Update: 2011 Color of the Year & Color Trends

December 1, 2010

More information continues to come from different sources reporting on next year’s color trends since my original post on the 2011 Color of the Year, back on August 18th. Interesting that Benjamin Moore chose “Vintage Wine” as the color for 2011 which they describe as a “rich hue with a deep brown base and a hint of smoky violet”.  They chose a theme of  “balance”.  Although I like the color, especially as it is shown in their photo below; I must say, I think the international team from Akzo Nobel has a better handle on how people are feeling with their theme of “appreciation” and their lighter, airy, citrus yellow that symbolizes positive energy, hope and optimism. I know I am finding that more paint clients of mine are expressing a desire to “lighten things up”.

Ben Moore's pick for 2011 Color of the Year (Vintage Wine)

I was recently interviewed by Andrea Veron for her All The Trappings blog, and I have to say, I still feel that the color trends I’m seeing more and more of are complex neutrals including whites–what I call “atmospheric ‘no color, colors’ “.  Of course, these colors are complex because they are full spectrum! In the past few months, I’ve been delighted to have been called such names as “interior wizard” and “marketing master” in articles that appeared in Country Roads Magazine and In Register Magazine, but I have to say, I think I like the name “Little Ms. Sunshine” the best! Of course, I don’t know if you could call drinking a bottle of wine in front of the fire an “interview” but it could account for Andrea’s effusive praise. 🙂

All The Trappings: Little Ms. Sunshine

Now, don’t get me wrong, I do LOVE color, but most of the designers I work with, like Barry Johnson (see Summer 2009 Living Well Newsletter), use neutrals in the main living spaces and the bright or a deep dark colors in rooms with no or little natural light.

Sherwin Williams was all over the place with palettes of every kind, ranging from understated neutrals to exotic, saturated hues and soft pastels.  No one color was selected as the color for 2011.

Word or shall I say “Twitter Buzz” is out that Pantone’s pick for 2011 Color of the Year will be announced on Thursday, December 9th, so stay tuned!




  1. Oh, Ellen–erm, I mean–Little Ms. Sunshine 😉

    I have to say that I feel Benjamin Moore is WAY out of touch with this theory!

    That color reminds me of the mid nineties plum and khaki combo, which in my humble opinion was just awfully drab and dour, not to mention quite trendy–as it certainly didn’t win the test of time. I could be proven wrong, but I think this choice is a bit staid and off-base (no pun intended) 😉

    I believe that your analysis is correct, and the lighter, crisper and more atmospheric colors are what are on the forefront, and are here to stay 🙂


    • Thanks Andrea! I can’t wait to see what Pantone comes up with. In the past, I’ve found them to run a year behind Akzo but more people seem to think they are the top dogs when it comes to color trends.

  2. […] Update: 2011 Color of the Year & Color Trends Final word on 2011 Color of the Year December 9, […]

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