Artist Paul Klee said that, for him, a happy hour was when “Color and I are one.” Designers are drinking in color this season, from the deep red of claret to the amber of scotch. Style-makers are looking through chartreuse-, lavender-, and rose-colored glasses, sending dazzling tones down the runways. Trend-watchers spied a shift toward the bright side a few seasons ago, according to Becky Stak, a senior designer at Sherwin Williams whose job it is to track trends and create new colors for the paint giant. “Color trends are cyclical and are affected by practically everything we come into contact with in our daily lives,” she says. “The fashion industry, from haute couture to street fashion, is very important in influencing how we feel about color, but travel, the Internet, books, and art also play major roles.”
Translating these trends into our homes, according to Stak, requires paying heed to the psychology of color. “Most people know that cool colors are calming while warm colors are more active and better suited to rooms for entertaining. That said, golden yellow is warm and inviting, while bright yellow can have an agitating effect; make sure you identify how you’re going to be using a space before you decide on a palette,” she says.
What hues does she think are on the horizon? “Yellowy greens are fresh, and the blue family is more prevalent than ever, from inky blues to playful retro aquas.”
Photograph: Peter Krumhardt
Text by Eliza Alsop
Produced by April Hardwick
Background: “Aqua Chiffon” zero-VOC Olympic paint, $21 per gallon; from Lowe’s (lowes.com ).
“Aviary” dessert plates, set of four, $28, and “Folk Art” dinner plates, set of four, $36; by Thomas Paul from Velocity Art and Design (866/781-9494).
“Kidman Orb Vases,” from $69; Arteriors Home (877/488-8866).
“Decorated Console” table with Travertine marble top, $6,986; Baker (800/592-2537).
“Lolita” key tassel, #35191; Houles (212/935-3900), trade only.
The Blue Bar at The Berkeley Hotel designed by David Collins is a cool oasis for guests and Londoners alike who are seeking respite from urban stress. Collins transformed the traditional Regency room by painting it “Lutyens Blue,” so dubbed for the famed 20th-century architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, who was partial to the color (the-berkeley.co.uk; 011 44 207 235 6000).
Photograph: Courtesy of photographer Luke White
Blue is the new beige, according to interior designer Barclay Butera, who uses blue as a neutral grounding color for upholstery in many of his projects. “It’s a timeless color, and strong accent hues and patterns can be added with throw pillows, artwork, and lamp shades,” he says. “Rout Stool” in striped linen, $5,750 by Soane from John Rosselli & Associates (212/593-2060).Photograph: Peter Krumhardt
“Rialto” Limoges porcelain dinner plate, $200 for four; and cup and saucer, $275 for four; by Vellum, available through Robb & Stucky (561/347-1717).Photograph: Peter Krumhardt
Couture shoe designers Silvano Banfi and Frank Zambrelli are capturing the hearts of women—this time not with stilettos but with sofas, chairs, and ottomans for Robin Bruce. The two approach furniture design from the perspective of a woman’s alter ego, appealing to both her “pure” and “sinful” sides. You can customize their furniture with 225 mix-and-match fabrics. Their inspiration—luxury forms of such classics as 1930s club furniture—is reflected in the smooth modular shape of the “Gia” chair, $549. The Banfi Zambrelli collection is available from Robin Bruce (800/334-7693). —April HardwickPhotograph: Peter Krumhardt
Ann Getty English shield-back chair in rose pink silk, $11,250 from Ann Getty House Collection, trade only (415/345-0230).Photograph: Peter Krumhardt
“Venus Love” sofa in shrimp, $2,450 from Maine Cottage (888/859-5522, mainecottage.com).
Photograph: Courtesy of Maine Cottage
“Feliz” chair in ultrasuede, $1,680 by Rick Lee from American Leather (800/456-9599).Photograph: Peter Krumhardt
While living in Florence, husband-and-wife team Andrew and Sarah Hills were taken with quaint little shops selling beautiful home accessories. In 1988, they founded Porta Romana, an English company specializing in luxurious lighting and furniture. Their hand-blown glass-base lamps were inspired by perfume bottles of the 1930s.
“Perfume Bottle Lamps” with oval silk shades, by Porta Romana from Zoffany (212/319-7220), trade only.Photograph: Peter Krumhardt
Hotel de Crillon in Paris, a favorite with high stylers from Jackie Kennedy to Urma Thurman, features voluminous floor-to-ceiling lavender curtains and 18th-century French antiques upholstered in lilac-and-gold silk brocade. (800/745-8883, crillon.com).
Photograph: Courtesy of Hotel de Crillon
On the left, “Mezzaluna” fabric in absinthe by Dedar (800/493-2209), trade only. On the right, “Romeo” in Pistacchio by Fadini Borghi (212/421-0534), trady only.Photograph: Peter Krumhardt
Color for Interior Design by Ethel Rompilla and New York School of Interior Design (Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 2005): Learn how to balance and coordinate color in traditional interiors.
Photograph: Peter Krumhardt