Friday, December 9, 2011

Using Trend Colours in a Slow Home

By now, if you're in the design, decor, or fashion biz, or you follow anyone who is, you'll have heard about the other day's announcement that Pantone's Color of The Year for 2012 is Tangerine Tango. You know, that colour we called burnt orange in the seventies, and fashionistas call Hermes orange? We'll be seeing a lot of it for the next few months.

(Here's why it's called Hermes orange, from eBay via Pinterest.)

You may think there's no place for a trend colour like red-orange in a Slow Home, particularly a colour that psychologists tell us is associated with cheap goods, and that a third of women say is their least favourite colour (source). However, orange is also cheerful, energetic, and youthful, and this tone has a nostalgic midcentury-and-seventies feeling. It's surprisingly versatile as an accent colour.  

As the complementary colour of blue, a touch of it has the ability to make a navy blue or turquoise room sing.

Library for a home in South Hampton by Porter Design Company,
via Effortless Style. I'm dying to do a navy blue room.
From Architectural Digest's June 2011 issue, via Live Like You.
With greens and yellows it reads as fresh and summery.

Christmas citrus via Tobi Fairley
With reds and pinks it's a bit bohemian and exotic.

suzani chair at Black & Spiro, Brisbane, Australia
via Absolutely Beautiful Things
With grey or geige walls, it brings much-needed warmth.

via Black and White {Side by Side} - okay, this is yellow orange, but you get the idea
In a neutral room with lots of wood (which is categorized as orange on the colour wheel), 
it brings out the wood's beautiful grain.

Kitchen by bright designlab via Design*Sponge. Mmmm, walnut and marble.
As I said before in my post On Trends and Slowness, it's human, even desirable, to crave novelty and want to bring trends into our homes and wardrobes to keep them from feeling stale. A slow home ought to feel timeless, but not stuck in a time warp. The trick is to incorporate trends (like the vibrant colours of the last five years) without treating our stuff as disposable. Luckily, trend colours run on a (roughly) thirty-year cycle. Using a handful of carefully-chosen, locally-made, handmade, sustainable, or vintage pieces that can be swapped out or repainted is an ideal way bring our homes into the present.

Penguin paperbacks via My Villa Life
So, give Tangerine Tango a whirl with a pile of old Penguin paperbacks or a bowl of Mandarin oranges. If you love how it looks with the things you already have, you can easily bring in a bigger hit of it with a great vintage fiberglass shell chair or new textiles. If you hate it, consider using the same strategy to bring one of the other current trend colours into your slow home!

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