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Bright Hues Ahead

(January 2012) posted on Mon Jan 02, 2012

Experts weigh in on the hottest colors for 2012.

By Megan Krause

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A smattering of vivid hues are on the horizon, and it looks like its going to be bright and colorful New Year. But, for the hospitality industry, that doesn’t necessarily mean the comfortable neutrals and dark shades designers utilized in years past are on their way out.

Textile manufacturer Brentano notes that interior design colors don’t change as rapidly as they do in fashion. Iris Wang, the company’s design director, says that’s fortunate for designers who would otherwise have to change upholstery fabric and drapery more frequently. Instead, Brentano’s 2012 forecast includes a steady neutral background— including paper white, graphite and linen—and a few lively additions, such as tangerine and jewel-toned marine, for accent pieces.

Designer and trend/color forecaster Stacy Garcia agrees: “[Hospitality designers] are looking for an evolution not a revolution,” she says. Stacy Garcia Inc.’s color forecast calls for a continued focus on neutrals that includes sepia tones, gray and camel. This low-key palette will act as a backdrop for the latest colors including blue-teal hues and lipstick reds, and will also allow for easy interior updates for the hospitality industry.

Many of the 2012 shades are crossover colors, which belong to more than one color family, Garcia says. (Think red-orange, like Pantone’s color of the year, Tangerine Tango. Or yellow-green, a hue that Brentano dubbed Sprout in this year’s forecast).

At the same time, dark tones still have a place in hospitality design. Stylists bora.herke.palisano, who forecasted on behalf of Messe Frankfurt’s upcoming Ambiente trade fair, are also calling for some dark, scarcely contrasted colors in midnight hues such as grainy denim.

Can’t wait to try out these new colors? Vendors across all product categories are already releasing merchandise in the latest colors. Check out these fresh product photos above, and watch for more on product-specific trends for 2012 in the coming weeks.




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