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September 18, 2013

With the economy on the rebound, dispositions — and color choices — seem to be sunnier

By Tiffany Esshaki
C & G Staff Writer

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With the economy on the rebound, dispositions — and color choices — seem to be sunnier
Aaron Miller, founder of 248 Studios, creates artwork to cater to a colorful crowd.

Many seem to think that the economy is slowly, but ever-so-surely, rebounding after the global recession of 2009.

With that new air of optimism, people are feeling a bit brighter and more confident in their day-to-day lives. Well, at least it seems they are, based on the shades of their walls.

Janet Genn is the co-owner of Extra Oomph! in Birmingham’s Rail District. She stocks one-of-a-kind house goods and décor for trend-savvy homemakers. But Genn is also a veteran interior designer, which has given her a keen eye when it comes to choosing what items make their way into her retail collection.

Genn said that, over the years, she’s seen a huge range in color trends in home design, from bright and bold to neutral and earthy. These days, she said, the scheme of choice seems to be pastels.

“I’ve noticed, just recently, softer colors — like cottage colors, per se,” said Genn. “They’re easier to live with. They’re lighter colors, more soothing and comforting. It’s a room you would want to hang out in.”

Looking ahead, Genn predicts that colors could take a quick turn into the realm of jewel tones. She’s no oracle; she just knows where to look to get her design forecast.

“Home color follows fashion color. We have to watch the runways to see what the colors are going to be,” said Genn. “So far, they’re saying the big color of 2014 is going to be emerald green.”

When it comes to wall color and furniture, Genn’s personal taste is a little more neutral. It’s just more efficient, she said, to add pops of trendy hues with accessories.

Across town, Aaron Miller isn’t concerned with color accents. His world is all about color, as displayed in his artwork created through 248 Studio. His imaginatively altered photography is brimming with bold pigments.

“I definitely try to go bright,” said Miller of his pieces, which are sold regularly at The Rust Belt Market in downtown Ferndale. “I definitely try to make everything pop.”

Just weeks ago, Miller and his wife, Dana, made an appearance at the annual Dally in the Ally fair in Detroit’s Cass Corridor. The post-Labor Day festivities, largely attended by style-forward young people across metro Detroit, proved to be one of the studio’s most successful showings.

“I’ve sold (my art) to a lot of people, but I think the age range is really people in their 20s-40s. It appeals to younger people, I think, because they’re more accepting of the style.”

For close to 20 years, Rob Yedinak has been advising customers on how they can bring color to their outdoor décor. As co-owner of Detroit Garden Works, Yedinak stocks a range of pots, urns and other containers to hold plants. When it comes to color, Yedinak said that he certainly sees an increased desire for bright colors these days. But he always advises his customers to keep it small.

“With smaller pots, it’s not such an investment. That’s where people can really get wild colors, because you don’t feel like you’re going to be tied to it for the next 10 years,” he said. “But with larger pots, I advise people to get their color from the plants themselves.”

One specialty of Detroit Garden Works is the staff’s know-how on what can go in planters year-round, so beautiful containers don’t sit empty during colder months. From cut stems and twigs in the autumn with fall-colored mums, to cut winter greens throughout the holiday season, there are plenty of things to keep outdoor décor relevant. That’s why Yedinak tells customers to keep larger, more permanent fixtures neutral, despite what trends suggest.

“We have these Belgian pots in right now, and they’re all in earth tones. They’re the most successful line we’ve had in the history of the store,” he said. “It’s like a beautifully executed pair of khaki pants for your front porch. You can do vibrant colors in the plants, so you’re not so dependent on the pot.”

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Tiffany Esshaki at tesshaki@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1095.