DESIGN SPECTATOR: Colorful Conversation, Emily Morrow Finkell & Mark Woodman

Design Spectator: Colorful Conversation with Mark Woodman for Floor Covering Weekly October 11, 2016 issue, page 18.

Current title: Owner/President of mark woodman design+color llc
Past President Color Marketing Group

DS: What do you see as the next big color story for 2017? Where does gray rank in overall interiors, background as the “blank canvas”?
MW: I’m anticipating green as a big story. It’s more health-based and is an exciting change for consumers as it will not be just one green, but a range, from yellow-influenced to deep spruce. The dark values will be a refreshing surprise. They are cool and luxurious, natural and sturdy, so they accomplish a lot for one deep hue. We can’t deny the important influence that grey will continue to have, though. It is still being embraced by consumers and those that have already brought it into their living spaces will add its nuanced influence to other colors. The spruce I mentioned earlier, for instance, will have a silvery cast to it, as though a frost had blanketed an evergreen forest. In other hues, they will have a slightly muted appearance. They can still be strong, but pulled back slightly to embrace their grey side. White is going to continue to offer that “blank canvas,” along with grey, but will also come in more nuances. It’s the importance of undertone, to offer a non-white, white, that blends with other colors.

DS: Is there a color of the year story you do like or don’t agree with? Ex Sherwin Williams 2017 COTY “poised taupe” or Benjamin Moore 2016 “Simply White”?
MW: I think the paint manufacturers are offering well-considered stories behind their choices and I agree with each of them. What I find most interesting is that though there are different choices, “Poised Taupe,Violet Verbena,” etc. they have created an interesting palette of colors, that unbeknownst to them beforehand, work well together. They have subtle, neutral influences that speak to the times, and are evolving the greys with which we’ve been designing.

DS: What color “trends” do you plan to include in your upcoming design projects? And what do you like about working with them?
MW: Hmmm, this is interesting. I find so much of design is an editing process. And not just of choices, but of aspirations, and balancing what the client would truly love to come home to, with their comfort level. That said, I need to balance trend forward colors with real life, and what is actually available. (custom is lovely, but not often the reality) I have been a proponent of navy blue for some time and finally its time has arrived, and big! I love working with this rich hue that is classic, modern, natural, enveloping, and all sorts of good things. Christian Dior said, “Midnight blue is the only color that can ever compete with black.” and it’s a great observation. Midnight, or navy, has depth without fear, and richness in its darkness. Dark blues like midnight and navy stand perfectly on their own and practically define confidence.

A hue that often evades us is “camel.” For many, it is hard to define. It can’t be too yellow, or too red, but when you find it. it’s brilliant. I think it’s something to watch out for in future. From a menswear influence, to military looks, to “nude” colorings, camel hits all of the marks and I enjoy working with it. Wool textiles are perfect for it and it’s one of the times that I’ll have a paint matched to a coat! It is at once a classic, but used so seldom that it feels very modern and unique.

DS: Is there a specific color that you consider your “signature” color?
MW: Personally, it’s probably pink. It’s a healthy color that can also be daring and a little subversive. It’s just fun. Blush pink, with grey and chocolate, always feels fresh. Bright pink with navy and kelly green always has a prep vibe, and hot pink with black and white creates an almost Warhol graphic look. But pink is a tough sell. For my clients, though, my signature is more the “surprise color,” something they wouldn’t have considered, and getting them out of their shell into something different. It still needs to speak to them as individuals, so it could be almost anything. I recently worked a navy blue study in 95% gloss paint, and then introduced caramel, brown and rust. The client wasn’t expecting the caramel color and wouldn’t have considered it, until the surprise was shown with the other elements. Now it’s a favorite.

MARK, Thank you so much for your valuable insights! As always, it was a pleasure!


Emily Kiker Morrow Finkell
CEO EF Floors & Design, LLC
Floor Covering Weekly Design Contributor “Design Spectator”
Emily Morrow Interior Design,
Professional Commercial & Residential Interior Design since 1989
Allied Member ASID



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