As we look for the comfort and connections being denied during COVID-19, we instinctively turn toward the warmer side of neutrals. Browns are substantive and provide solid support to other color ranges, from icy pastels to optimistic, modern mid-tones and brights. These shades are attracting our attention.
A Shot of Espresso
Tied to our coffee culture and the lifestyle it has cultivated, approximately 69 percent of Americans drink two or more cups of coffee each day. With our gaze so closely focused on the warm and inviting shades of dark, rich brown, how can we not be enamored with espresso? Coffee’s full-bodied flavor has inspired this satisfyingly strong shade. With a subtle undertone of red heating up this hot hue, this chocolaty color is certain to percolate and command center stage.
Face to Face
Soft, flushed flesh tones with a warm pink undertone reminiscent of the color after a day of hiking or gardening in the sun. Fourteen percent of us don’t live in the country we were born in, creating a true cultural mash-up across the globe. Whatever the reason for our migration, we blend our inherited cultures with the cultures of the places we land, evidenced by a beautiful spectrum of splendid skin tones that add life and comfort to products that embrace them.
As earthy shades surface this season, we look to humble materials for color inspiration. The red-casted warmth of terracotta and clay touches us on a visceral level. As a human family, we have utilized this material for centuries to shelter and protect us, to carry our food and our water. It has a kind and kindred connection and a comforting chroma. It also carries us back to more naïve and nostalgic times, one that is familiar and speaks of simplicity. Clay is a time-honored hue with conventional ties. We will use it to build upon for a cornerstone of our neutral palette.
As the gourmet trends continue to focus on foraged fungi, with the NY Times naming mushrooms the “it vegetable of 2019” (though it’s not really a vegetable), we see the range of fleshy mushroom tones, rising in importance. The curvaceous forms of mushrooms are quite versatile, which translate easily into contemporary lighting and cozy, comfortable furniture. With their subtle shades of various warmed whites to teasingly taupe casts, their earthy colors engage us. They exude a halo of health.