From the What's New archive - August 2009...
Sink back into warm mid tones and cool ethereal hues for 2009 for a sense of well being, fresh and forward thinking.
The Range 2009 draws on hues from the full spectrum complemented by a variety of whites and cool and warm greys. There is a definite warming trend as bronzed yellows, burnished oranges, earthy and tan browns, nature inspired greens, vivid reds and reddened purples meet slate blues and soft neutrals. Designs become more thoughtful and mature, less fussy, yet not minimalist and colour is used to provide a subtle highlight and to balance design features. Hues seem familiar and comfortable, with fewer daring bolds compared to earlier in the decade.
The excitement of the internet revolutionised the last decade and brought with it a bevy of hi-tech advances. As we have become increasingly surrounded by gadgets there has been a partial rebellion, a desire to reach back to artisan and natural designs and bring them into modern day life and modern day gadgets to make them seem more emotional and accessible and less hi-tech and untouchable. This yearning back to the ‘simpler’ life, has also been seen in the move towards organic foods and handmade products and the increasing exodus of city dwellers to lifestyle blocks to escape relentless city life. Electronic gadgets once seen as a luxury, are now commonplace, so much so that handcrafted items are the new luxury. Handmade, thoughtful, one of a kind home furnishings and accents balance our feelings in a world we cannot control, one of a kind with natural imperfections. Consumers are looking for products that look old and handmade, not mass produced, for an emotional connection to their possessions. Urban sophistication has been reinvented with the melding of technology with nature.
Green continues to anchor the palette with the interest in environmental sustainability continuing. Healthy greens drawn from landscapes and agriculture, expressed most commonly as yellow greens such as Resene Karma and Resene Secret Garden and clean greens such as Resene Lucky Break, dominate. In The Range 2009 we see this environmental focus underpinning a variety of hues, as even the reds and purples tend towards vegetal colours. Eco-conscious consumers combine their environmental responsibility with an eye for design so that green products cannot survive on green credentials alone. Once the domain of hippies, environmental awareness is well and truly established in the mainstream. An ever increasing range of environmental options creates a whole new learning curve and a curious juxtaposition for those new to environmental consumerism balancing the desire to consume with the desire to minimise their environmental footprint.
Red is strong and seductive, such as Resene X Factor and Resene Vibe. The bold clean hues of previous years carry forward combined with a nod to nature with tomato reds joined by a quick taste of warm extroverted pink. Oranges are burnished and yellows bronzed complementing the prevalence of healthy greens.
Blues are watery and calm, such as Resene Chi and Resene Breathless, incorporating slate blues and grey blues through to deep ocean blues continuing from previous years. The slate blues are weathered and introspective, soothing the senses. Purples lean towards blue undertones. Dusty purples have made way to the influx of soft greys, such as Resene Scarpa Flow.
Neutrals are grey inspired underpinned by seemingly timeless neutrals that have remained popular through many decades. A throng of previously seen browns have made way to deeper greys and darkest blacks, such as Resene Blackout, with complex undertones to add a touch of more than just black. Near whites have an influence over the palette, providing a fresh contemporary backdrop upon which the drama in other colours can be seen.
Pastels are only sparsely seen as chalky neutrals, such as Resene Barely There and Resene Whiteout, come to the fore, particularly greyed off hues that provide a secure base to complement the warm mid tones and move away from sandy neutrals. Colour use is becoming increasingly seasonless and intergenerational with both ends of the age spectrum selecting the same palette of hues. Once pastels were the domain of the elderly – more and more these hues are being confined to baby rooms and are being transformed into complex neutrals and mid tones in other areas. As our colour palettes have become more sophisticated pastels do little to satisfy our desire for colour depth.
Precious metals, such as Resene Silver Fern, are useful as a feature and add complexity to colourways with a trend towards refined use of lesser metals, such as bronze, coming to the fore.
Where once we might have moved house to get a new sense of invigoration and space, today we’re more inclined to do more with what we already have, remodelling and renovating our existing homes to avoid the need for what can often be an expensive move.
The kitchen continues to morph from a place of cooking to a family haven, where family come together to assemble, socialise and eat. This reflects the growing informality associated with food preparation and ever hectic lives reducing the opportunity for traditional sit down dinners during busy working weeks. Kitchens are becoming less and less the home of homecooked meals and more and more an assembly station for food.
Colour’s power to lift the human psyche is well recognised and a key driver along with growing consumer demand for choice towards greater colour use in all areas and the decreasing reliance on pure white for mainstream items such as appliances. Advancements in technology have led to new sophisticated ways of producing colour expanding the range of colour options for many products where once just one colour choice was the norm. Colour is being drawn into all elements of our lives, restorative for mind and body. Even vehicle colours reflect this trend with silver an increasing popular choice in place of the once commonplace white.
Public places are enjoying more and more of a brush with colour to lift the spirits, as a branding device and to help visitors navigate their way in an intuitive manner without copious signage.
In a decade of uncertainty and with the growing eco movement suggesting new ways of living, we are yearning for the familiar - traditions, styles and ways of living that we understand and that were once second nature to us. There is optimism in the future with fresh hues combined with the desire to pull some of the past into the present day.
The prevalence of mid tones alludes to colour harmonies being gentle rather than the dramatic contrasts earlier in the decade. Varying sheen levels, precious metallics, texture and placement provide visual interest in place of strong chromatic contrasts.
View the Life in colour feature as seen in Next magazine...
Feel relaxed with green
Our emotional response to the colour green stems from its presence in nature. We intuitively feel a sense of wellbeing when we see it, and it can trigger thoughts of new life and rejuvenation. Its positive healing effects have been recognised for hundreds of years – the oriental art of feng shui uses green to restore energy, encourage growth and maintain harmony... more
Inspired by purple
Purple has been associated with power and royalty for many centuries. Tyrian purple, a pigment derived from a mollusc, was first used by the ancient Phoenicians and was at times more expensive than gold: The imperial robes of Roman emperors were always purple trimmed with gold. Purple is also linked to the East where it was historically used in carpets, textiles and paintings. But it's its link to the spiritual world which is more recognised today, leading to its association with a richness of spirit, individuality and creativity... more
Balance yourself with blue
In the sea and sky, blue tops and tails our world. Looking out to sea can be both calming and invigorating – and think about how the sea becomes more inviting the bluer it is. Many people have an affinity with the ocean so it's no surprise that when asked what their favourite colour is, blue comes in first, especially among men... more
Be bold with red
The traditional symbol of love, red is a colour of grand gestures and bold statements. As far back as the 17th century, red was making waves, when France's Louis XIV painted the heels of his shoes with an expensive and eye-catching dye, starting a trend that spread among nobility all over Europe... more