Color trends are a fascinating thing to watch.
Over the last forty years I have seen just about every color trend come full circle and return like it was brand new. Yes, the names change, but the colors are the same. Sage and avocado are extremely close in color, but a person who had avocado in the 60’s will never call their sage walls anything remotely close to avocado. It is a psychological thing, I guess, because “new” colors have to have a “new” name for it to take off.
When I moved to Texas in 1983 I had to learn everything all over again.
It was a bit of a culture shock because the industry was totally different here than in Illinois. Terminology was different and all of the styles were different. I assumed that trends and styles were the same all across the country, but I soon realized that Illinois was not a trend setting state.
I started doing design in the early 70’s. Everything was brown, gold, rust and avocado green. Basically, that is what it was in the 60’s, too.
For that matter, in Illinois it could have been that way i the 50’s, because things just never changed.
“I have to say, though, by the time I moved here in the 80’s I was really tired of the same old colors. Every house was a little different variation of the last. I had become bored with earth tones.”
Truly, I was a bit overwhelmed by the drastic color differences trending in Texas. In the mid 80’s country blue, sea foam green, peach and mauve were all the rage. Pastels were a totally new thing for me, but, I was delighted to see soft happy colors instead of dreary chocolate browns.
For almost ten years we looked at mauve carpet, mauve paint, mauve and country blue bowties on duck borders and mauve laminate countertops. Wallpaper was filled with mauve and country blue baskets and flowers. Fabrics were mini prints in pastel colors with tiny flowers, dots and checks. From across the room you couldn’t tell what the patterns were, because they were so small.
We were living in a world of cute. Just plain and simple. Cute wallpaper, cute mini print bedding, cute ruffles and loads of cute eyelet on the windows. Ten years was quite enough. Cute was finally wavering and we could move into a more grown up world. Those darn ducks were finally out dated.
By the time the mid 90’s rolled around the colors were beginning to trend into jewel tones. Then we went Mediterranean and Tuscan, where we found ourselves back in the gold, rust, brown, green world. The cycle just keeps going.
“A few weeks ago I went into one of the fabric showrooms in Dallas to look for fabric. The new spring line had just been put on display. I was stunned. I quickly flipped through the books in disbelief. There it was. Mauve, pale pink, pale peach, country blue and seafoam green.”
I have to say, most of the line was in the light pink family. Of course, the colors were not called mauve or country blue, but nonetheless, that is what I was looking at.
I immediately went to the reception desk and asked the saleswoman if it was really true that these colors were back. She assured me that it was the new (old) trend returning.
The next day I needed to go into Hobby Lobby for some flower supplies. As soon as I got past the check out counters I was looking straight at several displays of pink. Just pink. All shades of light pink. Pink dishes, pink vases, pink figurines, pink jars and pink canisters. It was true!
“Since I discovered the “new” trend for the summer I have shopped in various stores for bedding and linens and guess what? If it isn’t gray, it is a shade of pink.”
Still looking for bedding, I ventured into the big Tuesday Morning warehouse store in north Dallas. What did I find? Pink blankets, pink pillows, pink throws and pink bedspreads. There again, if it wasn’t gray it was pink.
I have looked online and in more stores than I can tell you for a beige readymade bedspread with a rust print. It is no where to be found. Pastels have totally taken over the general retail market.
Gray is finally fading and various shades of “rose” are in abundance.
Will we get to rose walls and floors again? I don’t think so, but you never know. Every 10 years we have a totally different cycle that changes everything.
“Ready or not, my friends, we are entering a new phase of mauve. Right now it is melting into the gray rage as an accent, but bigger things are in our future. The market is being flooded with a color that I was sure would never return.”
It just proves the old saying “If you keep it long enough, it will be fashionable again.” So it is for the pastels of the 80’s. Now I am waiting for a new fabric book filled with mini prints. That will be the finishing touch.
The good news is, if you have not been able to remodel for a long time or you buy an 80’s home that is outdated, you are in luck. Just add a few new pillows and wash those mini print curtains because you might be right back in style.
But, I must ask one thing. Please don’t bring back the ducks! I can work with the rest, but I can’t face working with those ducks again.
Until next time, have wonderful summer and happy decorating.