Into Color – True Trends of 2012

Pittsburgh Paints’ Harmony Collections – image from their website

Following color and interior trends can be a full time job! We are well into 2012; let’s take the pulse of those predictions and find out what’s going strong and what has sizzled.

Every contributor in a position to influence trends has a voice – and a vested interest in selling you their point of view. In some cases, all voices are singing slightly different songs in discord. Everyone seems to have differing thoughts on even basic rules, and their applications. So what do you do? Who do you listen to?

To ease that process of elimination,  comparing a cross-section of who says what may help you to find your own style center amidst all this color posturing. I really like Pittsburgh Paints, which I tend to forget how much I like – I think it’s simply the fact that their website is difficult to navigate. The image up top is Pittsburgh’s take on color trends for 2012. Let’s have a closer look – I am not reviewing the whole collection, but sharing those which I know to have the most potential.

Pantone Tangerine Tango, Pittsburgh Paint Colors and Kate Middleton in a royal red for 2012

Pantone is the primary forecaster of color trends. Everyone scrambles to take Pantone Home + Interiors color trends and differentiate them somehow to make them their own; and you can, too.

Red has emerged as much more a closet color, populating more closets than walls.  In an economy with consumers and financials institutions scurrying for safety, it’s not hard to picture why….red is a color associated with danger. It is very hard to stand down and relax at day’s end in a red room, though it has emerged in the blue-red form like Pittsburgh’s Burnt Red 133-7. Red is a fabulous if unexpected kitchen choice, for warming up all those cold stainless appliances.

Pittsburgh Paints’ take on color trends – image from Pittsburgh Paints website

When I look at the cumulative decor offerings to date in my magazine collections for 2012, what is being embraced has surprised me a little.

Concrete and cream group – image via Pittsburgh Paint’s website

Lavenders, pale pinks and smoke blues with an orchid – berry accent color are destined to be watermarks of 2012’s design stories.

Don’t get me wrong – I love the look – but where is he going to live?

pastel pink living room via House to Home UK

Pantone forecast includes pale pink this coming year, both for home and the Fashion Report.

Pantones Sojourn palette

lookbook via


The Pantone 2013 foretasted a turning away from turquoise and the spa-like colors of 2011 – but the rich indigo to take its place is dotting the shelves of clothing rather than the floors of furniture or decor stores, and tons of turquoise persists in the housewares marketplace. Colorists en mass are also turning to a sky-powdery blue paired with tones of honey onyx and icy blue amidst winter whites and warm cocoa browns.

Pantone Surface Treatments palette

pale blue livinging room via elle decor magazine

It seems the icy-sky-blues have it! Blues and blues into the purple range are fantastic in groups, and pale blues raise the visual ceiling height. Mixing with warm neutrals infuses balance.

Cotton House Blues

Icy Blues are also paired with lavenders and Berry tones and those honey neutral shades. The warm and cold colors make sense with silver and gold finish mixes.

Icy blues and lavender berries collide via Pinterest

Greens have an entire choral setting this year, from tenors in the forms of pale greens. sap greens, leafy greens, baritones in the form of love shades and every voice of chartreuse imaginable. But they work best in groups sprinkled into the room design with gray backdrop – this makes them vivid yet monochrome and very easy to look at.

Gray and green room via Pinterest

As an accent green functions to blur the unfortunate boundaries between outdoors and indoors.

Image fro Natural Curiosities website

Pittsburgh Paints Al Fresco Collection

The best way to achieve balance and a look that lasts in by avoiding extremes (unless you love them!). With some design finesse, 2012 can be made timeless enough that you may find yourself forgeting where you put that you put that paint roller for a few years to come…..