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Pantone's official color of 2011 may be pink, but paint forecasts are looking blue, blue, blue

February 19, 2011 |  5:59 am

SW-Bracing Blue Sw-Synergy SW-Something Blue

Honeysuckle copy Color forecaster Pantone may have given its color-of-the-year honors to a bold pink called Honeysuckle, right, but scan paint companies' 2011 trend reports and you'll see a different part of the spectrum filling the crystal ball.

Blue in all of its hues — powder or midnight, teal or purplish — are playing big roles in 2011 paint palettes.

Sherwin-Williams' color forecast includes the dollops pictured at top: Bracing Blue, left, part of a palette that includes lilac and grays; Synergy, center, an intense turquoise that's part of a trend toward vivid colors seen in 3-D animation; and Something Blue, the kind of accessible medium clue that's popping up in TV interiors, among other places.

Why blue?

Dunn-Edwards color stylist Sara McLean said blue is the new green, representing growing environmental consciousness and evoking water and sky. Shades of blue that edge into the realm of purple also reflect an “otherworldly trend,” McLean said — the kind of mystic, mysterious environments that consumers have seen in “Avatar” and “Alice in Wonderland.”

Keep reading for more examples of blues in paint companies' 2011 color forecasts ...

Sherwin-Williams’ color trend forecast for 2011 includes palettes that emphasize blues and grays. In this living room, the dark wall is painted in a gray called Peppercorn, and the shot of color inside the bookcase is Bracing Blue. Credit: Sherwin-Williams

Little Boy Blue & Lionheart Roomset
The British wallpaper company Graham & Brown has just introduced its first line of paint, and the palette is heavy with blue. Coloring the wall here: Little Boy Blue, a muted shade with gray undertones. Credit: Graham & Brown

Jewel in the Crown & Beside the Seaside Roomset lowres
On the brighter side: Graham & Brown's new paint collection also includes this blue, called Jewel in the Crown. Credit: Graham & Brown

BM-2051-30 Casco Bay  BM-AF-530 Lucerne Benjamin Moore's 2011 color forecast includes Casco Bay, left, a bright and deeply saturated teal, and Lucerne, right, a darker blue designed to complement a range of other hues. Credit: Benjamin Moore



Benjamin Moore's Lucerne is shown here on the far wall. It's part of the Affinity collection, 144 colors that the company says can be used in any combination to harmonious effect. Credit: Benjamin Moore


Yolo Colorhouse released six palettes that represent the company's color trends for 2011. This one includes two shades of gray and a vibrant blue, Dream 06, that evokes a night sky glowing with city lights. Credit: Yolo Colorhouse


The ethereal colors that Dunn Edwards' McLean cited in her company's forecast include Sapphire Fog, a purple-tinged hue pictured above in the large square. The two smaller boxes represent complementary selections. Credit: Dunn Edwards


Another example: Dunn Edwards' Lapis, an unconventional wall color that the company recommends in combination with two earth tones as accents and trim. Credit: Dunn Edwards


Charlottes Locks Just can't get into blue?

Farrow & Ball, the high-end British paint manufacturer with a cult-like following among decorators, this month released its nine new colors for 2011, all of which are shades of white or gray except for one: Charlotte's Locks, left, a fiery orange with a 1950s flavor.

Last week the Wall Street Journal identified orange as the "color of the moment," citing fashions by the likes of Jil Sander and Yves Saint-Laurent. But anyone who opens the CB2 catalog knows just how much love has been heaped on orange for years. (If you doubt, let us present sofas, chairs, tables and pillows.)

-- Craig Nakano


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