The California Paints Blog

Historic Colors and the Trend Cycle - Part 2

Posted on Wed, Nov 14, 2012 @ 03:54 PM

To continue our conversation from last week… Let’s dive right back into trends and Historic Colors! We discussed the idea of trends and how both the 20th Century and Historic Colors of America coincide with the universal trend cycle.  I also highlighted some of our favorite trending hues and how to use them.  Today we will be digging deeper by exploring the idea of “timeless” colors.  And of course we will share some more of our top hues and why we love them! Let’s get started!

Trending vs. Timeless Colors

By definition timeless means "independent of time; eternal; unaffected by time; ageless".  This definition applies perfectly to every hue in the Historic Colors of America Collection.  While the 20th Century Colors of America can be considered more trendy, the Historic Colors of America are more versatile and therefore take on the timeless notation.  Maybe ‘timelessness’ should be the next category on Laver’s scale!

Every color in the collection was shaped and enveloped by American history.  No matter the time period, architectural style, or even geographic origin, the entire collection has been used across all categories since its creation, “The historical data and color research show that most colors secured an immoveable place in our color history and were in use for decades.” The collection translates well to a variety of modern design styles, as well as historic renovations, and therefore makes them very appealing today.

Using colors from the 1600s and 1700s in today's design styles is done everyday.  It is just that people may not know they are using a color that originated almost 400 years ago!  Asian Jute is a color that originated in the Colonial period but remains extremely popular today due to its neutral color essence but depth of hue.  Jewett White originated in the Federal period when the major color trend showcased lighter, paler and more delicate colors.  As you can see, these 2 shades would be appealing in any modern day design scheme.

neutral historic colors

timeless historic colors

Timeless Historic Neutrals: Asian Jute, Jewett White, Yarmouth Oyster, Bayberry Wax, Knightly Straw

Although the Historic Colors of America collection can be classified as timeless, that doesn’t mean colors from this collection aren’t popping up in color trend reports every season.  As I have already highlighted, Curry is very popular this fall and is featured in 2012/2013 Phoenix Trend Palette (I told you it was big).  Curry is not alone.  There are plenty more Historic Colors of America featured throughout the 2012/2013 Trend collections.  They range from bold to subtle and from cool to warm.  Muted Mulberry is a purple-gray that became an iconic color after its debut in the Victorian era.  Lyman Camellia is a soft neutral pink that epitomizes the light, airy and delicate color trend of the Federal period. Although we may have classified historic colors as ‘timeless’ it’s still great to see these colors get recognized as applicable in today's color trends.  Take a look at some of my favorites. 

trendy historic color

trending HC

Trending Historic Bolds: Lyman Camellia, Muted Mulberry, Codman Claret, Farmhouse Ochre, Portsmouth Blue

The most important thing to take away from this 2-part discussion is that ultimately there are no rules when it comes to color.  Mixing trend colors with timeless classics is a way to create a unique and collaborative color style.  As long as you are happy with the results, that’s all that really matters.  It’s just a lot of fun to explore the relationship between timeless colors and trend colors.  And everyone can learn from this lesson:  historic colors are not solely for traditionally historic color applications!

Topics: paint colors, color schemes, color trends, historic colors, neutral colors

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