Play It Safe

Jennifer Polanz

From near black and black to whites, neutrals and warm blues, there were not many bold statements in the colors of the year from U.S. paint companies (the one renegade was Benjamin Moore with Caliente, a bright red).

That speaks to the signs of the times, says color expert Denise Turner, who owns her own company Color Turners and sits on the Board of Directors for the Color Marketing Group. Denise not only understands why color trends happen, but how they play at retail for maximum impact as well.

“Your industry, unlike any other industry, can get away with a lot more when it comes to color because people are coming in there for color,” Denise notes, adding the plants can be the pops of color a retailer needs to offset the more popular neutrals.

Many of the forecasts for spring 2018 involve safe and calming colors, leaning toward greens and blues, “the two color families that calm stress best,” Denise says. Neutrals will continue to play well across the board in most industries, as well as the sages and greens that resemble dried herbs and teas. “Those particular colors would be pretty versatile, falling into the gray or green side,” she adds. “It would make a nice backdrop with foliage.”

She recommends backdrops incorporating the blues and greens, and then accent them with some of the bold spring colors that will be popular next year, particularly ones like coral red, orange, lime green and lapis, or cobalt blue. “Think safe, with little bits of accent.”

When it comes to textures and finishes, the shabby chic (think the style of “Fixer Upper’s” Joanna Gaines) look remains popular, with natural touches like distressed and reclaimed wood, weathered metals, oil-rubbed bronzes and rusted iron. Denise says authenticity rules the day, so these textures and finishes can be used as backdrops for displays and in the products you sell. GP