Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ultron Color Trends - New York Designer Event Insights

In this post, brace yourself for fascinating insights from designers in New York, the last stop in this series about color and color inspiration...

“Dress in black but don’t design with black.”

For background on these insightful designer events, read Ultron Color Trends - Designer Workshops. You see, Ultron carpet fiber brought together seasoned designers in a first-ever series of four workshops to discuss color trends. The events took place in 2008 over an eight week period in four cities around the country: Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago and New York.

Eight to 12 designers were invited to each event and asked to bring inspiring color chips, samples, magazine articles, photos and swatches. Ann Hurley acted as facilitator and guide for the sessions.

Here follow color family details and insights from the New York session:


Cream/Ivory is a crisp, classic color that adds elegance and sophistication to any space.

Use charcoal instead of black.

Lavender & golds lend a sense of sophistication; a bit of throwback to classic palettes of the past with a modern twist.

Chocolate brown has been popular with the emerging earth colors due to “green” design. It is a safe accent to the standard “beige” design which occurs in many corporate offices. Ties to beige and grey.

Bold patterns emerging everywhere – bold patterns are better with high contrast. Improved technology in materials allows white to be used more. Saw black and white carpet for the first time recently.

Chocolate brown/taupe is sophisticated, timeless, and elegant. It can be punched up with bright colors. Works well with metallics.

This charcoal is a great saturated neutral grey that makes for a wonderful backdrop for various colors.

Browns as neutrals warms things up and creates a rich, more homey atmosphere – less stark.

Chocolate is an enduring range that is classic with orange, purple, gray, & charcoal.

Regarding the color “burnished,” every palette needs a darker or medium value neutral to mix with colors. Warmth is always important.

Earth Tones – popular because they all go well with green. Also because they ground us with nature, as we gain awareness of our planet.

There is a whole range of gray tones that support and magnify other colors and accents extremely well. These colors are also beautiful, however, in their own right. Different grays often contain subtle infusions of color that harmonize themselves very well with a supporting palette and therefore are a staple.


The inclusion of bright, energetic colors will continue to grow worldwide….both in interior and exterior environments. It is the use of color as a statement that provides a sharp contrast to the more stark and rigid spaces we often find ourselves in. Also a growing force in product design.

Very aquatic in its tone, this teal reflects a trend toward water and depth. It is another base tone which works well against accent colors and has a subtlety of color which can be diaphanous under different lights.

Green is a playful color, bold and stands out. This particular bright color would work well in a children’s facility; it would also look fantastic used as an accent in furniture pieces. This color is fresher than the moss green we have seen in past years.

Green is a favorite color and even though being “green” doesn’t mean you have to use green - clients are choosing it. It tends to be more of a juicy “green” – even emerald. Still a “clear” color and not diluted.

Companies like blue…. this blue is more neutral and less “regal”. Sort of sky blue - less reds on it - less navy. The color selected was based on branding.

Ice Blue is fresh, crisp, serene, and clear. Contemporary and genderless.

Optimistic, playful, fresh, crisp. Can be dressed up or down. Works with light wood and dark brown. Punch it up with white/ivory.

More clients are requesting blue lately – Navy being mixed with Black & White - Intense color use with bolder patterns – influenced by fashion.

Bolder fabrics. Heavy blue influence due to corporate branding.

Provides richness and a sense of newness and freshness. New take on an old color.

Teal Blue will always be a classic favorite among designers. It is a calm, soothing color that makes people feel comfortable in their surroundings.

Yellow- Orange- Red

Ruby Red is a color that evokes a sense of passion and richness. It is a bold color that certainly makes a statement in any space.

Taking our cue from Fashion- Fall 2008 – sumptuous fabrics, opulence has returned - jewel toned accents combined with “warm grey” interiors.

Purple is the new orange, and red before it. It grew popular last year, and will see a boom in the retail and hospitality markets.

Yellow was under utilized last year. It gives pop and brings life to areas which may need a little energy. A fashion forward color.

Yellow is everywhere in fashion; cooler woods maybe because of “green” resources – yellow works better with less red woods - Furniture manufacturers are changing veneers and using less stain.

Cultural – Global Movement

It’s a “clear” but saturated orange. Very warm but not oppressive. Most orange in carpet is muddy.

Purple, a complex color (neutral). Purple with camel, caramel or tobacco, purple with orange or yellow.

Red and cream seem a fresh approach for using both these colors – classic.

Plum is a very powerful color; it’s clean and sophisticated. Dark plum, in particular, appeals for its heaviness. It can make a large statement. Dark plum is very rich and has always maintained formality and richness. There is a noble quality to it. Off-sets accent colors very well. A strong base tone.

For the findings from the previous Ultron Color Trends events:

The next and last post in this series will recap and summarize the findings of this fascinating 4-city designer insight event.

Technorati Tags: Tags:

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...