Laurie Gorelick Interiors


Trend Watch Tuesday -- Mood Swings

Something I'm loving right now is a trend toward moody, dusky wall colors. It's ironic because I thought color theorists and trend spotters felt that these colors forebode pessimism about the economy: neutrals and darker tones appear in fashion and design when times are tough and people seek safe, classic color choices with longevity; whereas bright colors prevail when things are looking up and folks are more likely to take risks and splurge on trends. With our U.S. economy picking up from the Great Recession, I would expect hot colors to be prevalent now.

Whatever one's economic mood, these dusky colors present wonderful opportunities to create cozy yet dramatic interiors.  I love them for setting a restful mood. Think of them for dens, libraries and small guest bedrooms. Sherwin Williams hit the nail on the head when they created their "Curiosity" palette for their 2014 Color Forecast.


Except for Show Stopper Red, these dusky pewters, plums, peacock and bronzes are perfect for enveloping walls in atmospheric tones.

I'm also noticing that, in order to allow these colors to work their magic, designers are painting the walls top to bottom, from crown to base molding and sometimes the ceiling, in these tones. Before, we tended to accent trim with a color that contrasted with walls. But these moody colors work best when trim, doors and walls are painted uniformly. Take for example, this study by Windsor Smith. Contrasting the black walls with white trim provides a graphic punch. Okay if you want stimulation.


                                                       Windsor Smith Home via

Now look at this office, all in black, in the home of Aerin Lauder.


                                                       Photo by Simon Upton, courtesy of Elle Decor.

The black walls, cabinetry, trim and ceiling create a monolithic, less jarring backdrop. They allow the books, artwork, table top and carpet to provide focus and interest in the space.

Here are some examples of how these colors are working in a variety of abodes. Are you game?


                                                                       Den by Angie Hranowsky


                                   Dressing Room by Celerie Kemble. Photo by William Waldron courtesy of Elle Decor.


                        Lobby, The Captain Fairfield Inn. Interior design by Rachel Reider Interiors. Photo by Rare Brick.


                   Interior Design by Charlotte Barnes. Photo by Michael Partenio courtesy of New England Home Magazine.


                                                                  Photo by Mikkel Vang, courtesy of Elle Decor.


                                 Interior Design by Jennette Whitson. Photo by Simon Watson courtesy of House Beautiful.