Color is an ever-changing testimony to the state of our lives, our economy, our society, our world. Translate that to a universal standard and it can be said that during times of uncertainty and global discord, Americans tend to seek "comfort colors" in their personal environment. Natural materials see an uptick in popularity during stressful times as well. People gravitate toward soothing elements in their home interiors. The choice of linens, cottons, silks, sisals and natural woods all create a "comfort cache" for the home environment. Even man-made materials replicate looks from nature on a level never before imagined. Technology has enabled these masterful faux materials to replicate nature with uncanny accuracy.

Even so, in the on-going battle of technology versus nature, nature is still well ahead.

This brings us to a secondary design trend that continues to shape decorating decisions on the home-the demand for authenticity. We want to feel grounded, connected-and using well-crafted, nature-based products in our homes provides that authenticity. Our home environments need to counterbalance the negativity of the daily headlines as we employ design to create a three-dimensional personal refuge. Understandably, the new color palette was strongly influenced by the consumer's desire to create that refuge, providing a balance between energizing the family (through use of vibrant, playful colors), and creating regenerative living spaces (using natural elements and calming colors). The result is a palette for 2007 that is a dichotomy of colors: quieter in some regards from we saw in 2006, but spiked with colors that evoke optimism. According to Color Marketing Group International, color inspirations are coming from a variety of sources: rare botanical species, glistening rain forests, texture-rich quarried stone, minerals of the earth, and exotic natural woods.

Historically, "comfort colors" have been safe and often a bit drab. But beware-the design world is on the threshold of a major shake-up. Consumers have fallen in love with color and refuse to revert to conservative tones of gray and beige -or "greige" as we all it. As our nerves are frayed by what's occurring in many parts of the world, we want to empower ourselves by controlling our environment. We want color choices-comfort colors AND optimistic lights-and-brights. Also look for patterns, textures and forms to be as prominent as the colors themselves.

In the world of floor coverings this will translate into product introductions that give new meaning to "out-of-the-box" thinking. You can expect carpet palettes to simulate nature, but many will now feature colorful blended accent yarns. When added to solid color carpets they bring surprising new harmonies to broadloom. Also, manufacturers will experiment with yarns that offer different light reflective qualities. The result is some interesting visual textures. Patterns continue to be hot commodities, and flowing, large-scale designs will add character to rooms. Natural materials such as slate, marble and granite provide excellent color cues for carpet manufacturers.

In hard surface, look for a sharp raise in the popularity of porcelain tile. Manufacturers have worked overtime to craft the look of natural materials. And consumers searching for authenticity will likely be taken aback by the new porcelain options. They offer an affordable alternative to natural stone while capturing the essence of nature's colors and textures. Tile and stone flooring applications will also play with form and shape, relinquishing the traditional square shapes for larger rectangles, hexagons, and an eclectic mix of sizes to create an overall flooring masterpiece. Adding an element of surprise is now seen as the key to memorable home interiors, and flooring certainly lends itself to doing just that.

Three very influential factors helped shape the coming palette. For one: The direction of color is frequently being steered by ethnic influences, especially in the "light-and-bright" colors. Next, look for neutrals to tell a color story in and of themselves-interesting enough to carry an entire room. And finally, colors in the new palette are making the cut due to their ability to mix it up! They blend, they contrast, they bring an element of excitement and ultimately fresh color harmonies that say "surprise!"

Theses are the key reasons next year promises to be an exciting color year. The emerging palette is steeped in optimism; offering comfort and hope, and ultimately reflecting the amazing resilience of our American spirit.



Consumer goods will feature this fresh blue-green that draws its inspiration from the sea. Cool, joyous and youthful, home interiors will embrace this new young color.


A darker version of Seakilt, Valor deepens to a smooth blue-green that lowers your body temperature just by looking at it.


Deep, rich "chocolate-y", Godiva will be one of the foundation colors for 2007. Built to harmonize, look for Godiva to complement corals, botanical greens, deep pinks and aquas on the home interior stage.


The 2007 contract palette introduced "Coralite", a deep-toned, clay-baked pink. The residential palette has borrowed that basic hue from contract and infused it with more white to produce a softer version for home interiors.


Soft and livable, this warm saturated green will carry home interiors to the deeper side of the palette. Another foundation color, warm neutrals will pair beautifully with Spruce-It to produce a restful interior.


The most vibrant of the 2007 color introductions, Aegean carries aquatic blue to new depths. Liquid and calming, Aegean emerges as a true luxury color.


Atmospheric in origin, Stratus captures the magnetism and depth of storm clouds. It is a mid-toned neutral that successfully blends gray, brown and purple! Complex and soothing.


A deep, full-bodied red, Claret has cool undertones that make a statement about luxury. Paired with neutrals, warm golds or botanical greens, Claret is the bridge to a number of exciting new color harmonies.


Shimmering, softly metallic and elegant, Regale introduces a muted purple to the home interiors palette. The transportation sector favors this color and home interiors will enjoy it in myriad ways.


One brown in the new palette is simply not enough. Enter Cinnamon Glaze, which is borrowed from the Fashion sector. This color is a warmer mid-toned brown with strong influences of red. Its name promises something rich and sweet and that is exactly what Cinnamon Glaze fulfills visually.


This color captures a subtle tint of yellow and comes across as a neutral. Everything from paint to upholstery to carpet will employ Vanilla Crème to balance out the deeper colors present in the 2007 palette. This promises to be one of the big winners for the coming year.


A calmer and softer orange than its 2006 counterpart, this is a global color-warm and hopeful. Pennywise brings optimism to the palette, whether dressed in a soft matte finish or sporting metallic flecks in consumer goods.


Organic in origin, this restful color has regenerative qualities. A yellow-influenced green, it's softer than the established 2006 green hues.


Originally forecasted to make its debut in 2006, Positano is a late bloomer and will fulfill its destiny in 2007. Sunny, golden and deep, its name reflects its inspiration-sun-drenched Positano on Italy's Amalfi Coast.



Interiors are still fixated on the orange family, but Pottery tones it down from 2006. Soft undertones of brown make it easy to live with. Home interiors will embrace this new color in fabrics and as a spicy accent color.


Get ready for a relaxing neutral green that will hit the ground running in 2008. Grey combines with green to produce a smokey, ethereal color that will find its niche in wall color, carpeting and upholstery.


Delectable to the eye, here's just a tint of mint leaning towards the warm side of the color wheel. Paired with Greenwood, a new color harmony is born.


Combine the deep essence of mineral colors, and the result is Stoneage. A propensity towards green-based gray, look closely and you'll find a touch of blue as well.


Creamy and almost bridal, here is a satiny color that is a true neutral. Look for a subtle undertone of soft green to make it interesting.


A tasty olive green that's anything but drab. Visual Communications introduced this new hue, and home interiors readily gave it a thumbs-up.