Millennium blues: Squid, Spa and Fog TRENDS


The future looks blue.

Well, not blue exactly. It looks Spa. It looks Bay Fog. The future - specifically the millennium - looks Squid Ink.

That's according to the Color Marketing Group, an Alexandria, Va.-based nonprofit organization that forecasts color trends.

After years of forest greens and earthy browns, "Blue is definitely beginning to

influence the pallette again," says Color Marketing's Patrice White. "It's an optimistic color ... very soothing."

If the 36-year-old agency is on the mark, we'll be buying cars, curtains and can openers in designer variations of Squid Ink.

That name may sound alarming, but

Color Marketing describes it as "a dark gray-influenced blue, calm and serene like a starless sky at midnight."

Other expected stops on the 2001 spectrum include Frosted Jade, a "beautiful, dreamy gray-green," and Hematite, a deep "grayed-purple" that Color Marketing predicts will be a "softer and more malleable" replacement for black.

There's also Chakra Purple (a "veiled, mystical lavender") and Silver Streak (a "mercurial silver with a soft sheen"). Both are shades that began to surface in cosmetics nearly two years ago, and White says that connection is not uncommon.

"In some cases, we are influenced by what [fashion] is doing," she confides. "Sometimes, we're influenced by the city we meet in."

That's surely the case with Bay Fog, a "complex neutral that evokes impressions of gray, blue and purple" concocted, of course, at a conference in San Francisco.

But what does this tilt toward cooler colors mean? White suggests it reflects an increasing emphasis on mind, body and spirit. "People have more expendable income than they've ever had, and they're spending more money on their homes," she says. "They're making their homes their sanctuaries."

In that case, why wait for 2001? Have the paint guy mix up a gallon of latex in Spa. With your walls drenched in "water-influenced blue ... a pure color that is healing and helpful," you'll be ready for anything the millennium brings.

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