How nature is influencing color trends

When Pantone revealed that Greenery, a “fresh and zesty yellow-green shade,” was its 2017 Color of the Year, we knew that the pronouncement was indicative of a broader decorating trend: bringing the great outdoors inside. Nature’s hues have inspired consumers’ home decorating choices for decades in ever-evolving ways. Recall the earth tones of the 1970s, the Caribbean-influenced color palette of the ’90s—both nature-inspired but very different. This year’s palette uses nature in versatile, sophisticated ways to suit every type of décor, from traditional to contemporary.

Paint: The Color Marketing Group echoed Pantone’s sentiment regarding yellow-greens as a major trend in home décor. The colors named by these prognosticators bring to mind leafy and lush vegetation, adding zest to an overall gray-cast palette for 2017. Some of the other colors that paint manufacturers are touting this year are as clear as a cloudless blue sky, as deep green as a forest floor, as optimistic as a sun-kissed garden, or as deeply purple as a sunset fading into night.

Wallpaper: Nature is a major theme in wallcovering, not only in terms of color themes but also with regard to the use or replication of natural materials such as cork, sisal, and grasscloth. Floral wallpaper has been popular since it was invented, but state-of-the-art printing methods and sophisticated designs give florals an updated look. Wallpaper murals also tend to be natural in theme, whisking you away (figuratively speaking, of course) to a seaside cottage or a mountain villa.

Fabrics: This year’s fabric trends likewise feature natural hues and textures. Colors are somewhat earthy, and designs—even when nature themed—have a sophisticated, contemporary sensibility. As with wallpaper, floral designs are huge—and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.

Window Coverings: Even though window coverings manufacturers have broadened their color selection, neutral colors continue to dominate in such categories as miniblinds and pleated or cellular shades. The influence of nature shows itself at the window with the continuing popularity of wood blinds—both real and faux—as well as woven wood shades and plantation shutters. Faux-wood blinds provide the desired natural wood at a fraction of the real thing’s cost.

Flooring: Consumers love the look of wood beneath our feet, so much so that a wood-like appearance isn’t confined to hardwood. Laminate flooring, vinyl tile, even porcelain tile are being fabricated to replicate the look of real wood. Real wood can be hard to maintain, so these trends give consumers the best of both worlds: the look they crave with minimal maintenance.