Skip to main content
Colour Trends

Vancouver Colour Consultant: Here’s How Colour Trend Forecasting Works

By 09/22/2011December 7th, 201715 Comments
The restaurant we had dinner in on Sunday night had this art with Texas is Colorful behind me. (Maria Killam)
Okay, so if I told you the ACTUAL colours we ended up with this past weekend, I would have to swear you to secrecy along with double secret handshakes, etc and well, given that you are not in my living room, that would be hard to do. So I’m just going to let you in on the process we use in colour forecasting.
Colour marketing professionals do not sit around and just conjure up new colours for the unassuming public to give you a bunch of random new shades to buy. It’s about studying where all colours are going in all industries – fashion, automotive and technology, for example. We do this to get a feel for what is coming next. All of this is based on what YOU are already buying.
Each expert arrives with their “NEXT” colours along with their “story” behind each one. It’s the story behind the colours that is important; in other words, how you arrived at the colours you are seeing next. This was the board my group created (above). Then the facilitator of each group of colour experts takes their final colours to Steering which we distill even further to arrive at our palette of colours for the next two to three years.
So here were some of the “stories” behind the colours:
Taking FlightBirds In response to the heaviness politically and economically, people are looking to be uplifted, and to have a feeling of happiness, lightness and freedom. No constraints.


Yellow: Last year the Colour Marketing Group announced “Honeymoon” as being the colour of the year. Most of our group had not used it yet but gold has influenced yellow for value, richness, affordable luxury. As I mentioned the other day, my on-line clients have not been interested in yellow in the past year; however I am using yellow for the clients whose homes I’m designing here in Vancouver.


Green: Homegrown, natural, green movement, eco, wellness, alive, more energy, freshness, healthy. It’s Nature’s neutral because it goes with every colour. A flash back to youth.
Kelly greens have been on the peripheral of greens and shown in higher end fabrics for the past five years but yellow-greens have still been more popular. Yellow-greens are still here because of the green movement. They did not disappear with the brown trend of the 2000s like they did in the 80s when avocado green stayed in the 70s.
Some colourful pipes in the Pearl District in San Antonio. A trend I have not seen in Vancouver.
You already saw the orange I mentioned in yesterday’s post. Blue is rich, deep and vibrant. It’s cleaner which makes sense as cleaner colours work well together if that’s where colour is going. Purple is moving to a more glamorous and elegant shade. Deeper and less feminine.
So that’s how it works.
I had dinner with Donna from Comin’ Home (below). She lives in Texas and was in town with her husband for a conference. How could I not love someone that posts a sweet comment on every single post I write
(Donna, this doesn’t mean you have to do it forever. 🙂
She is just as charming and lovely in person as she is in her blog.
Maria & Donna
We had such a great evening, it was the highlight of my week. Donna and her husband picked the most perfect, magical, touristy spot right by the river for dinner (don’t remember what it was called) and it was so fun to be able to sit outside without a sweater (very rare for Vancouver even in the heat of summer).
The restaurant
The view from our table
The first day when we toured The Pearl District we were told that originally the river was basically used for sewage and the city had to decide whether to pave over it or turn it into a tourist attraction! It’s a good thing they did because they get 11 million visitors a year. San Antonio is a lovely city, I wish I had more time to see it!
By the way I’m STILL working on my new website. It’s taking longer than I thought and I am starting to worry about how it’s going to work going from Blogger to WordPress. Advice would be appreciated!

Download my eBook, It’s All in the Undertones. If you have a computer, you can download my book!

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact me.

To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!

If you would like to learn to how choose the right colours for your home or for your clients, become a True Colour Expert.

Related posts:
While you’re here, subscribe to this feed so you don’t miss out!


0 pins


  • Amanda says:

    Thanks for sharing that, I found that really interesting as a person who LOVES colour. I always wonder how it is that the shops you walk past have similar colours and who decides. I love colour so much that I do a 'colour of the week' post on my blog each Friday.

  • pve design says:

    I agree that colour is trending happy. Each of us needs to look for the happy. I have been noticing more clear brights looking fresh.
    Fun trip and how nice that you made time for your reader and fan.

