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#052: Using Color Confidently in Your Space + PPG 2022 Color of the year with Amy Donato of PPG Paints

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Welcome to Make Space! On the show today, I am sitting down with a specialist over at PPG Paints and we are talking about all things paint and color.  We dive into the color of the year: what it is this year, what it means, and how you can use it to inspire your spaces and try new things. 

We also talk about paint colors, how they curate them, how they make them, and all kinds of fun facts that will help you use color confidently in your space and give you a peek behind the scenes in how color works from the paint pros themselves. I can’t wait for you to learn all these amazing tips from my friends at PPG. 

You can download this episode from Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcher, and Spotify – or listen to it below!

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in this episode:

[02:31] Amy’s journey becoming a color expert

[03:29] Process of forecasting colors

[06:45] Pandemic impacts on color design trends and color forecasting 

[09:26] Color of 2022 and how it was selected

[13:13] Generational color and design trends

[17:22] What to do if you are stuck in the color swirl 

[22:20] Naming paint colors

[24:27] Stain of the year and the return of wood

[27:26] Amy’s favorite colors and top recommendations

[30:39] Paint picking tips: 60-30-10 rule

[32:38] What Cara is obsessed with this week

[33:59] Trend talk for this week: Whites

[02:31] Amy’s journey to becoming a color expert

Amy didn’t know a job like hers existed until she came to PPG. She’s been working in color since the end of 2019. She always had an interest in fashion, aesthetics, style, why we like the things that we like, and trends that we crave.

[03:29] Process of forecasting colors

PPG is really unique in that they have over 35 color stylists globally in 11 different regions of the world. They really represent all different types of customers, segments, and surfaces. PPG’s pillars are not just on the color of your wall or outside of your house. They have this global approach and this global footprint and they get to see what is going on on all of these different surfaces. So the colors of all of these different things end up giving us a really unique view of what’s going on in the world. 

They have so many different data points. Their team comes together every year in January and they do research and report on what’s going on in the different regions. They have all different types of resources that they go to and data points. They bring all of that data together in addition to their regional reporting, and they present it all out to each other. It’s so unique that they have that global view, and can combine everything. 

[06:45] Pandemic impacts on color design trends and color forecasting 

The pandemic has had a huge impact. Last year, when they did their color forecasting, the big trend was beige. It makes a lot of sense because beige is warm and it’s comforting. During the pandemic with everybody being stuck at home that craving for comfort was just magnified. So last year for their color of the year, rather than just one color, they actually did a trio.

[09:26] Color of 2022 and how it was selected

They got together in January again and their global team this year was fully virtual for the first time ever. They were able to keep the integrity of their process and in some ways even discovered new ways of working that made them more efficient. 

The 2022 color of the year is called Olive Sprig and It’s a soft gray, green. Green was the rising color in the design market hands down. It’s really usable. So they’re almost describing it like a neutral because of how usable it is. It brightens the space and it has an organic liveliness to it.

[13:13] Generational color and design trends

These kinds of inflection points in history or these stressful periods that we’ve gone through when we come out the other side, we crave color. A great example is like they’re actually drawing a lot of inspiration from the roaring 20s and kind of that Gatsby Era and the richness and the drama. They built a palette, they’re calling it the invaluable palette, and it definitely has a Gatsby kind of vibe to it. It’s really rooted in elegance, tradition, and glamour and artistic interiors. These colors are a little bit more rich and dark but they work together and they look great with Olive Sprig. They go beautifully with dark wood and warm metal accents. 

[17:22] What to do if you are stuck in the color swirl 

When customers get stuck in that color swirl they tell them to think about what they want to get out of the space. Are you looking for something that’s more calming? Are you looking for something that’s more balanced? Are you looking for something that’s more welcoming? Then you pick your color based on that.  Yellows are great for entryways and kitchens because they are welcoming.  Olive Sprig is going to be great in lots of areas of your kitchen and really the living room. It’s also great for the bedroom because it is just going to provide that kind of that grounding that you’re looking for. 

[22:20] Naming paint colors

They have lots of different inspirations. They actually just went through a project where they got some new names and they wanted to refresh some of their color names. One of our greatest inspirations is their employees. They definitely ask their employees for help naming their colors and then even their customers. Recently they asked customers via Instagram to name some colors and give us their best inspiration for fillers. They also look a lot at nature, animals, and food. 

