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March 4, 2020

Five Things we Learned at the Vishion Color Retreat

As our co-founder Anne has said before, one of the best parts of our NYC showroom in SoHo is the opportunity it provides us to better connect with the design community. 

Last week, we hosted a group of interior designers for the first Vishion Color Retreat. The event gave designers the opportunity to hear from and mingle with industry experts and fellow design professionals.

Our co-founders sat for a Q&A session as part of the Color Retreat speaker lineup, joining Laurie Pressman, VP of the Pantone Color Institute, Samantha Smith of Vishion, designer Dani Arps, and Nicole Gibbons, CEO of Clare paint. Here are five big takeaways from last week’s event:  

1. Color is on the rise for 2020 (and beyond).

As our founders explained, color trends are leaning in the direction of more is more—meaning, we’re moving away from the all-white home with the fiddle leaf fig tree in the corner (sorry, millennials). Bold hues and maximalist vibes are here to stay—and with the launch of Vishion’s social app, it’s easier than ever for designers and design lovers to specify furniture and finishes by color and browse each other’s work for inspiration.

2. The importance of color in design can’t be overstated.

Color psychology is far from a new phenomenon (and yes, it’s more than just another way for you to overthink that new shade you’ve been considering for your dining room refresh). As one of the core elements of design, color can impact everything from our mood to how large (or small) a space feels. Psychological effects and optical illusions aside, the importance of color choices, intensities, and combinations are critical to the way we perceive just about any space.

Industry West founders at the Vishion Color RetreatIndustry West founders at the Vishion Color Retreat

 3. Color trends transcend industries and culture.

In discussing trending hues for 2020 and the sources of inspiration for Pantone’s color forecasters, Pressman emphasized that color trends (including Pantone’s well-known annual Color of the Year) are inspired by everything from patterns and combinations seen around the world, to the application of color psychology to the current cultural and political climate. And color forecasting isn’t exclusive to the design industry—both fashion and product development of all kinds tend to follow the same color trajectories.

4. A formal design background isn’t necessary to find a place in the design industry.

While many of the Color Retreat speakers had interior design backgrounds, the majority (including our founders and Vishion CEO Samantha Smith) lack a formal design education. This certainly hasn’t held them back, though—with a good eye and years of experience, it’s possible to find a niche—and sometimes an outside perspective is just what it takes to find inefficiencies and propose big improvements. That leads us to our final takeaway…

5. The interior design industry is ripe for disruption.

While superstars and household names abound, the design industry has plenty of room for improvement. Nicole Gibbons described how Clare helps reduce decision fatigue by providing a limited palette of tried-and-true paint colors. Samantha Smith of Vishion created a color-based search engine app for furniture, fixtures, finishes, and more to streamline the specification process. And our founders built a furniture brand that is proving the value of hand-curation for a modern D2C audience.

When it comes to color and design trends, it’s true that change is the only constant—and one of our biggest takeaways? The fact that color is driving changes in the way design professionals work.

WRITTEN BY ERIN WEINBERG