Shades that slap you silly are making a comeback.
They fled from the ’80s to the spring runways of designers such as Nanette Lepore and Cynthia Rowley.
Now, neon colors are coming to living rooms. Today’s neons aren’t timid. Thanks to technology, colors are brighter, bolder and more intense than before, says Leatrice Eiseman, director of the Pantone Color Institute.
Eiseman says the finish of bright products may create hesitation for some homeowners.
Shiny surfaces make colors pop more than, say, the soft texture of merino wool. Eiseman suggests lively pieces with low-luster textures, such as wool throw pillows or cotton curtains.
Prints that combine neutrals with neons give the untrained eye a bit of color and then a bit of rest, she says.
“There’s this peripheral vision thing going on,” says Eiseman, who credits the cosmetics industry for dropping neon-esque colors back into our lives. “Some people might say ‘ugh’ to neons, but if you see it enough … you begin to say, ‘That’s not so bad.’ ”
Some home retailers, including CB2, are already betting that love for neons will come back in no time.
“Color has always been a key part of CB2,” says Ryan Turf, chief merchandising manager. He was surprised by strong sales of a bright pink, high-gloss side table called the City Slicker.
“We have always seen strong sales in bright-colored product, but each season we do see upward shifts in demand for certain specific colors.”
Some of CB2’s brightest current colors are atomic yellow, grass and pool blue.
Erin Loechner, an art and design blogger, is a fan of colorful groupings and garlands. She created a DIY dinosaur garland in hot hues for a home office featured on HGTV.com.
“Displaying bright, bold accents in your home is a subtle way to incorporate happy hues,” Loechner says. “By surrounding yourself with objects you love in your favorite tones, you can subconsciously create an environment that’s enjoyable for you and your family.”
Loechner says she’s pleased that the neon trend has come full circle. She suggests reserving pops of color for accessories, such as bright dining utensils, an intense table runner, punchy patterned throw pillows or framed fluorescent artwork.
Erica Islas is an interior designer whose work has been featured on the HGTV’s “Designer’s Challenge.” She agrees that accessories are the best way to introduce neons into a room, but she also thinks that bright paint shouldn’t be overlooked.
She uses neon paint colors sparingly in a space to enhance design elements or create a more interesting atmosphere.
Says Eiseman of the recent stretch of trying economic times: “People now want to do something new … bright colors add some excitement to what we’re going through. … They allow the fun in.”