Color Trends Fall/Winter 2012 – Converge and Compliments vs. Algebra

Converge.image from Pantone Color Trends for Fall-Winter 2112 - 2013

This final pallet, and article of my series intended to provide inspiration for personalizing and using the new color trends for Fall/Winter 2012/2013 explores another darker color groups, Converge. I saved dark pallets for last, because even I am challenged by yielding a great design result from such somber color groups.

I have to be honest – I am not really a trends person. I tend to head in the other direction, and gravitate toward making a personal statement – because I can. It took years for me to realize that many people can’t visualize the end result from chips or description. It’s a surprise for a person who is a natural with color, just I suppose, as skilled mathematicians can’t imagine how dullards like myself can’t grasp the mechanics of it.

Color is a science, and color trends are great because color experts have used their considerable experience to narrow colors to combinations that work from literally millions of variations to less than 10 pallets introduced bi-annually. Pantone standardizes these colors so that they print uniformly, and home decor and fashion products sold at the retail level are color consistent.

The challenge of trends is making them yours. Like higher math, there are formulas that enable users to slice through exhaustive experimentation providing a solid foundations on which to create.

In college astronomy, if you want to figure out the diameter of a  globular cluster that is 10 minutes of arc in diameter and 8.5 kpc away, (assuming you can get that far) you use this formula to begin:

Doesn’t mean much to you? You’re not alone – I cried trying to do this. Finally, the professor tore the paper up, separating the formula into 4 pieces,  explaining that if I had two of 3 pieces of the information (Arc, Length, or Distance) that I could arrange the parts respectively in any order to ask the question and attain the missing piece of information. I looked at him dewey-eyed and said, “like designing a room layout?” He was quiet for a moment before conceding thoughtfully, “I suppose so…” I think we have both used that analogy since…

Let’s give it a try on Pantone’s Converge – a variation of  Converge’s teal shade resides lower left in our color wheel. Unlike math it need not be a literal representation. Choose a color or two that you respond to and look for a compliment to begin thinking about other elements and colors showcased in your room.

A compliment in the strictest interpretation will be the color directly opposite of our teal selection on the color wheel – but to personalize, slice the color wheel in half.

Cut up the halves in two piles and try combos of any color(s) that reside on opposite halves of your former wheel.

Now cut up some pictures from magazine or shops online of furnishings (or pics similar to furnishings you own) and put them together. A great way to do this is by purchasing a few Benjamin Moore paint color sheets (about $4 each) to chose your background.

Now decide what percentage of color you can handle, and where you will put that color – every room is a box with 6 sides, including floor and ceiling.

BM Tulip Red abd Venezeulan Sea Paints

Here’s a variation on our Converge Teal – it is not the true Pantone color – this gets the vibe, but tailors it to your style. Now find elements that bring in the complimentary shades you respond to. Create your own formula.

1. Saturate Color – 60 (wall) / 30 (furnishings) / 10 (accessoroes)  – lots of saturated color!

File name: red-warms-teal-and-creates-balance-image-from-house-beautiful-magazine.jpg

2. Change your formula around to adjust the saturation of color to suit your color tolerance.

A lighter and just as bright variation on Teal + Compliment, image from Tobi Fairly's website.

Using your 60/30/10 rule, move those proportions around to let that 10% carry your color weight for less bright color. As above, you can also change the compliment to get that blend of warm and cool that creates balance and makes your space you.

Let’s try it again – our Converge contribution is green. With its complement, it’s 30% but olive is brightened by the 60% chocolate walls:

Rockies Brown (2107-30) by Benjamin Moore

Rose and Green again at 10% creating suggestion instead of saturation, but impact is 100%.

image from ous Beautiful

Try it with accents!

Find loads of accents, compliments and color at large at