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How Color Institutes Influence Home Décor

Every year in November, the members of The Color Marketing Group meet for an international summit to announce which color trends in a wide variety of industries will be in vogue for the next two years or so. Color experts worldwide participate in workshops and meetings throughout the year to come up with 16 color “directions” that they believe will make good colorways for consumer products, including automobiles, clothing, paint manufacturers, home décor and accessories. The workshop results are curated and distilled into a collection of 64 color directions that will become the World Color Forecast of the year. 

Another group, The Color Association of the United States has been around since 1915 and forecasts colors through a committee of 8 to 12 professionals. The association’s findings are closed except to members, except for its blog. The most well-known of color institutes is  Pantone, which makes color decks available to designers digitally as well as in paper copies. They also identify trends, such as “electric pastels” to inspire joyfulness and the development of pink as more wide-ranging than a color to connote femininity.  Yellows, for example, are trending because consumers want to feel hope during the ongoing pandemic. In fact, Tiffany's, the most famous jeweler in America, is adding Tiffany Yellow to the interior design of some of its stores in addition to the iconic Tiffany Blue gift box.

How are color palettes chosen by these organizations? The colors are based upon directions reflected in the news, sociological and technological trends, the environment, the economy and other factors across the world, and are not considered strict directives. You’ll see color trends announced throughout the year by paint manufacturers, furniture makers, fashion designers, fountain pen companies, and many other industries.

Once the colors are chosen the colors are designated to certain groups of products, like “Interiors/Environmental,” which may offer different trends from “Fashion.” For example, automobiles may sport deep, rich colors, while home products may lean more toward cheerful neutrals and brights. This makes it easier for manufacturers to work together to produce goods you’re more likely to want to buy.

So how does this impact you, the consumer? As a homebuyer, you’re going to decorate your new home with new furniture and accessories that you’ll find easier to coordinate because of color institutes. You’ll see many of the same colors repeated in dishes, towels, bed linens and other accessories from Wal-Mart to Pottery Barn.