It’s Baaaack….Shocking Color Trend

Last week I attended Design Camp Seattle, put on by celebrity designers Lori Dennis and Kelly Ellis. The line up of speakers was amazing and I came away both inspired and informed. The opening speaker in Seattle was Bill Indursky, founder of the online shopping site V& M.  Bill spoke on trends and as a color consultant I was  interested in hearing what he had to say about Color.

Bill Indursky speaking on Trends 

Hang on to your paint brush because according to Indursky, the Gray trend is over and Beige is back… shocking I know! Seems like just yesterday (wait…it was yesterday) all we saw were shades of Gray. Now it’s all about Beige and Brown. I might have doubted this fact except when we walked into the Seattle Design Center where the Camp was held every single show room had nothing but Beige on Beige with dark brown wood furniture. In fact, there was not a Gray sofa or Gray wall in sight.

Bill explained the trend back to Beige is partly due to the  popularity of the raw wood/industrial/rustic trend but bottom line is that people want to feel safe. Beige represents stability, durability, and plays off one of the other hot trends which is antiquity. Brown represents security and gives people the feeling of being connected to the Earth, organic and grounded. Seems like good qualities to have in our home considering all the stressful things that have been happening  in the US lately.

Restoration Hardware

The rule of thumb is that trends usually last for about 10 years. The Gray trend is only about 4 years old so if Beige is indeed the new neutral it will be interesting to see what happens to Gray.

Nancy Braithwaite Designs

So there you have it. Beige (and Brown) is back…Gray is SO 2012.

Oh, and Bill told us he always dresses in one of the major trends when he presents.  His outfit is inspired by  “The Ancients”.  Greek, Roman, and Egyptian inspired elements are all trending right now both in interiors and in fashion.

What do you think about Gray vs. Beige?  Do you think the Gray trend is over?

If you would like help deciding what neutral is best for your home give me a call.




23 Responses to It’s Baaaack….Shocking Color Trend
  1. Kristie Barnett, TheDecorologist Reply

    I don’t even know what to say. That was FAST!!! Staying tuned . . .

    • Linda Holt Reply

      I feel the same way…who knew?

  2. Kelly Reply

    Wow! I don’t know what to say. I guess we better get those beige undertones ready. Wow! Glad you had a good time and was inspired!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      hard to believe Kelly but I saw it with my own eyes in the show rooms. Will be visiting Boston Design Center next week to compare.

  3. Connie Reply

    You might think here in ND we’re very ‘on trend’ with beige and brown. But truth be told, for the most part we never got on the gray band wagon. We hung onto beige/brown longer than it was not-a-trend. So in a way, we’re ahead of the trend. What a deal, huh? 🙂

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Most of my clients were hesitant to use Gray too Connie so I don’t think it is just in ND. In general I think people want warm and happy colors rather than what they perceive as cold and depressing and the wrong Gray can be depressing for sure.

  4. KD Fikso Reply

    I’m not so sure. Yes, I do see beige re-emerging. However, I think — and hope — that it will counterbalance and enhance the continuation of grey. These colors side by side feel dynamic and in some instances very graphic. Sort of a colorful take on black and white, or a neutral take on warm and cool. Either way it plays a brilliant supporting role for big color.

    Having worked in color for the last decade, this most recent grey trend has been overwhelming and certainly one of the strongest trends i’ve ever seen in the interior design arena. I welcome back beige but I don’t think we will be saying goodbye to grey anytime soon. At least I hope not.

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Interesting take on it KD. I too will be watching and curious to see how this all plays out. Here in the NE most of my clients are not into Gray so if Gray fades into the sunset it won’t have a huge impact on me or my clients.

  5. Jil McDonald Reply

    Great summary for a very important subject. Thanks for keeping us in the loop Linda. I’m not sure I like the sudden return to beige, I was hoping gray would hold on a little longer, but the photos you included are gorgeous!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks Jil, and so glad you were there to hear the news with me!

  6. Jennifer Johnson Reply

    Read this from the TCE page. YES that was quick!! What I am hoping, though, is that beige/brown will be paired with cleaner colors (representing hope? in this economy) and not the muted earthtones of before. That’s what I like to do anyway… we shall see!!!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      I totally agree Jennifer. Beige paired with cleaner colors will keep it feeling fresh and feeling less dated.

  7. KD Fikso Reply

    Thank you Linda for the post, by the way! You’ve always got great topics and wonderful imagery. i am always excited to read the latest blog post! I’d trade a prevalence of the gray and beige combo for another chance to share in a seminar or camp or lecture series with you.

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Any time KD any time. I’ll let you know the next time I hear of something good!

  8. Pam from Louisville Reply

    Gray makes me sad. I’m glad it’s over. Beige feels warm and comforting.

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Pam, you are probably in the majority. Gray has had a bad rep because it is perceived as cold….which if used incorrectly it is.

  9. Charisse Reply

    I find that beige is trending interesting, because I certainly did not see that at this springs High Point Market. I saw a strong organic trend, reuse, repurpose, from rugs to wood tables to furniture, but the upholstered pieces were not beige, nor were fabric and textiles from many lines! I do believe that every region of the country has preferences, knowing what will work for their climate, light etc. I like so many colors, and I am rarely drawn into the “trend” as I want for me and my clients to have what is certainly not dated, but color that fits their personality, decor style, and architecture.

    • Linda Holt Reply

      That’s interesting Charisse that you didn’t see much beige at market. I think you are right though with different regions of the country favoring different colors. Where I am in New England the Beige and Brown trend is still going strong whereas the grays never really took a strong hold. Bill Indursky is from NY so maybe they are a few years ahead of the main stream…time will tell!

  10. KD Fikso Reply

    I find regional differences really interesting: color of the light, topography, intensity of sun. Benjamin Moore once published the most popular colors by region; must see if I can find that or a current list.

    • Linda Holt Reply

      KD, please forward that to me if you find it. I would love to take a look at it. I do agree region plays such a big role. When I was in Seattle last week I noticed the colors of the houses were much darker and more earth tones than here in New England.

  11. Holly Holbrook Reply

    Great article Linda. It is so interesting to hear what you got out of that talk. I think I took away something a bit different. Now I have to come to gray’s defense. I really love it and was a bit sad when Bill said it will be fading. The right gray to me is much like a white a beautifful backdrop to accent other colors. As far as cold, as you know there are many warm grays. My personal favorite is Farrow and Ball’s pavilion gray…. That is my two cents

    • Linda Holt Reply

      I completely agree with you Holly. The right warm gray can be such a beautiful neutral, Lately, I have been favoring Edgecomb gray by Ben Moore.I do think so many people jumped on the gray band wagon though with gray walls, sofa, and rugs then quickly tired of what can be a depressing color. If I have to choose though between the “right” gray and beige, I pick gray.

  12. […] won’t go as far as to say gray is out and brown is back as some trend forecasters are claiming...

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