[24:27] Stain of the year and the return of wood

PPG does have a stain color of the year. Last year, the color was light oak. It was so pretty and it went really well with that trio of colors. It’s really light, organic, and bright. They’re seeing the return of wood everywhere. A Canadian study showed wood is perceived by subjects as being warm, inviting, homey, and relaxing. 

[27:26] Amy’s favorite colors and top recommendations

She definitely recommends always considering whatever the color of the year is. There’s so much thought and consideration that goes into it. Olive Sprig is really going to be a great choice right now. Another color of ours that she absolutely loves is Nightwatch and this was actually their color of the Year in 2019. It’s a dark green, but it has a hint of blue in it and from different lights it can kind of look different. 

She loves pairing both of those colors with white delicate their most popular white that they have and it can go with warm colors or cool colors. Another color she recommends a lot is Midsummer’s dream. It’s one of those ones that as the daylight changes, it can look a little different. It’s a great way to start the day and then yet somehow in the evening helps you wind down and relax.

One other color that she loves is called Cinnamon Diamond. It’s pink but it is somehow earthy. You can look at it up and see it has a little bit of a richness and darkness to it. It’s like if millennial pink had a more sophisticated sister. It’s really unique and has a little bit of that organicness to it that you wouldn’t necessarily think a pink would have.

[30:39] Paint picking tips: 60-30-10 rule

For the 60-30-10 rule, you paint 60% of the room and your main color. Then 30% could maybe be like cabinets, ceiling, trim, or  things like that. And then 10% is your accent color so that can be maybe more in your decor, like pillows, fancy chairs, or things like that. One of the easiest ways to think about how to coordinate three colors in a room use the 60-30-10 rule.

[32:38] What Cara is obsessed with this week

Cara is obsessed with making individual tiny cakes made of oats in little ramekins every night this week. It’s like a personal cake situation that I saw on Tik Tok. But you should be obsessed with episode number 10 of the podcast. It’s all about creating polish color palettes and using bold colors successfully in your space. It kind of brings you some tips on how to really rock those bold colors and that bright pops of color in a room without it feeling overly playful like a kindergarten classroom. It has a lot of good strategies for creating balance, creating cohesiveness through your space, and how to build a palette. It has my go to hack for building paint palettes, which is not to start from scratch, you actually steal them from professionals. I’ll tell you how so hop over to Episode 10. 

[33:59] Trend talk for this week: Whites

If you did not know we are currently in a color trend of black and white. Previously, we went through a big gray phase where everyone was into gray and before that we have the kind of Tuscan Era beige phase. So we dove into this in depth on my episode with Maria Killam, who is a color expert and she specializes in helping you understand undertones and identify what that means for your space. 

But all this to say we are really loving white right now across the board. White interiors are very popular. Trends are here to help us try on new things and they’re here as an option for us. So trends can be very helpful if you don’t know what to do, so you just need some direction to try and see if you love it. Right now, white is super in. Here’s the trick, there is no such thing as a perfect white. Although you might find lists and lists of them on Pinterest or on the internet, the perfect white is the perfect white for your space. 

Let’s say that you have very bright orangish wood floors. So like it’s a mid tone wood, but it skews very orange. This could be a great thing or this could be a horrible thing, depending on how you love this tone. White could actually change the look on your floors, depending on the whote. Let’s say you want to downplay this, you do not love the orange.  You’re going to want to go with a warm white. A warm white is going to pull that warm color off the floors and onto the walls, giving the whole space kind of more of a warm tint and making it feel very blended and to kind of camouflage the orange because it’s going to fit in with the rest of the room. 

Now let’s say you love the look of these floors, the tone is beautiful, and you want them to pop. You’re going to look for a cool white. A cool white actually has blue undertones and blue and orange are opposite of each other on the color wheel, which makes them complimentary colors. When we pair these complimentary colors, they look really good to our brain, our brain kind of loves it. It also creates contrast, because blue is a cool color and range is a warm color. So putting them together creates kind of a dynamic of contrast. 

connect with ppg paints

instagram: @ppgpaints // website: ppgpaints.com

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