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Supima forecast sees bright future

Color trend consultant Ken Charbonneau peered into his crystal ball last week and saw…color.

Charbonneau reviewed upcoming trends as part of "New Color Directors For The Bath," a program sponsored by the Supima Association of America and Artistic Tile.

"Color is an ongoing saga — kind of like a soap opera," Charbonneau told the group, which featured a heavy contingent of shelter book editors. "There's really nothing new in color. What's new is technology in color, or going to a country and unearthing a technology that people forgot about long ago."

Brights are on their way back, he added. The new crop will be "controlled brights" — elegant as well as entertaining.

"Many people think of brights as cheap," he said. "Wrong."

Five key trends will influence color direction two years out: brushed, low-luster metallics; the elegant simplicity of sheen rather than shine; sensual lusters and luminosity; sensual forms and surfaces; and architectural transparency.

In terms of individual hue, violets will leave the blue zone and migrate into red-tinged violets, Charbonneau predicted.

Red will become a particularly busy color, with strength in orangey-red, earth-related red, and "red-red-red with an attitude," he said. Pink, meanwhile, is showing some staying power but does not appear to be headed into mauve territory.

In addition, "I really see the time for grays coming back," Charbonneau said, adding that gray will function as a clean color and an anchor hue. Gray will also be shaded with green, violet and other hues.

Blue will go a little more blue-green, and the concept of mixing blues will move forward.

Green will go brighter, becoming less neutral than the current raft of sage-grounded greens.

Yellow will go more green.

In the orange family, ambers will ascend and shading will become more opaque. "It's not an isolated color any more," Charbonneau said. "It's many colors mixing together."

Beige will become "very cosmetic" and pretty, tinged with blush.

Black continues to have legs. Look for pairings of black and neutral as well as the longevity of black and white.

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