Embrace the Blues

Written by Kathy Weiss

Photos by Reggie Morrow

Could blue be the new green? Consumers are tiring of the color —as well as the term —  because it relates to environmental concerns. If green is so 2007, what’s to come?

Colors come and go in the fashion world, and so it goes with the interiors of our homes.

What are homes wearing now? The new trend calls for brighter tones, according to color specialist Jill Roesch at Sherwin Williams in Iowa City.

“Terra cottas are leaning toward bright orange and yam,” Jill forecasts, “and gold is moving more to flan,” the soft light shade of an egg custard dessert.

On the neutral scene, tan remains strong, but the new background color is Mocha, ranging from light latte to sumptuous creamy milk chocolate.

“People like mocha because you can use it with red, blues, greens, purples and orange, as long as it’s deep enough to hold its own,” she explains.

Plucking sample shades from a wall display in the store, Jill instinctively selects her favorites: Kilim Beige and Nantucket Dune in the tan family and Down Home, Tree Branch and Tiki Hut for deeper earthy tones that can balance the bolder, brighter new shades.

She also picked a rainbow of unusual tones she thinks will be strong performers: Smoky Blue, Olive Grove, Stamped Concrete, Theatre Red, Brandywine, Golden Gate and Raisin. 

While the green movement may have elevated our environmental consciousness, the popularity of the color for our walls — whether Celery, Basil or Lime — may be fading, industryforecasters predict.

“We still have darker sages, spring greens and acid Martian greens for young people,” Jill says, and “older people like parrot green as an accent.”

“Greens are aesthetically very appealing,” she reasons. They’re the color of plants, alive and fresh, with the power to convey a mood, from youthful and funky to calm and serene to earthy and organic.

“We are heading out of the greens,” she says, “but it won’t happen for another three to six years. I’m starting to hear people say, ‘I’ve already done sage; I’m ready for something else.’”

Doesn’t it figure? Just when we finally embrace Bamboo and Edamame, the rules change.

So what’s the next big thing? Late last year when color authority Pantone announced Blue Iris as its favorite color for 2008, skeptics converged from a range of industries.

Yet, this color expert brightens at the prediction.

“For almost two years straight, blue was nowhere,” she said, adding that her customers are now putting Robin’s Egg Blue with Mocha, and Georgian Blue with a mix of other shades. With fresh choices like Raindrop, Peacock Plume, Sapphire and muted Moody Blue, Jill believes the time may be right for a blue revival.