KBB - January 2014 - (Page 20)
Consumers are backing away from big, bold color
statements in favor of a more subdued palette
As the economic crisis started to unfold in late 2008, homeowners turned to bright,
optimistic colors to counter the doom and gloom of the country's financial situation.
But as consumer confidence has returned, so, too, has a more subdued color palette
in kitchens and baths.
"We're now entering a time where we can take a breather, pause for reflection
and move forward with our confidence in check," said Mark Woodman, president
of Color Marketing Group. "We will always want a bit of color energy, but it will be
balanced with a slightly toned, thoughtful palette."
Color trend reports from paint manufacturers and other industry forecasters indicate this return to simplicity, with fresh blues, dusty violets and soft whites expected to
make an impact on interiors.
"The general trend is toward colors slightly pulled back," noted Woodman, "not
muted and certainly not dull; just less electric than before."
Remains of the Gray
Among these relaxed hues is gray, which has shed its dark and gloomy reputation.
"Designers have shown gray can bring a cozy and welcoming feel to any room,"
said Lori Kirk-Rolley, vice president, brand marketing at Dal-Tile Corporation."The kitchen is the gathering place in the home, so it makes sense for gray to fit well there."
As Woodman puts it, warmer grays act as a bridge color between brown and
silver - often the colors of cabinets and appliances - while also creating a sense of
calm and an obtainable richness.
"As gray continues to influence wood stains and some paint colors, flooring and
countertops will play out as well," he said. "There will be a broadening palette of
painted white values to coordinate with other hues. They'll be warmer and cooler to
work as perfect backgrounds to pops of other colors."
Like gray, blue continues to be a popular choice among homeowners.
"Several variations within the blue family are playing an increasingly important
role in kitchens and bathrooms," says Andrea Magno, Benjamin Moore color and
design expert. Among these is the company's color of the year for 2014, a light,
clean selection called Breath of Fresh Air.
"We are looking at blue as a new neutral because it's a color that can provide
the perfect backdrop for limitless décor styles and works well with many other colors
and finishes," added Magno.
A Study in Contrast
Despite a more neutral palette defining kitchens and bathrooms, splashes of
vibrant color still find a home in these spaces. Erika Woelfel, director of color marketing for BehrPro, says that consumers keep gravitating toward yellow in kitchens
because "it is bright, it is sunny, and it is engaging. People will congregate in a
kitchen area to eat and to entertain. Yellow is one of those colors that stimulates
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of KBB - January 2014
KBB - January 2014
Show Director’s Note
Celebrity Design with...Taniya Nayak
KBIS Countdown to Design & Construction Week
Cover story: Historic kitchen revisits its roots in major update
KBB - January 2014