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Trend forecasters discover trends before they are apparent to most people. These are the people who set the trends into motion when they make their best guess as to which color and design elements the market will want to buy in the future.
Yes, you read that right. They guess. Trend forecasters are always guessing. They look at mega, macro and micro trends and then couple their findings with their in-depth knowledge of an industry or market.
A successful trend forecaster has the ability to weigh current information against what they have learned from years of experience and not only predict future directions for color and design but also give solid justifications for why these are the trend directions. In other words, the best trend forecasters are those who are pretty darn good at guessing correctly.
But you don’t need to be a professional forecaster to discover upcoming trends. Rather than forecasting the trends you can find trends ahead of the curve by spotting them as they just begin to hit the market. This is known as trendspotting and is actually what the vast majority of people that talk about trends are doing.
For many years trend forecasting was a big part of my job. Today, I don’t spend nearly as much time focused on trends as I once did. These days, I am more of a trend spotter, and with 2017 quickly approaching I am sharing three of my favorite tips so that you can try your hand at trendspotting, too.
Tip #1 Know the difference between a fad and a trend
You Find a FAD
People often refer to fads and trends as if they are one and the same. This is not the case. There is a difference between a fad and a trend.
A fad is a here-today-gone-tomorrow color, design or style. Fads rise fast. They seem to explode onto the scene out of nowhere. They are often mainly popular at first with a particular age group or type of person and then grow from there. Remember Day-Glo colors, anyone?
Fads are fun and create followers. They are relatively short lived and fade from the mainstream within two years or less. Still they are often long remembered after they are gone because so many people shared the experience of the fad even if they didn’t participate in it.
You track a TREND
A trend comes about as a result of myriad cultural, political, social and economic factors that interact to influence our preferences. Trends respond to human needs and emotions. Trends become trends because they address an unspoken need or desire that many people share at a particular time.
Currently looking to our lineage gives us feelings of strength and stability. Out of this comes the trend of reinventing classic and historical designs rather seeking something completely new. This also signals that the trend of placing importance on neutrals for for both home interiors and exteriors will continue.
People notice trends slowly and are usually unaware of a trend at first. As it becomes more prevalent, it crosses into different groups of people, expands into more geographical areas and types of products, which is how it gains strength, power, and longevity.
Tip #2 Don’t jump on or off a trend too quickly
In the past, a typical trend would last centuries or at least decades. Today, a trend generally last for four to seven years.
Many people think that a color trend lasts about a year and that by the following year that color is no longer on trend. That might be what many retailers and manufactures would like you to think because it can boost sales but it isn’t exactly true.
Certainly talking about color trends and naming trend colors annually has become an effective marketing tool but trends evolve rather than change completely from year to year. Anything that comes into favor and disappears just as quickly is a fad.
A typical trend curve looks like this. Keep in mind the timeline is usually from four to seven years:
A trend life cycle and the designs it inspires can differ in lengths. For example, you might remember how popular “Tuscan colors” were for home interiors at one time. At about the same time grapes and anything wine related were popular design motifs seen in these colors. Both arose from the influence of our fascination with Italy and specifically, Tuscany. The life cycle of the colors was seven or more years while the motif of grapes or wine peaked after two years and only was around for about four.
As trends change, colors shift warmer or cooler and become more or less intense. For example, recently the grays we favor have become warmer and beige (sometimes called greige.) Also, darker brownish grays emerged followed by a return of truer brown to the color trends palette.
It doesn’t mean that gray has fallen out of trend. What is means is that as things in the world have changed so have our emotions and thus the colors we want to surround ourselves with but it usually isn’t a big change. It is a subtle change from year-to-year. In four or more years you will be able to look back and see a more drastic shift in what is now popular versus what once was on trend.
With all of the variety of colors available your style can evolve from one year to the next just as trends do. The great news is that if you are looking at home exterior trends they last far longer than most trends and the DaVinci Roofscapes Slate and Shake colors are timeless.
A key tip is to follow your instincts. Always select an exterior roof, siding or trim colors that you love and look best for your home. That’s a true way to always be in style. If however, you just love one of those colors that is very hot right now my last tip will tell you how to keep it from looking passé.
Tip #3 Keep your colors from looking dated by avoid these combinations
Is there a color that you once loved, but today would seem outdated in your home? Some of the answers I get for that question are avocado and gold, gray and mauve as well as chocolate brown and aqua. At one time, these color combinations were all very trendy.
Do you notice anything about those popular responses?
Something they all have in common?
All of the examples are pairs of colors. Rarely does someone reply with a single color.
That is because it usually isn’t a particular color that puts a time stamp on your design. It is a combination of colors that were so popular that you began seeing them everywhere. You might have even chosen them for your own scheme.
At one time, a combination of chocolate brown and aqua was so wildly popular that I started calling it “Choc-qua.” Today when you see a room in these colors you can pretty accurately guess when it was decorated.
Brown with a color other than aqua … or even aqua with another color such as gold or navy blue or green, would be harder to know just by the colors alone. Keeping that in mind, the best way to use a trend color is to come up with your own color scheme rather than using it in the same combinations as everyone else. This is the best way to keep your color from feeling either trendy or outdated.
Using a trend color you love more creatively than other people makes your scheme a true reflection of your taste and style … and that is always on trend!
Many paint companies have their trend forecast for 2017 online and you might enjoy seeing what is in store:
Then follow my three tips and you will be well on your way to using this year’s hottest hues in a scheme that sizzles with style all your own.
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