29 July 2010

Sherwin-Williams' 2011 color forecast, part three

What follows is the third of four color palettes Sherwin-Williams published recently as a forecast to what they see as emerging trends for next year. I profiled the first one on Tuesday, the second one on Wednesday, feel free to go back and review them.

Sherwin-Williams is calling this third palette Gentle Medley and here's the inspiration image that sums up the palette.

In Sherwin-Williams' own words:

Hard times call for soft colors: the hint of green in a spring leaf bud; the chalky blush of a seashell; the time-etched beauty of a vintage fabric or photograph. Fashion has turned a romantic, nostalgic corner, bringing pastels and parchment-pale neutrals back into the palette. The hues are innocent without being sweet — flirty, yet not feminine. They reflect not just a yearning for youthful innocence and gentler times, but also a refreshing honesty and lack of pretension that are thoroughly modern.
I'm calling this one the Apartment Therapy palette. It's not really a dig so much as it's an observation that this palette's aimed squarely at a youthful demographic that doesn't include me. There's a nostalgia at work here, a nostalgia for a time I remember from having experienced it first hand. As interesting as the 1970s were, they were troubled times and the unfortunate aesthetic sensibilities popular then make me wince when I remember them.

This palette takes the following cues Sherwin-Williams identified as ascendant trends.

  • Vintage florals
  • Dragonfly, butterfly and leaf motifs
  • Mismatched flea-market finds
  • Hand-tinted photos
  • Maps

I'm not seeing this one at all and it pains me to write that. I have a brand loyalty to Sherwin-Williams that won't quit and though this palette hasn't changed that in any way, I can't shake the sense that this is a palette I can't relate to.

Here are the colors. As with yesterday's palette, today's is split into primary and support colors. I'll start with the primaries.

SW 6121 Whole Wheat

SW 6086 Sand Dune

SW 6463 Breaktime

SW 0073 Chartreuse

SW 6353 Chivalry Copper

SW 6442 Supreme Green

And in a supporting role

SW 7743 Mountain Road

SW 7509 Tiki Hut

So, what do you guys make of this one? I'm trying to generate some enthusiasm but it's just not coming. I could see Tuesday's Bold Invention and yesterday's Purely Refined, even if they didn't resonate with me but this one's escaping me all together. I'm not questioning Sherwin-Williams' research and I don't doubt for a second that these colors are an identifiable trend. It's just that they leave me cold. Copper and minty green are an unsettling color combination regardless of time or trend. So who's with me or am I just out of touch?

Mercifully, tomorrow's palette is one I can get behind but I think this one strikes out. How does Sherwin-Williams' Gentle Medley forecast land with you?


  1. Well, I don't know if its just the picture, but I think this is better than parts one and two. The supporting colours are important to give depth to the scheme and I'd need them if I was going to implement this anywhere I had to live. Agree that copper and minty green are a bit odd, but I like chartreuse and breaktime together. And if that makes me 'youthful' HOORAY (because in terms of years on the planet I am not).

  2. Well you're a lot more with it than I am. Congrats anon, you're the first one to defend this palette. I'm curious to see who else will.

    There's no right or wrong here by the way.

  3. I'm neither here nor there with the palette choices, but the resurgence of pastels after years of sages, grays, charcoals, and blacks is interesting. Especially given the current economic climate.

  4. After three days of palettes that look like they've been laundered one too many times, I'm ready for some saturation.

  5. Cupcakes, dragonflies and granny oh my! I love the "AT palette" name btw - many design bloggers squee for it. Not really my cup of Tang (note 70's reference) but I am seeing it EVERYWHERE. To me it's hard to force a palette when it's described as vintage and mis-matched. Have been working on "new pastels" post for a bit myself! ha!

