Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Three ten year cycles

A few years back an interior designer told me that all interior decoration color schemes last about ten years, and that there are basically only three different color schemes that are used.

The first colors scheme is called Natural/Earth/Neutral tones. The years that those colors are popular find furniture, rugs and paint sticking to pallets that are beige/brown/grey/sand.

The second color scheme is called Jewel/Saturated tones: Think sapphire/emerald/ruby/rich purple,brilliant tangerine/vibrant greens and hot pinks and black accents.

The third color scheme is called Pastel/Muted tones. Think sky or dusty blue, rosy or dusty pinks and purples, sage greens, mint greens, butter yellow, apricot and peach.

The colors tend to switch mid decade, and by the time EVERYONE has those colors in the stores, the new color scheme is already showing up in the high end market. Remember too, color palettes for everything (towels, cars, fabric, dishes..) are determined five years ahead of what is seen in stores.

Also remember that Europe is ahead of the curve.

Now for fun...let's count back.

2005: Earth tones: these have been the years of granite countertops, brown or coffee colored walls and furniture, grey metals, and natural tones. This scheme just caught on a few years ago; I enjoyed watching young married bloggers paint their kitchen cabinets shade of brown and lust after granite counter tops. In other words: Earth/Natural tones.

1995 to 2005: Pastel/Muted: The hot color was sage green and soft dusty golds, soft rusty peach, butter yellow, some soft dusty aqua and soft plum. An "organic" take on Pastel/Muted colors. Many shades of beige were considered quite trendy.

1985-1995 Jewel/Saturated: Ruby red and deep burgundy, with teal greens, or deep navy blue with burgundy. I remember suddenly wanting a cranberry red sofa with big flowers and teal accents, and had to have a couch custom made. Ten years later you could find similar couches everywhere as the heavy floral and crocheted lace antique look exploded on via Victoria Magazine. Some folks went with toile, black and white rooms were quite interesting.

1975-1985: Earth tones: Macrame and baskets. Rusty orange and harvest gold, avocado appliances. Wood stains and wood panelling was cool, especially old barn siding if you were young! At the end of this time the soft blue with pinky ducks or sage green and peach desert motif came into play.

1965-1975: A bit of a mix here...some Jewel tones because of the Pop neon color movement, where hot pink, lime, orange, and purple showed up.

1955-1965: Pastels: Remember yellow, turquoise and pink bathroom fixture? Fluffy cotton candy girl's rooms? Aqua and brown and navy plaids for boys?

1945-1955: Jewels tones: Yellow, red, navy colors.

Anyway, if you want to read more about this, you can click here.
Be sure to click on color tends for 2008 to get an idea of where color is headed next.

As for me....
A trip to IKEA yesterday got my color engines all revved up.
I could so easily enjoy spending time in this yellow room!
Laura liked this room...but then again, she decorated her apartment with exactly these colors, including painting her walls that same shade of red.

Yes, as a matter of fact I would like an area rug just like this one.

I could almost go for this...the blue and neutral is certainly cool and restful.
But I'd rather be in this room right now. Color and more color! Lime and orange, navy and white. Hmmm...how odd that my first bathroom colors when I got married were exactly these same shades!

Ikea fabric is so energizing.

You can buy fabric panels that can be hung on a tension wire, and change out to suit a mood or season. Much faster than repainting, and much much faster than wall papering.

Crazy red poppy....I love it!
( I had to share the joke: the tools and repair bits are all called "Fixa". I think that is quite droll.)

How about a bright pillow on a white duckcloth couch? Hot pink today, maybe rich deep blue tomorrow. Match or cure a mood...

So here we are back home, with my 2001 purchased dusty sage sofa, with matching silk or velvet pillows, and peachy silk accent pillows, that are totally shot, but Tiggie enjoys sitting on them so we keep them.

I am sooooo bored with this.

One IKEA pillow: WHAM! Feel the energy! I'd love similar curtains, and the striped rug....
I guess I decorated originally in Pastel, passed on the Earth tones, and am now really ready for some bright punchy jewel tones.

I look around at the house, and realize...it would be more fun to just sell everything, move and start all over again.

So I went to the garden center and bought a garden full of pink and lime green colors to tide my color cravings over for now.


Sara at Come Away With Me said...

Fascinating...I went to the site to check out the 2008 palette. Don't care much for it, but....I find that my dining room walls above the wainscoting are a perfect "cheverie" gold - what do you know! Basically, I think I'm still stuck in the beiges, creams and whites era - but am recently craving yellows and blues. But not that blue in the 2008 palette.

Your new colorful plants are very pretty! You have inspired me to think about something colorful for the planter under the front window...


Anonymous said...

I think back to each apartment or house I've ever lived in, and the color eras are dead-on. Right now, everything is hodge-podge since I had to place furniture where it fit and not arranged by where I originally intended it to go. Plus, I gave away so much that I don't have "matching" stuff anymore! By the time we're ready to buy a house, I'll be ready to buy ALL NEW STUFF! When that day comes, you're invited to fly to Florida to help me shop and decorate!

Since I can't paint the walls in this apartment, I've been toying with the idea of buying enough fabric to cover a wall or two...perhaps I should visit IKEA.

Kate said...

The IDEA of selling everything and starting over is so much better than the reality. I am STILL looking for my favorite summer hat. Did I leave it with my pal Starr in Switzerland? It certainly is not here SO I can't take it to Charleston with me this weekend (sigh!!!). Hate searching for things. ARghghghghgh! This too will pass. K Q;-0

Lovella ♥ said...

Oh that was so intresting seeing the patterns that have developed with the color changes. I'll have to reread that over again.

I'm a neutral pallet girl. I so enjoy fresh flowers in the house and adding different punches of color to match the season.

It was so interesting seeing the different color rooms at ikea too.
I love them all. . . what on earth does that say about me?

I was going to suggest covering that sofa. I've made sofa covers before and it's no easy job. . .

I'm with you. . .move.

Cristina de Prada - milliner said...

Having lived in a white walled appartment all my life (my parents), as soon as I had my own place I jumped at the opportunity of painting the walls of bright colors, and when I painted again a couple of years ago I went again for punchy colors and I'm really happy with them!
I found it really amusing to see the pictures of your stroll through IKEA because it looks 100% the same as the one in my neighbourhood, and I find that really puzzling. That is the global economy for you!

Marie Christopher said...

Jill and Laura,

I love IKEA! And it is only six blocks from my house. When I feel the need to walk (which is not often enought) and it is hot or wet outside, I walk IKEA. Once fast, once slower, and then slow to "window" shop and wish and dream.

L&D said...

I really found this a fantastically interesting read. I never thought about colors like this. I see that I am very much in the earth tone stage with brown walls. Yummy. I like it so much.

on another note, I think your personality suits color so much. You are beautifully vibrant.

Pam Kueber said...

A very interesting post about colors over time... I would even tend to say that the 10-year cycles are becoming shortened.... Pam at RetroRenovation.com