DESIGN SPECTATOR for Floor Covering Weekly “Living With Color” by Emily Morrow Finkell


What is it about color that’s so important? Everything! In a world of color, we are all impacted in ways we sometimes can’t possibly imagine. It’s no secret that gray has been a major player in the fashion and interiors world, and that is not changing anytime soon. I have seen however a shift towards more and more vivid colors, practicallly technicolor colors at international furniture and design shows, New York Fashion Week, and even at the retail points of purchase. Architectural Digest’s annual “Living With Color” August issue quotes “The pureset and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most” by John Ruskin in The Stones of Venice. From the fashion-forward color discussions to the more practical online consumer surveys, color matters and can impact the overall resale value of our homes.

“According to the analysis of over 50,000 sold homes from around the country, the online real estate company found that homes with kitchens painted in warm yellow hues yielded the highest sale premium. They went for $1,360 above expected values.The belief is that potential buyers look at the blank white walls and are concerned about being able to keep it clean.”

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“Not a fan of yellow? No worries. Top-performing listings also had wall colors painted in other earthy tones, like sage green or dove gray.To get the biggest bang for your buck, stick with colors that have mass appeal so you attract as many potential buyers to your listing as possible,” explained Svenja Gudell, Zillow chief economist, in a statement. “Warm neutrals like yellow or light gray are stylish and clean, signaling that the home is well cared for, or that previous owners had an eye for design that may translate to other areas within the house.”

In terms of colors you may want to avoid, the report found that homes with white kitchens actually sold for $1,400 less than expected. While the stark hue gives off a crisp look, it apparently also deters buyers, many of whom think they won’t be able to keep the space clean.

While this sounds overly simple, it’s incredibly important to all of us, especially those of us in the floor covering and design industry. Consider this, we’ve seen a huge portion of homes shift from carpet to hard surface, and the carpet that is selling best oftentimes is a neutral tufted pattern, tonal or flecked product which definitely offers soil and dirt-hiding characteristics to the consumer.

Overall the neutral color palette is shifting annually in very subtle shades. The most essential neutrals are gray, taupe, sand, white, off white and camel. One great way to identify the catalyst behind the neutral color foundation is to examine the “commitment decisions” in homes, for example hard surface flooring, natural stone or solid surface countertops as well as case good furnishings, all of which have a life span of ten to twelve years before replacement. Neutral colors have always been cyclical and the pace of their cycle was slightly thrown off by the recession and rebounding market. The best selling neutrals of the pre-recession were golden neutrals, matching and coordinating with the vast hard surface materials like travertines and granites. Today we see a lighter cleaner palette strongly influenced more by calacatta marble and cerused or flaxen white oak hardwoods.


Thanks to color-loving fashion icons like Tory Burch who stated “I am drawn to the way colors interact with and complement one another” in her book Tory Burch In Color. She has famously featured “TORY ORANGE” in her packaging and stylishly demonstrates how beautifully colorful interiors can be tasteful (see The Blue Room below).


We will continue to see more and more vivid colors as well as fleshy-pink neutrals as a warm counterpart to the cool neutrals that have blanketed the market place. Color Marketing Group releases a monthly color alert, many of which are already applied in accessories for the home like rugs, pillows and draperies. What’s important to note about the neutral and color-colors of the current near future is how it makes a consumer feel. CMG’s ZEN is, “tranquil, relaxing, mindful and calm…relaxed and unworried, that is the state of the color of “Zen. This calming hue is a comforting neutral, with little chroma, and just a bit of black. Its simple nature allows effortless coordination with everything from soft pink to fresh green, and practically anything else.” Who doesn’t want a little more “comfort” in their lives?



The luxury ranges at La Cornue flaunt their color flair. For colorful options that are major investment items, check out these over the top La Cornue ranges at KBIS2016 in colors from light aqua to a saturated bubblegum pink.



2016 April CMG ZEN
“Watch for it to appear modern in high gloss finishes, elegant and refined in matte, and ethereal when enhanced with metallic and special effects. Whether a fashion accessory color or the color of the garment itself, a car color or enhancing a set of luggage, “Zen” moves quietly, with purpose, and in kindness with other colors.”


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CMG 2015 November EQUESTRIAN

Classically inspired, “Equestrian” embodies attributes desired by sporting enthusiasts and those that simply enjoy watching the game.
A golden brown, reminiscent of tooled leather, it is at once rugged and luxurious, familiar and aspirational. Beyond the world of equine sports, the color will grace everything from fashion to accessories. It adds a touch of “Country Life,” even in the city, suggesting a moment of peace and quiet that is always in touch with nature. Regal, elegant, earthy and reliable, “Equestrian” is a color that crosses borders, genders and bank accounts. It is a color of steadiness in 2015.

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