  6. Taking my cue from the House of Dior Fall/Winter Couture Collection, I am guessing tomorrow's color palette may include; "dreamy,
    vibrant yet modern colors influenced by orchids, tulips, poppies, crocuses" etc. Afterall, what else is there left? :) -Brenda-

  7. Wow Saucy, Tang. It's hard to believe that when I was a kid that was considered to be a healthy thing to give kids. But then again, the alternative was frozen, concentrated orange juice from a cardboard tube.

    I see these palette and others like it all over the place too and I'm curious to read your take on it.

    Brenda: What's left is coming tomorrow and I'm calling it "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" in yet another '70s reference. The rehabilitation of that blighted decade has begun. Are you ready for permanent press fabrics again?

  8. Very catchy name Paul. I take it you are a Cher fan?

    Permanent press fabrics? Strictly depends on the polyester content and the garment. (Winks)

    Am curious what the palette is, so shall pop back in tomorrow.

  9. Admit it Brenda, you're looking forward to wearing a double knit pant suit. I already own a pair of Earth Shoes so I'm primed and ready.

  10. This color palette screams "Martha Stewart" to me.

  11. Really? I think of Martha every time I see a blue and brown combo. What about it is saying "Martha" to you?

  12. Fabulous! If you're going to paint the inside of a hospital... Though I do like that "breaktime" colour, but that's because it looks very "vintage" to me.. (and my mom and nana were nurses, so hospitals circa 1970s are very nostalgic for me)

  13. This seems very behind--in fashion, they're well into 80s nostalgia at this point and I'm expecting it will enter the 90s at any point now.

    But I like Breaktime. What can I say, I like my spa colors, living in the cold north where gray snow and brown mud make up a good portion of the color palette half the year.

  14. Nim: Hospital nostalgia --now there's one I never thought about.

    Kim: Maybe instead of moving forward into the '90s, everybody's taking a step backwards into the '70s.

  15. I think I actively dislike every one of the primary colors in this set except possibly for Sand Dune, which is kind of okay. Breaktime stands out for me as being especially unpleasant, though I don't like Chartreuse either.

    I'm really not finding much to like about any of these. The first group of colors was kind of okay. (I like Synergy, Sapphire, and Garden Grove, though probably not together, and Habanero Chile and Tempo Teal are nice.) All this really means, though, is that like you, I prefer saturated colors to washed-out ones.

    And I could really live quite happily without ever seeing another yellow-brown or yellow-green.

  16. No. Totally not digging this one. It's pretty much everything I DON'T like. Although the cupcake looks good ;-)

    There's a house in our neighbourhood that's copper & minty green with yellow brick thrown in for good measure. I wince every time I walk by it. That's the same reaction I have to this palette.

    Looking forward to palette #4 tomorrow!!


  17. Okay, this is the first palette I like. The others are to intense for me. And don't get me wrong, I like color. After all I drive an orange Corvette. But these colors are more soothing to me. It could be that I live at the beach and these feel more "beachy" to me.

  18. Kelly: I thought you were the grande dame of copper. I thought that this one would have some appeal to you. I hope I haven't built up the expectation level too high for tomorrow...

    Sue: Thanks for liking this one and saying so. All of this stuff is so subjective and despite my bad reaction, there really are no right answers to color conundra.

  19. Hm. I think if you erased the coral from this palette I'd like it much more. I do like the richness of the neutrals. But that coral is a polyester pantsuit or a bad tube of lipstick.

  20. That coral is actually pretty coppery in real life. Monitors are a lousy way to see color. Even as a coppery color, it's still a pants suit worn my someone with frosted tips.

  21. I love copper, but to me Chivalry Copper looks like peach. I love rich, deep, dark copper!! And the real thing too, of course :-)

    If palette #4 has purple in it, I'm sure I'll like it :-)


  22. Just an average Joe talking here, no designer acumen, but I really like them. Especially Breaktime and Mountain Road

  23. Kelly: There's always tomorrow. Hah!

    Melody: Breaktime is the perfect color for a bathroom.

  24. Using all these colors in a new SW Florida home - PERFECT!!!!!!!!


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