Why color trend predictions are outdated, according to design icon Carleton Varney

Courtesy of Dorothy Draper & Co.

Renowned interior designer Carleton Varney is best known for his love of color – after all, “color is magic” is basically his catchphrase. And while many paint companies are keen on predicting which shades will be in style each year, Varney finds this practice…well, pointless. “The color of the year is what your the color of the year is,” the design icon said during a talk at this year’s Dorothy Draper Decorating Weekend at the Greenbrier.

Varney isn’t alone in his anti-trend stance, as it turns out. Megan Hersch from Room Elevator found that the main problem with predicting what will be fashionable is that “trends will change in a few years”, and that of course means “if something is really trendy, it’s really going to look outdated” sooner or later . This potential predicament is reason enough to instead look for colors – and furniture, for that matter – that you love and feel inspired by. “It should be more important than what’s trending,” she says.

The Greenbrier Resort Dorothy Draper Carleton Varney Color Trend Predictions White Sulfur Springs West Virginia
A hallway at the Greenbrier.

Courtesy of Dorothy Draper & Co.

In the same spirit, Brittany Farinas, CEO and Creative Director of house of one, found that “there are so many brands launching new trending colors; it would be unrealistic if all colors could be popularized at the time in a given period of time.” After all, she adds, “no one has a crystal ball, so it’s best to stick with classic color schemes that match your personal aesthetic or client request.”

Of course, it’s just not sustainable to adhere to all years trend predictions when decorating your home, because that would mean redecorating every year – and that sounds both exhausting and Dear. But, if you fancy incorporating some of a certain trend, Camila Pavone of Effortlessly stylish interiors suggests incorporating small rooms that feature the on-trend color of your choice (as opposed to, say, painting an entire room that hue), through accent pillows or other home accessories. And if the trend comes and goes, at least you’ll be “happy you only spent a small chunk of your budget on accessories for just a moment,” says the designer.

The Greenbrier Resort Dorothy Draper Carleton Varney Color Trend Predictions White Sulfur Springs West Virginia

Courtesy of Dorothy Draper & Co.

Unsurprisingly, there’s a reason we gravitate towards certain colors – different hues are deeply tied to personal emotions. In the chapter titled “Color: Your Magic Wand” in Dorothy Draper’s book Decorating is fun!, the color-obsessed designer spoke poetically about the importance of color in the design world, saying, “I wish there was a word in the English language that means exciting, terribly important , irreplaceable, deeply satisfying, basic and exciting, all at I need this word to tell you how much your awareness of color means to you in decorating. She went on to say that color “is the rock on which your house is built. Without a strong sense of color, without the ability to derive real pleasure and excitement from beautiful colors, we might as well stop right now. I firmly believe that nothing contributes more to the beauty of this world than color.”

The Greenbrier Resort Dorothy Draper Carleton Varney Color Trend Predictions White Sulfur Springs West Virginia

Courtesy of Dorothy Draper & Co.

And while we love to hear what colors paint and color company experts think are going up every year, when it comes down to it, there’s no better barometer than following what you like, like Draper and Varney all marry both. Suffice to say that as long as a color speaks to you, you can’t go wrong.

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About Raymond A. Bentley

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