Blog/Specifying in Color: The Contract Forecast
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Specifying in Color: The Contract Forecast

Color is an essential part of how people experience the world both biologically and culturally. Designers count it among the top three aesthetic considerations in any space along with scale and light. However, of the three, color is the one that is most subject to changing tastes and trends. 

When selecting permanent elements such as tile, designers want to choose colors that have currency and relevance, but must consider its permanence in making a space feel timeless. Tapping into trend forecasts is one way to help strategize a palette that’s exciting today, yet will naturally fall into the future design vernacular. Mosa did some research to help designers navigate and strike this delicate balance.

The path of least resistance is neutrals, but not all neutrals are created equal. Recent research by Interior Design Magazine indicates that grey is in it for the long haul. No longer a “new neutral,” grey has become an industry standard. This is probably because it serves a multitude of design objectives. Also, there is an implied quality to grey that makes it right for almost any interior. Classic, composed and enduring yet full of mystery and allure, grey can be glamorous and practical at the same time. As Pantone’s Leatrice Eiseman notes, "the greys represent solid strength and longevity, an association stemming from the color of granite and gravel, stone, slate and rock; of ancient monuments, pillars, and temples that have withstood the ravages of time and technology."

Color and Grey
More challenging is the incorporation of high color. There is a clear trend towards increasing demand for color in architecture. This color is getting bolder and bolder, and is often combined with grey. Green and grey in particular is a combination that is prevalent and staying strong. It combines freshness and purity with strength and stability. Add blue and it also becomes trustworthy. Grey is also a great complement for reds, especially if mixed with graphic black and white. These are all winning combinations that work whether the tile is primarily a pale, warm grey, or a mid-toned or charcoal grey.

Warm Neutrals and Color
Mixing various warm neutral tiles on floors and walls creates a lively yet understated backdrop for high color and pattern in art and furnishings. Trendzoom’s color forecast predicts colors will emerge from a naturally deep base of woodland, camouflage and tent green into a wild collection of orange, yellow and pink. Heightened shades of pure red, sulphur green and safety orange will be charged with energy and optimism. Softer shades will blend together into a range of pastels or work with their tonal partners. In tile, use of the deep woodland browns and warm greys forms a base for employing touches of high color throughout the design.

Longevity and Bold Color
Consider which color trends are more likely to age well, enter or reenter the vernacular for a long period. For example, any palette connected to nature has a lasting quality. One example is Pantone’s forecast of Verdure, a great palette for use in health and wellness environments as well as offices and schools. This palette is symbolic of health but it updates the profusion of greens with some bright and contrasting hues. It features vegetal colors like Celery and Foliage combined with berry-infused purples and eggshell blue.

The color experts at Pantone are also forecasting more assertive palettes. Among them, Playful, a palette intended to make people stop and smile. Speaking to the human need for whimsy, the Playful palette is out-of-the ordinary and quirky. The colors are “bright-hearted more than light-hearted” according to Eiseman, with names to match, like Minion Yellow, Lime Popsicle, Green Flash and Blue Skydiver. A tiled feature wall is a great application for this palette, whether arranged as a solid pop of color, in varied stripes or using color and pattern together with the help of Mosa’s online pattern generator to create a statement-making focal point.

Trend guides and expert forecasts are helpful and fun to explore, but the best way for designers to select tile colors is to use their own expertise and instincts. Using color to elicit a certain feeling or reaction is what design pros do best. Whether it’s a bold glazed wall tile color or a lively neutral porcelain floor tile with lots of movement, Mosa’s design and technology teams are experts at making tile colors compelling, dynamic and attractive. All that’s left is for the designer to choose.
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