On trend: Tapping into terracotta and beyond

Pantone highlights palettes to watch

The experts at Pantone have highlighted nine Pantone Fashion, Home + Interiors colour palettes for 2021 – shared recently as part of The Inspired Home Show’s ColorWatch by Pantone display.

Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, recently shared the 2021 colour palettes that would have been displayed in the 2020 Chicago-based International Homewares Assocation trade show.

Pressman has worked with IHA staff to create the ColorWatch display since its inception 20 years ago studying exhibitors’ websites and submissions to select products not only on the basis of colour, but also considering form, finish, texture and scale.

Meant to inspire retailers in cross-merchandising, ColorWatch includes items from the show’s many product categories in visually appealing arrangements in display cases aligned with each colour palette. Additionally, the exhibit is a companion to colour expert Leatrice (Lee) Eiseman’s two keynote sessions on colour trends.

Here are the nine Pantone Fashion, Home + Interiors colour palettes for 2021 and Colour of the Year:

Folkloric draws upon rustic textures and speaks to the poetry of pre-tech life and long-forgotten traditions. It combines woodsy textures with the rich colours of deep-dyed yarns. It speaks to the mythic, genuine authenticity and new forms of folk art. Focus on the handmade, crafts in surface, materials, patterns and styles.

Terra Cotta reflects the natural baked earth and the need for warmth in nature essential to humankind. Its rustic inspiration is casually convivial. It relates to concern for the environment and sustainable practices. Terra Cotta embraces natural fibers, crafts and the support of local artisans. Pantone feels strongly about its popularity for 2021, because it is well grounded, as people seek warmth and the enduring values especially in these uncertain times. Pressman featured products by the following exhibitors, nothing that in the display accent props and linens would soften the edges of some products.

Composed orchestrates a blended harmony of neutrals and pastels with cool greys or tones of darker blues. The balanced classics are timeless colours that bring us together. It’s a relaxed, comfortable palette that blurs genders with colours that appeal to males or females. The clean and simple contemporary styling is easy to live with as balance is the key message. Product selection conveys calm sophistication.

Vivify represents acompletely different side of the palette: positivity and cheerfulness in a fresh new modernity. Since colour influences how you feel, Vivify stimulates happiness and puts a smile on your face. It conveys a youthful, upbeat spirit in sunny colours with contrasts of black and white. As a company chooses what’s right for its product line, these colours and textures stand out from the others. The palettes aim to inspire transformation, and this one calls for originality and invites suppliers and retailers to try a new direction in product or merchandising. Products selected featured interpretations of the bold colours and cheerful moods.

Pantone’s Color of the Year 2020 is Classic Blue.

Fleur recalls old world glamour and explores past luxuries. A more formal palette, or in an outdated term, “upstairs” styling, Fleur looks to new romance, passion and intimacy. It combines lush reds, deep rose tones, a touch of gold and accents in dark polished forest greens. Even though today consumers are living in more leisurely clothes, this palette looks ahead to a time when they will dress up again for elegant events. Products in rich deep colours illustrated this elegant atmosphere.

Synergy is immersed in nature—peaceful, quiet and harmonious. Its nurturing, healing heartbeat includes soft colours in moderation from yellow greens to blue greens. Synergy expresses collaboration and a minimalist inspiration, yet can allow some drama, as nature does. Think spa colours and an atmosphere that inspires you to take a deep breath and calm down. Products in muted colours by the following exhibitors conveyed these inspirations from nature.

Quixotic speaks ofmulti-cultural influences of art and fashion. A new sophistication based on adventurous tonal combinations, Quixotic appeals to intrigue and complexity with strong orange-toned reds with blues and black accents in jagged patterns and quirky splashes. Products in numerous categories portrayed these influences in colour and pattern.

Polychrome is a complex palette with novel combinations of similar colours. It draws from global historic architecture with intricate patterning and details. This palette challenges merchandisers to be original and bold in contrasting colours to create the mood for consumers. Mix up the products to reveal the textures in wood, ceramic, glass, fabrics and plastics in shapes that can be sleek and curved or angular and jagged. Products in purple, pink, mustard yellows and rust browns are accented with soft blue tones.

Galaxy looks to the stars. Our fascination with orbiting in outer space, light and technology is expressed in metallic finishes and blends.Galactic inspiration appears in dramatic contrasts of light and dark—gold, silver, blues and purples as stars streak across the dark skies. Glistening products in shiny finishes and icy colours sparkled.

Colour of the Year: Classic Blue is a foundational shade for the home furnishings market. It can work by itself or transform a space. This updated classic is easy to work with and can go in many directions—contemporary, country or traditional. A universally loved colour, it is seasonless and projects confidence, connection and calm. When everything in life is moving so fast, we reach for stability, longevity and dependability. We need this colour more than ever. Find shades that comfort us and that can provide the base we build upon. Look beyond the obvious gain a new perspective and engage with others. Classic Blue works on its own and enables colours throughout the spectrum. Classic Blue is a pervasive favourite for home products whose finishes and textures can fit for any room of the home.

Pressman said the colours used in each palette are from the Fashion, Home and Interiors 2021 Forecast and can be purchased from Pantone. When asked if Pantone ranks the trends, she said: “It all depends on your product line and what lends itself to a palette. For some products, the Folkoric palette and the rustic feeling might be less interesting than the finishes in Galaxy. For countertop appliances, you may want to apply a palette with glossy finishes and textures like Fleur, which could also work well in bathroom products or for a focal points item.

“After Covid 19 hit, we reviewed the palettes to re-evaluate what was changing and what we felt comfortable with for trends that are likely to move forward,” Pressman explained. “We felt most challenged with Fleur, the more dressy, elegant palette, but some products lend themselves to that mood. Vivify’s bright and vibrant colours to the warm and meditative shades of Folkoric we think remain valid for the longer term.”

In addition to managing a global consortium of colour and trend experts, Pressman presents on colour and trend to design audiences worldwide and works directly with leading brands on their brand and product colour selections. She is also involved in the development of Pantone’s colour research and colour trend forecasting products and sits on the Home Products Board at the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Fashion Advisory Board at Savannah College of Art and Design.

She can be reached at lpressman@pantone.com for further information about Pantone’s products and services and any special IHA pricing.

Tableware International

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