What are the fresh looks for the millennium? I have read and heard so much about color trends, predictions and preferences. I am so confused! Please help me so I can give my customers solid information that will not make me look uninformed—or too informed!
I agree. There is so much information that has been printed or broadcast about color and style for the new millennium that it can be too much for one designer. I will offer some guidelines into the color and style predictions established late last year that look ahead to the rest of this year and beyond.
Many eyes will be focused on the area of home design in the next decade. With the media, especially many cable television stations, seeming to specialize in home improvement and interior design these days, we are presented with vast amounts of information in this area. Not only has there been an overwhelming amount of media attention on design directions from traditional sources, but now the Internet is playing a major role in the amount of information we must digest.
In the real world of interior design, a different approach must be taken when you are trying to communicate to your clients the idea of decorating trends throughout 2000 and the years beyond. The key is to analyze these trends and adapt them to your customers' preferences.
• Style—In the 1990s "shabby chic" was all the rage. Yes, you still can include bits and pieces of this style as your customers prefer, but you will see a trend to a much cleaner line with less clutter and ease of maintenance as essential elements.
Various wood types and stains can work well in a home environment. The key to a successful mix is repetition. Whether it be repetition of style, color, texture or pattern within a textile, remember to pull it all together. Separation of style, color and character in a room will not work.
Mixing antiques is quite the rage and will continue to be for many years to come. We want to hold on to a bit of the past now the new millennium is here. The traditional effect of the antique style will never be unheard of. Here too a cleaner line is important. The mass furniture manufacturers will simplify past antique styles that were busy and ornate, such as Victorian style.
• Color—Creating a peaceful atmosphere through color choice is important. The hectic lifestyles of many of our clients today are driving their need for peacefulness at home. Soft and livable colors will make their way into homes starting very soon.
With water being a physical symbol of simplicity, the use of waterfalls and fountains inside the home will become more popular. The color blue itself is subtle and always reminds us of the peacefulness of the ocean or of rivers that provide a sense of serenity.
The importance of texture is critical to the success of a room's color scheme, especially when using soft and subtle colors. The monochromatic color scheme can be dull if not used in combination with very touchable textures.
Following is a list of the 12 forecast colors for 2000 from the Color Marketing Group (CMG):
Spaqua (water green)
Colorado Mist (metallic/pearlized neutral).
Remember, when you try to find these colors in fabric, carpet and paint, these names will not appear. These forecast colors are a guide for manufacturers to use when developing their own color palettes for the products they are introducing.
• Window Treatments—As we read through this month's issue of D&WC, we will learn what the future holds for window treatments. Clean, simple lines, cordless shades, decorative hardware, fantastic new fabrics and beautiful custom window treatments are all readily available to adapt to the client's style.
Safety is a top concern for consumers today for hard and soft window treatments. Home owners are demanding versatile undertreatments that also will perform to adapt to changes in lighting and temperature. Treatments have been introduced that offer protection from the sun's harmful rays and are heat resistant.
Making good color choices in window treatments will successfully finish off any room. Remember, the window treatment often is the first thing the eye is drawn to in a room. The demand for a perfect collaboration of window treatments and room style is very important.
• Room Adaptability—Kitchens are the most popular area of the home. All congregate into this area because of food, warmth and conversation. The kitchen/family room/great room is popular with architects and builders for this reason. A home with an open plan will serve families better, especially because rooms in many new homes are being built smaller as building and real estate costs skyrocket.
The home entertainment area still takes center stage. As new technology is introduced larger areas in the home for viewing television will be demanded as more and more consumers join in this phenomena.
No matter what the next several years bring in terms of design preferences, colors and new products, your customers always will be satisfied with your design plans if you remember to keep their needs and wants the No. 1 priority.
Sharon L. Anderson has more than 20 years experience as a professional interior designer in both commercial and residential design. She has taught at numerous colleges throughout California and currently is an educator at Moorpark college in southern California. She is a published author and frequent public speaker.