Friday, March 6, 2009

The BFF of all colors


I’ve been working this afternoon on pulling together some companion fabrics for a master bedroom. My client has narrowed her fabric choices to two beautiful fabrics in the blue/green and mocha families. One of her fabrics is more blue and one, more green. So all the companion fabrics go with one or the other but not both. Choosing one ensemble over the other is going to be a tough decision.

As I was working with these colors I got to thinking about how the shade of green we are considering in one fabric has been popular several times over the last 15 years or so. Blue is really coming back now and not just the Robin’s Egg blue of the last few years. All shades of blue are showing up in bedding and fabrics. I recently received a clothing catalog with a great deal of navy and other shades of blue. What makes colors work again and not make us go “Eew, I don’t want ___ color, I had that years ago”? Well, sometimes we do say that. But I think the trick is what the color is paired with. The green we are considering was paired with burgundy and darker greens in the early 90’s. Blues used to be paired with mauve or, as in my first apartment, peach. Brown is the BFF for every color today. Pair anything with brown and it looks warm, sophisticated, fresh, comfortable, whatever you want it to be.

Another thing about brown is how it works as an architectural accent. A few years ago we might put a black wrought iron light fixture in a house and maybe a black fireplace screen and they looked great. Nice neutral, not too heavy. Today, we have wrought iron banisters, light fixtures, and wall decorations. The accent color we choose for these items has to support our other colors and not overpower. Brown often fits that bill. Plus you can paint one or more walls brown. Try that with black or gray.

Black may be coming back but I don’t see brown going away for a long time. (Maybe I’d better look a little harder for the perfect brown handbag.)

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