in interior design! There is no need – with  so many things in life where compromise is necessary.

Color is the least expensive line item in your budget, and your most effective tool to transform any space…..I know what you are thinking… do you get the idea that results in a design like the one featured up top? I am going to skip right passed the rules today, like the old 60/30/10 rule – which I have always thought was really limiting (if walls are 60% of your color opportunity are you living without floors or ceilings???)

Color Trends 2012. What not to do.

Let’s cut straight to the heart of how to find inspiration and use it – there are tons of color trends 2012 articles where you can find out “how to…” let’s begin with what NOT to do.

Color Trends 2012DON”T USE PAINT FAN DECKS if you are conquering a fear of color for the first time. Colors have more influence on one another than lobbyists in the senate – get large color swatches that you like. If large swatches are not available, tape smaller ones into a 12″ square color field. Put them on the wall in the room ON TOP OF WHITE PAPER. I have watched people do this.

The color you put on the wall may be an unwelcome surprise. The green, red, and blue  in the image (left) are the same throughout but they look different with various colors around them. When someone who is very comfortable with color uses a fan-deck, they are automatically making assumptions – adding and deleting what they know, just as easily as you might respond to the question, what is 8 x 7?  It is nothing more than rote practice that supplies you with the automatic response – 56. This color exercise will teach you similar practices with color.


Wait – doesn’t that defy what I just explained? Yes – yes it does. But this is the biggest mistake people make when they choose color.  Math and color have a distinct variation – 8×7 will always equal 56. Color is reliant on light source combinations to work. While a set of colors in a magazine may work beautifully in context that room, in yours the same shade may be a disaster. Let’s see how this works – you see an image – wow – gorgeous moth! The deep mossy green gorgeous, and prevalent – look at the minor color, pink.

Color Trends 2012

Oleander Hawk Moth (Daphnis nerii) by ©od0man/Steve Covey – animals,animals,animals – tumblr

What if the pink were a pink I liked better? Go to the paint store and get a couple of paint ladders – not a whole deck and pick a color you love. Put up a sample and live with it for a day or two.

Pink is the compliment of green so it should work….How to I use it so it is not too prevalent. Here is a water color treatment that offers solutions for my questions…

Color Trends 2012

image via Robert Passal Hampton designer showhouse 2012 website – wallpaper by black crow studios.

OK, again and more slowly around the curves.

Here is color against white – for the sake of example, I want a room that reminds me of the beautiful colors in macaroons.

Color Trends 2012

macaroons – colorlucious! image via the designer pad

I have two choices –

1) I can use a greater quantity of color by keeping the white background. I like the white. Let’s try out some colors I have – or simple elements from the garden or fridge – artists like Wayne Thiebaud have become pop art icons in this fashion. Assemble objects with colors you love that speak a language you relate to and understand – this makes color personal.

Color Trends 2012

image via cannilleblog

Now design! You really don’t have to do it all in one shot – visualizing a whole can be so difficult that the interior design trade has sprung up around that one obstacle. Start with a corner – and work your way around the room slowly.

a chair and some pillows will do to get started…

Color Trends 2012

Imogen Heath – Design Sponge

or maybe a collection of wall plates – go over and check out Kim’s Rooms and create a wall of plates (before I change my mind about letting them go) and create an inexpensive omage to color on white.

Wait there was an option 2?

Barricade one room – this is your color incubator room. If you have to imagine bright color in every room you will NEVER take the plunge! But what about the look through view from other rooms? All design needs unity to read as a whole. One very bright room can survive as focal zone in a white or gray layout – read yesterday’s notes on gray.

Get your courageous inspiration item – wow, that’s courageous!!!

Color Trends 2012

dyed mineral image via Je Ne Sais Quoi – Pinterest

Color Trends 2012: stand aside!

Ironically, going bright, like using a limited palette requires revision and discipline to make the result conform to your vision.

Now, let’s do some color liposuction, so the room does not explode. The red, two tones of turquoise and that suggestion of indigo seem to be working…..we need to reverse the paradigm  incorporate the white (or gray) as our least prevalent color in the focal area – or else, it will stick out like a sore thumb for lack of reference and become an eye-sore instead of a focal point.

Now consider saturation – here is a less saturated variation on the colorful mineral theme – it includes some pattern that is suggestive of the mineral inspiration, a shot of read and greyed-blue walls – in a gray themed overall floor layout this would still read as very colorful. Or….

Color Trends 2012

image via Jennifer McConnell – Hampton House 2012

Narrow those color palette even more for a focal color strike zone.

The white leaves you with choices – if your whole house is themed with white walls, a dining room is very frequently where the big guns of color drama come out. The Dining Room is for many people the place where they not only share meals, but also entertain. Dressing it to impress and stand as a focal point only makes sense.

Color Trends 2012

image via interior designer Mabley Handler – Hampton House 2012

So choose a neutral overall theme, barricade one room, pull out your inspiration source, and get coloring!

There is nothing here to fear.