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2014 Trends: Simply Enlightenment

The latest trend report by Dunn-Edwards, "Simply Enlightenment 2014", provides key glimpses into the color and design trends that will be shaping the world around us. Let's take a closer look at what's in store for this year, as well as dive into how social, cultural and demographic changes influence these color and design trends.

Looking back in time, the Age of Enlightenment was defined as a cultural movement by individuals to reform society using science and reason. Reframing the definition for 2014, we find that we're in a period of reformation through science and technology, brought on by reflecting on the Great Recession. We're actively engaged in redefining American society, lifestyles and culture — and we are promoting science and technology at an ever-increasing pace.

Four key color and design trends have emerged: EN-ergy deciphered, EN-joy the memories, EN-chanting Utopia, and EN-deavor the cosmic connection. And overall, the color palette is inspired by colors of Earth — from mineral deposits, calcification and fossilization, to the blues of water and sky, as well as science and technology with artificial coloring coming to the forefront.

EN-ergy deciphered is inspired by the need to seek order out of chaos and a reflection of man's impact on the planet. Color is focused on the latest neutral trends with warm stone coloring; mineral elements; the absolute of architecture; and post-industrial neutrals that have a worn look, aged by nature's elements.

EN-joy the memories is a reflection on the last era of the pre-tech days, the 1960s and 1970s. This is a nostalgic, feel-good story with a playful take on color and lifestyle, especially as it relates to the "California lifestyle" of beach, surf and sand. The color palette is vintage, filled with filtered light coloring and a nostalgia for California cool.

EN-chanting utopia is extravagant and abundant in color and beauty, with global travel at top of mind. Russia and Brazil are key to this trend, with Russian color palettes exuding deep, oily hues and textile inspirations that are over-dyed and contain aged gold accents. Brazilian color palettes, on the other hand, are influenced by plumage and exotic prints, as well as sparkle and shine.

EN-deavor the cosmic connection takes us on journeys below the ocean and to outer space. As we demand more places of quiet contemplation and as science and technology push us into new wonders and discovery, new frontiers are being explored, providing new marvels. The color palette is full of mineral pure color and the hues of the sea and sky. Blues play a key role with hues —ranging from watercolor blues, to deep inky blues — playing throughout the palette.