Colourful year ahead
Colour specialist Pantone has predicted that tangerine tango, a spirited reddish orange, will be the colour of the year in 2012.
Pantone is relied upon around the globe for its insight into colour predictions and this year, it says the world needs a colour to recharge and move forward from the economic uncertainty.
'Consumers look to spring for renewed energy, optimism and the promise of a brighter day,' says Pantone Colour Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman.
'Sophisticated but, at the same time, dramatic and seductive, tangerine tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it.
'Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, tangerine tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a highly-visible, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.'
Orange has grown in popularity and acceptance among designers and consumers alike in recent years. It gives interior spaces new energy and works well with greys and navies. Pillows, bedspreads and tabletop accessories in this high-impact orange hue add spice to any room.
For an inexpensive way to perk up the home, try painting a wall in tangerine tango for a dynamic burst of energy in the kitchen, entryway or hallway.
At the other end of the spectrum, proving that what lies in the present often references the past, paint specialist Benjamin Moore has declared wythe blue to be their colour of the year. Much more versatile than you may think, blue is truly a classic colour. It has universal appeal, never goes out of style, and is overwhelmingly chosen as a favourite colour across North America. It evokes the sea and sky, physically calms us, and symbolises trust and commitment.
Wythe blue is a light, calming hue that has an element of heritage and provides a feeling of comfort and stability.
Used across Australian and New Zealand homes, Dulux paint has produced a number of classic whites, beiges, silvers, greys and charcoals for a quintessentially elegant scheme. The whites will help accentuate natural light and provide a sense of space, while also reinforcing a sense of simplicity.
Dulux communications manager Andrea Lucena-Orr says its latest paint palettes for the home reflect the mood of consumers. 'People are feeling a bit unsure at the moment,' she says. 'So they are looking for security. Paint should have a relationship with the accessories in your home, it doesn't just go on the wall, so it should have some sort of relation to the rest of your colour scheme.'
Lucena-Orr also says bolder tones, such as blue and scarlet, can add drama and excitement to any room. A heightened focus on colour can create an impression of opulence and luxury. Balance these bolder hues with white, beige or natural stone. In keeping with concern for the planet, Lucena-Orr says green or yellow-greens remain popular and introducing these into your home can create a feeling of calmness and tranquillity.
In keeping with Pantone's predictions, Dulux has also singled out spicy orange-reds, which Lucena-Orr says can create a feeling of nostalgia and are reminiscent of times past. These blend well with antique and vintage accessories that are enjoying a revival, signifying our return to things that endure.
Lastly, also popular with most paint specialists this year are the raw, earthy colours inspired by untreated woods and rusted earthy tones. These work well with neutral colour schemes using stone or taupe, soft greys, organic rust and brushed hues.