  • Karena says:

    Maria you look great as always!! I love that you shared the thought process with us! It is fun to see where fashion, decor, etc is, and is headed!

    Art by Karena

    I hope you come to enter my Giveaway from Interieurs!

  • Lesli at My Old Country House says:

    This is absolutely fascinating to me…maybe it is my science background…or my Arts background, I don't know. Being a pink a blue person my ears always perk up when I hear about them. I predicted a kind of wine rose pink-deeper and more mature and an almost pale true blue and also the baby blue version of this – less the green….

  • Donna Frasca ♋ says:

    Love seeing the inside process of color forecasting even though I don't agree with the color choices most of the time. Is it ok if I share my thoughts?

    • Mulberry – absolutely LOVE it and what it represents. A+
    • Yellow – Last years 'Honeymoon' was a bust inside the home – a very dated color. I've been using a "yellow" but tweaking it much softer like Benjamin Moore's 'Barely' – huge hit here!
    • Gray – very popular as well, but only the warmer grays to combo with the softer yellows – stunning.
    • Blue – Nope. They are still very soft and gray here in Charlotte but remains the #1 hue
    • Purple – huge disappointment. The purple shown was popular back in 2007! Now, huge trend towards the softer/gray purple as in 'Magic Potion'. I've used it a lot in bedrooms.
    • Beige – using less and less of this hue. Clients find it very boring and are certainly learning towards gray as their new neutral.
    • Green -love it and using it strongly.

    Great colors for fashion but some, of course, will have to be tweaked for interior color. I do understand they are a color direction and are to be used as guides.

    Maria, I hope I didn't take up too much room here. Fantastic post – very exciting! XO

  • unifiedspace says:

    I really enjoyed your pics, especially the yellow umbrella
    and the pipes clad in knitting! Great to hear you are joining wordpress, good luck with the changeover.

  • KarenE says:

    Those colorful pipes you saw have been "yarn bombed" which is a craze that has taken over in Texas. The Winspear Opera House in Dallas has been yarn bombed in preparation for the musical Hair. Talk about a way to keep color in our lives!

  • Beth at says:

    I love reading your blog because I always learn something new! I always wondered who decided on the next color trend and now I know!
    I'm checking out your friends blog, I'm always up for meeting new Texas bloggers!

  • Donna says:

    Maria, Your explanation of how color experts figure out what's going to be new in the field of colors is really fascinating! I especially liked that first color board you put up..the one your group worked on.

    It was special beyond words sharing the evening with you. And the spot was magical wasn't it? Las Ramblas is a pretty amazing jewel on the San Antonio riverwalk.

    I have to say, Maria, you are just as wonderful and fun in person as you are here at Colour Me Happy–and that says a LOT about who you are.

    Thanks for being my friend. :o)


    PS. Thanks so much for the advice. I changed the header just a bit, because it was a little busy in my opinion. It's the same artist's work but it depicts just a homemaker in the middle with her tools of the trade bursting from the middle of pink petals. Sounds strange, I know, but it looks perfect. Can't wait to see YOUR new website! (Oh and I have worked with page breaks before and a that kind of layout so it didn't take much to do it again.) 🙂

  • The SilverLyne says:

    Last year my son's college soccer team played in the final four in San Antonio–your pictures bring back so many memories!!!

    Thanks for the post on color trending, so interesting. I learn something every time I read your blog.

  • Hi Maria, what fun that must be to do some color research. That stuff fascinates me and I'm glad you clue us in. Hope you are well! Carol

  • Red says:

    The thing I don't understand about the color forecasting board you have pictured is, if it's already in advertisements, wouldn't that make it the "current" red, orange, or neutral and not the "next" one?

  • Zepherbreeze says:

    I've been trying to find the grey with the mulberry undertones.

  • From This Perch says:

    Thanks for posting the "news." I love reading your insights as well.It is going to be a good color year!

  • Doris Davis says:

    I will open my eyes differently to color. Now that I know the process!

Leave a Reply