Emily Kiker Morrow on Design & Color Trends, today and yet to come

Emily Kiker Morrow on Design & Color Trends, today and yet to come

This past week I had the pleasure of serving on a panel with the best and brightest minds in color and design known as Global ColorMix. As to be expected, the panelists had diverse backgrounds from paper, window coverings, paint, color communications and cabinets…not to mention my own floor covering and interior design point of view. What I’ve walked away with is the confirmation that as different as we all are, our creative minds and eye for color and design are keenly watching the same things.
Oftentimes I’m asked “How do you know???…How do you know that a color or a design trend is coming…or that it will last?”…(they’re probably imagining us holding a sealed envelope to our heads like Johnny Carson did as the “Amazing Karnak” with all of the answers inside).
I can best summarize it as “innate and informed intuition”…if you read Malcolm Gladwell’s’ book “Blink”, you’ll understand what I’m referring to when I suggest that anyone who’s been “practicing” something for over 10,000 hours ‘just knows’ without overthinking the subject and ultimately outperforms their peers consistently. Read these excerpts from the book and you’ll better understand what I’m saying.

+“When we become expert in something, our tastes grow more esoteric and complex.” …
“our world requires that decisions be sourced and footnoted, and if we say how we feel, we must also be prepared to elaborate on why we feel that way…+We need to respect the fact that it is possible to know without knowing why we know and accept that – sometimes – we’re better off that way.” …+“Did they know why they knew? Not at all. But they Knew!”
― Malcolm Gladwell, Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking

Now to the more fun part…what’s the summary of my current research as we near the last quarter of 2013, after having traveled through Italy, Germany, France, England, Canada and China? For starters, plan on having the “Gray Trend” around for quite some time…it’s being shown and featured in many “major commitment” pieces at all of the best furniture and design shows around the world, it’s still being featured in Runway Fashion, although paired with bright pops of color. Gray is in every product segment and is the frequent topic of conversation among interior designers, architects and product designers…”When is the gray trend going away?…” Beyond the subject of “gray”, we’re going to continue to see animal prints although they’ve become “toned down” to the taupe side of animal prints. See my image of the Cole Haan shoes which I purchased at Macy’s in NYC last week. According to the super helpful shoe associate, the style on the left, the taupe-black print (my pair) is selling faster than they can inventory them while the pair on the right, an orange-rust color, isn’t moving at all. The shoe salesman didn’t understand “why?” …but fortunately for him, I was able to tell him… the cooler (taupe and black) leopard print will go with everything found in ladies’ fashion today, black, brown, midnight blue, gray and taupe…while the warmer (rust and black) will probably be perfect in a year or two. Fashion is usually a step or two ahead of interiors but not by a big step. I love watching for the changes in the market place just as a meteorologist watches the doppler radar and barometers.

Obviously this is one of my favorite subjects and could go on and on, but I won’t…but please know there’s more to come next week. Meanwhile, let me know what you’re seeing in your part of the world!
Big Hugs!! Emily

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