When I was a kid, I loved Jonathan Cleaned Up – Then He Heard a Sound by Robert Munsch. It’s a story about how a subway station opens into a child’s living room and lands him in a whole peck of trouble with his mother, who doesn’t believe that the mess is caused by a subway. He fixes the situation by finding the little man with a massive computer (that doesn’t work) in a back room deep in the bowels of City Hall. This man had the power to decide where subways would stop and his choices were somewhat eccentric and whimsical.
Somewhere in a little office in Paris there exists a similar man (or woman), possibly with an equally expensive and dysfunctional computer, who decides what colours we’re all going to buy in a given year. I have a vision of this Wizard of Oz-like person playing roulette with the colour wheel and cackling gleefully.To my mind there’s a definite element of a self-fulfilling prophecy about the situation; we are told that the colours will be popular by a persuasive source and therefore the source’s opinion becomes fact.
Much as I prefer not to think about it, colour trends do matter to artists and craftspeople, as so much craft and art is bought to fit in with household décor. We’ve all had people purchase, “something for over the couch,” or, “a piece the right size for over the mantel.” I’ve met folks who have different sets of furniture and artwork for different times of year and who paint the walls twice a year, changing the colour each time. It sounds terribly odd and highly inconvenient to me, but I live a relatively simple life, in which even painting the baseboard once is a major undertaking.
It’ll be interesting to see how accurate these predictions are and just whether the prophecy does fulfil itself.