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What's trending spring 2015.

Neutrals are back! The last several years have been all about color, but the spotlight is now back on neutrals. Top designers are moving away from color and toward a palette inspired by earthen elements.

Neutrals are all around us in nature; when you combine them in design, they are as natural as nature itself. This year, warm neutrals prevail over cooler tones. Grays move toward taupe and pebble. Pay close attention to soft golds, buttery yellows and saffron; they are also moving to the forefront. Camel will be increasingly popular going into 2016.

There is no question that metallic gold, which made it onto the scene a few years ago, has been gaining momentum. You'll find both metallic and flat gold everywhere.

When you introduce color to a design, the story usually turns blue. Midtones dominate the market, as do darker, richer indigos. These indigos transition nicely to a denim feel, which is gaining momentum with a more-refined-than-jeans feeling. When you use midtone blues, including ocean hues, they often take on a watery feel. These colors mix well with soft lavenders, teals and jades to achieve a palette that is as tranquil as the beach.

As I noted a couple of years ago, hunter green is making a comeback. The alternative to hunter is dark olive, but olive's appearance could be due to the influence of warmth across the palette. Sage is also popping up. You might see designers pairing the new hunter with turmeric. Other colors to put on your watch list will be terra cotta and clay.

The Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year for 2015 is Coral Reef (SW6606). Energetic, optimistic and uplifting, it blends pink, orange and red to brighten any space. Sherwin-Williams boasts that the color is simultaneously vintage, cottage, traditional and contemporary.

The Pantone Color of the Year for 2015 is Marsala (18-1438). It is warm like coral but is a darker, richer red with less pink and orange and more brown like the earthy red wine from which it takes its name.

The youthful market is moving away from comic-book brights and toward a non-neon look that is less vivid overall. A lot of palettes have thrown in a Hello Kitty-type pink for freshness.

Browns are also continuing to gain some momentum. Again, the overall warming of the palette across the board has moved to brown from gray as the go-to dark neutral. Brown also pairs beautifully with gold.

Furniture frames begin to take a more curvilinear approach, creating graceful lines that move the eye around the room. Slight movement and undulation are showing up. You can also expect to see interesting shapes, soft angles, embellishment and detailing.

Wood grains are becoming more complex. We are seeing the use of more exotic African woods with definitive grains and additional embellishments. Embellishments can take on the look of gold leaf, which designers apply or rub into the grain for emphasis. They also use them to accentuate the contrast between the rough grain of the wood and the elegant, opulent gold. Staining has varying patterns. Metallic accents on wood are mostly gold leaf or gold inlays. Silvers are present but pale in comparison to the quantity and effect of gold. Designers--who typically aren't afraid to mix and match--are also combining wood with other elements, including bamboo, shell, acrylic, marble, stone, semiprecious stones, mother of pearl, bone and parchment.

Dark, rich colors, as well as opulence, are finding their way into fine design. The most contemporary designs are becoming more ornamental and patterned. A softening and a movement toward classicism are underway.

In more modern design, watch for things to be uneven and confusing. For instance, designers are hoping to fool the eye by using geometries--for example, to make the legs of a table appear uneven. Even simple geometric patterns become complex, intermingling just enough to create confusion and interest, and designers are combining rough and refined extremes in close juxtaposition.

Shapes are becoming more complex, and designers are moving away from minimalism. It appears that consumers, tired of simple lines, are searching for shape, pattern and textures, rather than color, to add interest.


Mirror is the material of the moment. These days, there is no wrong way to use a mirror. They are showing up in smoked, iridescent, aged and painted versions. Designers are using mirror-on-mirror techniques--even with mirrored frames. Mirrors also provide a way of introducing the gloss trend that has become so popular in framing.

The use of reclaimed materials is also gaining momentum. The reclaiming of old and discarded items and making them into art is building in almost every community. It embodies the idea that everything is art from someone's perspective.

Look for marble--especially white marble--to also gain momentum. High-end marble will have fewer veins and patterns. Brown marble, terrazzo and malachite will also be in vogue. The popularity of lava, stone, soapstone and crystals will increase, whereas geodes' will likely fall out of favor as agate becomes more in demand.

As the economy is on the rise, so is luxe. Look for luster, chunky textures, chenille, boucle, jacquards and velvets. You will see a lot of textures, such as the use of tufting and quilting. Embossed leathers will move to the forefront. Also look for inlays, louvers, gold, brass, marble, acrylic and large crystals. In this luxe look, solids outweigh patterns, but when designers use patterns, they are typically interlocking diamonds and geometries.

A global mix will tout heavy, chunky, unfinished wood and hammered metal for a worldly look. Glass will be organic, soft and irregular. You will see the influence of classicism from Roman art in shapes, scales and palettes. This movement will slightly refine the global look you have been seeing to a slightly less bohemian look.

The general trend for 2015 is warmth--in color, metal and general style. The warming of color and softening of hard edges lead us back to classicism, which is just that--classic. It will never go out of style. ?

Edward Nader is a veteran of the art and framing business with clients all over the U.S. and abroad. Nader does design work as one facet of his career, helping with product development in several different industries including the art, framing, furniture, gift and design industries.
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Author:Nader, Edward
Publication:Art Business News
Date:Mar 22, 2015
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