The Return of Neutrals

Neutral Paint Colors Hirshfield's

When choosing a paint color for your home, neutrals have always been perceived as the “safe” choice. You don’t have to worry about your cherry red coming out bubble gum pink and you know your current decor will work with it. Neutral walls also give you a blank canvas to add and subtract color in other areas as trends change—throw pillows, rugs, art, etc.

But while design and color trends change, it is also important to note that neutral trends also change. They are revised every few years to better fit with consumer lifestyles and preferences. Internationally recognized color-and-trend expert and Editorial Director of The Trend Curve™ in Eden Prairie, Michelle Lamb, credits today’s interest in updating everything—including basics—to “Design Thinking,” the elevation of good design at every price point. With a rise in Design Thinking, consumers became more confident in their understanding of trends, as well as their own personal style.

The beige and off-whites of the 80’s and 90’s has given way to more personal neutrals – neutrals with an overlay of trend.

Michelle points out that the return of neutrals began in 2005 with Skin Tones such as Peach, Pink, Buff and Brown. Then came the Desert Neutrals in 2007, which changed the focus from skin-tones to earth tones such as Pebble, Salt Flat, Shale and Patagonia.

Looking now at 2010-2011, Michelle predicts the newest neutrals will be even more sophisticated. They will not be colorful like skin-tones or natural like the desert collection, but they will have another trait that will make them even more interesting and much easier to personalize. They will have chameleon qualities.

Chameleon Neutrals will be a collection of 20 tones in values from pale to deep that shift and change based on light source and surrounding color. Is it gray or purple? Brown or mauve? Blue or green? Could be either depending on when you look!

Stay tuned for more insight from Michelle Lamb on the Chameleon Colors of 2010-2011 in our next blog post!

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