Color enriches and influences every aspect of our lives; from what we wear to the environments we create. Of course, floorcovering is an integral foundation for our environments, and the right colors are critical. The connection between colors we choose to live with and where we live is hardwired and always evolving—but with deep-rooted influences.

It is timely, then, that Color Marketing Group has adopted a new methodology of developing its color forecasts. CMG now holds regional ChromaZone meetings in key metropolitan areas across the country throughout the year. Designers and color professionals analyze color directions for their part of the country, and based on that collective, nationwide information, the final forecast is derived and announced at CMG’s annual summit meeting.

The floorcovering industry knows how valuable this forecast is in determining its palettes for 2013 and 2014, because they were well represented in Miami in October 2012. Among the contributing color professionals present were representatives from Mohawk Flooring, J & J Industries, Mannington/Amtico, DalTile, Bigelow Commercial Carpets, Centiva, Congoleum, Shaw Industries, Johnsonite and Beaulieu.

The actual names and color formulas generated by CMG are proprietary to members only, so I have built a comparable reference palette that will give you accurate insights as to the emerging colors.

The Color Roadmap: Your Palette for Success

Let’s talk about the macro-trends that helped forge the color directions for the next two years:

Neo-Geo

There is a radical change in how we view the physical world. Earth has evolved from “clean” dirt and minerals to a stratified mix that now includes bits of plastics, trash and shards of glass. Prints and patterns for carpets will pick up on this new geology concept.

Look for patterns that simulate colorful geodes and stone-like patterns. Contemporary versions will emerge reflecting neo-geo. Yarns with varying luster levels will be combined for interest and colors seem to change with the light of the day. Tactility will be even more important—high texture with a natural look, and luxurious softness.

Contemporary Minimalism

Design has been moving toward a “less is more” concept for several years now. An austere world economy has moved this to a macro-trend for 2013-2014. We will continue to design around what we “need” rather than clutter our interiors with useless things. Simplification—but with the introduction of even more high-tech comforts—will influence our environments. Ease of maintenance goes along with this trend, and manufacturers of all flooring types will consider this a priority in their product development.

Next Nature

The floorcovering industry has done a great job of interpreting patterns (example: organic, botanical, aqueous) from nature into carpet—both broadloom and carpet tiles. Porcelain tile manufacturers have done the same.

Now, enter “next nature”—patterns that reflect a new rendered reality. Natural and virtual will combine to produce fresh new versions of nature. Pixelization, cubed and triangular shapes that look as if they have jumped off a computer screen, will all be interpreted into soft surfaces. Gradiant tones of color (ombre effects) within one carpet or area rug will be available. Tile will also employ these new color techniques. Vibrant colors will be interpreted into luxury vinyl tile with mix-and-match capabilities, especially useful for contract work (healthcare, education, hospitality).

Past Meets Present

Nostalgic times are looking pretty good to all of us right now. Colors from mid-century are optimistic, and these colors are strongly incorporated in the forecasted palette. Art Deco influences helped shape the new colors as well. In certain regions of the country, colors with historical importance found their way into the palette. These colors from the past bring with them associations of optimism, stability and comfort.

Sustaina-blue

Just about every region in the country agreed that America is pretty “greened-out.” Greens have dominated the palette for the last five years and we are ready for change. Two years ago, CMG predicted that blues would be the new flag-bearer for sustainability, and that has become reality. Even the new greens are touched with blue. Sustainability in design is more important than ever. Reuse, re-claim, re-share, repurpose: This is the mantra for the remainder of the decade.

See how these trends brought about the projected colors that earned a place in the new palette for 2013 and 2014:

Greens and Blue-Greens

JulepMint Juleps on a hot summer’s day reflect this cool green that has Art Deco roots.
Techno GreenA mid-toned green that works for interiors or exteriors.
CaribbeanA perfect balance of deep green touched by blue. Area rugs will capture this color.

Yellow-Greens

VibeBright and optimistic, this green is a new version of lime and a bit acidic.
Split PeaStill keeps green on the light side with this mid-toned color.

Blues

NemoA velvety blue with enough clarity to keep it lively.
Georgian BlueDefinitely a “past meets present” color drawn from colonial times. A favorite color-to-be, especially in the Northeast.
TanzanistaThis gem-like blue captures the essence of tanzanite. Blue kissed with purple.
CrispinBluA deep, thoughtful blue that is peaceful and pairs beautifully with white.
Beyond MidnightBlack has been replaced by this color. It’s less stark than pure black and also more interesting.

Yellows

MoonrayA true neutral, this is a warm beige with a miniscule touch of green.
HaystackNatural, warm and golden in tone with a slight undertone of orange.
DijonYellow goes deep with this hue. The color of pure egg yolks, it’s definitely one of the optimistic colors.

Reds

LusciousPinks and reds are important and well-represented for the next two years. They reflect health and well-being. Luscious has pink undertones and lightens red to a livable interior color.
StatementLipstick red and interiors can wear it with confidence. A great accent color.
Velvet RosePicture a freshly painted New England barn trimmed in crisp white.
V-8Orange is not gone, but reconfigured wearing a coat of red.

Warm Neutrals

ChangesThis is the color you’ve been waiting for, a complex mid-toned neutral that harmonizes with just about everything. Every floorcovering type will pick up on this color because it is timeless and easy to live with.
Sweet CocoaJust as it sounds, it’s a rich, but neutral, brown.
BroodingAnother alternative to black, Brooding is deep and grounded, but with a touch of brown.
Rich BrewEven darker than Brooding, black has some new competition.

Cool Neutrals

WhisperGrey is stepping back from its current huge presence in interiors. But Whisper represents grey well, with a “whisper” undertone of soft green.
NeoGeoNot black, not grey, not green, it’s a blend of all three producing a chameleon color that is mineral-like.

Metallic

MetallicaWe are ready for a new metal color that hasn’t been overdone. Metallica is a hybrid that defies an accurate label. Picture bubbling champagne that is a no-color color. Special finishes with color flecks will give it glimmer and substance. Carpet manufacturers will enjoy playing with this color and varying luster levels. Tile and LVT manufacturers will love it as well.

Since these are emerging colors, you will see some new product introductions wearing these hues in the very near future. It’s exciting to watch colors of the future come to life before your eyes.

Most of these colors won’t appear until later in the new year or into 2014, but they are on the way. The forecast colors bring energy and a message of new beginnings to interiors. The new color harmonies that can be created are a break-away from what we’ve seen the last few years. The muted, grayed-down colors are waning and making way for crisp, clean hues.

It’s all about new beginnings and colors will be our roadmap to the future.