• Andrea Lillo

Color Assn. trips the light fantastic

Consumers will be heading toward the light for spring 2004. Easy-on-the-eyes, comfortable colors will star in the palettes of next year, said Margaret Walch, director, The Color Association of the United States, as people spend more times in their homes, or other spaces like their offices.

"There's a definite trend toward lighter, softer colors...and less wishes for showy, confrontational statement color — like a drop-dead orange sofa." Instead, she said, people will place more priority on colors that they can live with, such as silvery tones, yellow tones, pinks, and, reminiscent of a Victorian hallway, a buffy brown.

Walch said that the whole craft movement, whether based in American or world cultures, has influenced this palette, as did the vintage movement, which reminds one of a "time when things were hand done and there weren't thousands of them made." These colors could also be seen as an environmental or Victorian forecast, with such "colors of the past" as scarlet reds, terra cotta reds and, which "we haven't seen in the last two decades," several mauves.

Greens are still that but are more mossy, she pointed out, and blues are more soft, like aqua blue. Colors that are fading include ones that are too plain or too blackened, she added, as are ones that are "confrontational" like magenta, fuchsia and orange, or ones that are too simplistic, like royal or navy blue. In home furnishings, fabrics will mirror the softer side with the dominance of ultra suede, leather, and linens that make color soft and matted — "nothing slick."

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