ColorWatch Takes On New Significance In 2020

Just because host International Housewares Association had to cancel the 2020 Inspired Home Show due to the COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t mean IHA gave up on its annual ColorWatch by Pantone presentation.

The ColorWatch display is an annual fixture at the event, providing visitors with color palettes that offer guidance for the industry in the following year. Laurie Pressman, vp/Pantone Color Institute, has assembled the 2021 color palettes and the product examples that would have been featured in the 2020 exhibit. In working with IHA staff to create the ColorWatch display since its inception 20 years ago, Pressman has studied exhibitors and submissions to select products not only on the basis of color but also of form, finish, texture and scale.

Meant to inspire retailer merchandising and cross-merchandising, ColorWatch includes items from the show’s several product categories as coordinated arrangements each featured in a display case that aligns with a color palette.

After the show’s cancellation, Pantone staff revisited the color palettes under consideration and took into account the stresses 2020 has created for the housewares industry and consumers. The nine Pantone Fashion, Home + Interiors color palettes for 2021 and Color of the Year, along with examples of products illustrating the colors, are:

  • Folkloric draws upon rustic textures, the poetry of pre-tech life and long-forgotten traditions with a focus on the handmade and crafts in surface, materials, patterns and styles. Featured products come from exhibitors And! Sales, Artland, Casabella, Cuisinart, Design Ideas, Evriholder Products, Faneema Cutlery, Larch Wood Enterprises, Le Creuset, Lipper Int’l Inc., Lodge, MUkitchen, Now Designs, SoYoung, Sophistiplate, TAG, Talisman Designs, Typhoon Homewares, Vitrinor and Widgeteer.
  • Terra Cotta reflects baked earth and the warmth found in nature with a casually convivial element expressed in natural fibers and textures. Featured products come from exhibitors Baum-Essex, Brabantia USA, Chantal, Companion Group, Crazy Cap, Design Ideas, Full Circle, Horwood Homewares, Japi, Larch Wood Enterprises, Lock&Lock, Now Designs, Root7 Ltd., The Rope Co., Smiles, Umbra and TAG.
  • Composed orchestrates a blended harmony of neutrals and pastels with cool greys or tones of darker blue in a relaxed, comfortable palette that blurs gender lines with colors that appeal to males and females. Featured products come from exhibitors Baum-Essex, BIA Cordon Bleu, Capital Technology/SALAV USA, Companion Group, Design Ideas, Frieling USA, Japi, Lasko Products, Le Creuset, Lock&Lock, Lodge, Now Designs, Method Sourcing Corp., Moccamaster, MUkitchen, Picnic Time, Takeya USA, The Cookware Co., Swissmar, TAG, Umbra and Via Deco.
  • Vivify represents a different approach to color, one emphasizing positivity and cheerfulness in a fresh new modernity with sunny tones contrasted against black and white. Featured products come from exhibitors Advantus Corp., Artland, Beachware, California Innovations,  Casabella, Chantal, Companion Group, Cuisinart, Design Ideas, Frieling USA, Holstein Housewares, Japi, Jura, Karcher, MUkitchen, Rolser, Storebound, Swizz Style, Tacony, Tovolo, Vitrinor and Umbra.
  • Fleur echoes old world glamour and explores past luxuries with a feeling of romance, passion and intimacy by combining lush reds, deep rose tones, a touch of gold and accents in dark polished forest greens. Featured products come from exhibitors Artland, Better Housewares Corp., Brabantia USA, Casabella, Companion Group, Cuisinart, Escali, Epoca International, Primula, Faneema Cutlery, Fizzing Cool, Le Creuset, TAG and Tovolo.
  • Synergy is immersed in peaceful, quiet and harmonious nature as it unfolds in moderate soft colors from yellow greens to blue greens. Featured products come from exhibitors Artovida, Artland, Baum-Essex, Chantal, Conimar, Cuisinart, Design Ideas, Epoca International, GoWISE USA, Le Creuset, Smiles, The Cookware Co., TAG, Takeya, Three By Three, Vitrinor, Widgeteer and Zojirushi America.
  • Quixotic embraces multicultural art and fashion with a new sophistication based on adventurous tonal combinations such as strong orange-toned reds with blues and black accents in jagged patterns and quirky splashes. Featured products come from exhibitors And! Sales, April Cornell, Artland, Boston  Warehouse, Bradshaw Home, Chefman, Danica Imports, Design Ideas, Full Circle, Galanz Americas, Le Creuset, Lodge, TAG and Typhoon Homewares.
  • Polychrome is a complex palette with novel combinations of similar colors that draws from global historic architecture incorporating intricate patterning and details in contrasting colors, running from purple and pink to mustard yellows and rust browns, all accented with soft blue tones and mixed textures. Featured products come from exhibitors And! Sales, April Cornell, Artland, Baum-Essex, BIA Cordon Bleu, ChopValue, Design Ideas, Full Circle, GoWISE, Graziani, John Boos & Co., Lodge, Root7 Ltd., Smiles, TAG and Talisman Designs.
  • Galaxy takes a bead on the stars with vistas and technology expressed in metallic finishes and blends across a spectrum of gold, silver, blues and purples. Featured products come from exhibitors Ankarsrum Kitchen, Artland, Bialetti, California Innovations, Capresso, Chantal, Cuisinart, Faneema Cutlery, GoWISE, Lasko Products, Lipper Intl., Rolser, Root7 Ltd., Seki Kanetsugu, Smiles, Swizz Style, TAG, Tao Clean, Tognana, Vidhi Exports, Umbra and Zojirushi America.

As for the color of the year, Classic Blue acts as a foundational shade for the home furnishings market. It can work by itself or transform a space, Pressman noted. An updated classic, it is easy to work with and can go in many directions including contemporary, country and traditional. Classic Blue works on its own and supports colors throughout the spectrum. Featured products in Classic Blue come from Chefman, Escali, Lasko, Lodge, Retail Resources Group, Root7 Ltd., Swissmar, Talisman Designs, The Cookware Co., and Tovolo.

“After COVID 19 hit, we reviewed the palettes to reevaluate what was changing and what we felt comfortable with for trends that are likely to move forward,” Pressman noted. “We felt most challenged with Fleur, the more dressy, elegant palette, but some products lend themselves to that mood. Vivify’s bright and vibrant colors to the warm and meditative shades of Folkoric we think remain valid for the longer term.”