Kitchens Get Happy with Yellow; Baths Sing the Blues

by WOHe

NEW YORK, NY As consumers have become increasingly more educated
about design, their fear of color has diminished. As a result,
color beyond mere accents has been steadily gaining ground in
kitchens and baths.

And the future for kitchens and baths is alive with more and
more daring color choices.

That’s according to the latest color forecast from The Color
Association of the U.S. (CAUS), based here. Indeed, says CAUS
director Margaret Walch, consumers are growing more comfortable
with color, as evidenced by some of the hues CAUS is forecasting
for 2005.

For instance, shades of yellows and oranges will shine in
kitchens, while aqua blues and greens, as well as a range of hot
and muted pink tones, will invade the bath.

“In both kitchens and baths, the colors are more vivid, clearer
and chromatic than before,” says Walch. “I will say that when you
walk into a kitchen or a bath with these colors, you will be able
to categorize it, that this is a yellow kitchen, or this is an aqua
blue bath.”

However, the specific brightness of a color choice will vary
depending on geographic location and gender. For example, yellows
will be brighter in Florida than in Wisconsin because of the
climate differences. And, men will tend toward a more masculine,
deeper teal aqua tone, while women will generally go for a range of
pink hues.

Walch further believes that, in all areas of the kitchen and
bath, there will be more color, and not just color on small

Take baths, for instance. “Before, there was an interest in
coordination, but now color is being used to define design. Color
is being used more on hard surfaces because it’s those hard
surfaces, such as tile, that are defining how the space is being
designed. There’s less emphasis on textiles and their color when it
comes to designing a space such as a bath,” Walch explains.

Singing the blues
Elaborating on the bath,
Walch attributes the growing appeal of aqua blues and greens to
consumers’ fascination with spas.

“You will see a tremendous spa influence in the bath, which
translates into a plethora of aqua tones. Whether it’s more green
or more blue, it’s very much the kind of color seen in a spa or
resort,” states Walch.

As a result, the bath will show more emphasis on the color and
effects of water. That’s why, going forward, more lavish sinks,
particularly vessel sinks, along with more irregularly shaped tubs
and larger storage areas, will be popping up along with an
increased use of aqua tones in the bath, indicates Walch.

This “spa” or “resort” aqua color will be seen on walls,
primarily in tile, and larger areas, she says.

Another hue that will gain more attention in the bath is pink,
offers Walch. “The pinks you will see will be influenced by those
seen in Mid-Century design, and design from the 1920s and 1930s.
They will not be the ‘beige-y,’ cosmetic pinks,” notes Walch.

For the more adventuresome, Walch indicates fuschia will be the
color pick in the bath.

Walch also sees a difference in consumer color preferences
depending on the type of bath. For example, a powder room may get a
punch of fuschia, while a master bath may have more salmon tones.
Or, the powder room may be done in a 1950s pink, while a master
bath or family bath becomes immersed in aqua greens or blues.

These color differences also underscore the multi-colored design
approach Walch sees.

Come on, get happy
The multi-colored design
approach will also be seen in kitchens, as Walch predicts, citing
yellows and a range of orange accent hues combining to create a
modern look full of contrast that borrows from tradition. Russet
reds are also a strong contender, she adds.

“We will see kitchens tending toward more ‘happy’ yellows,
rather than beiges, in large areas of the kitchen, such as in
flooring and on cabinetry,” says Walch. She adds that on walls,
yellow tones including green, “citrus-y” yellows will be hot.

A range of oranges, starting with melon hues and ending in
terracotta tones, will be applied to small appliances.

Lighter wood flooring, such as birch and maple, will contrast
with other rich wood tones, such as mahogany, on cabinetry, she

Lastly, stainless steel, as well as pewter and brushed nickel
finishes, will also remain a staple in the kitchen, but Walch
advises against black “because the color palette is generally
getter lighter.”


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