Shades that slap you silly are making a comeback.
They fled from the '80s to the spring runways.
Now, neon colours are coming to living rooms. Today's neons aren't timid. Thanks to technology, colours 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 colours pop more than merino wool. Eise-man suggests shopping for lively pieces with lustreless texture such as wool throw pillows or cotton curtains. She also says prints that combine neutrals with neons give the untrained eye a bit of colour and then a bit of rest. "There's this peripheral-vision thing going on," says Eise-man, who credits the cosmetics industry for dropping neon-esque colours back into our lives. "Some people might say 'ugh' to neons, but if you see it enough, it enters your realm of vision and you begin to say, 'That's not so bad.' "
Some home retailers, such as CB2, are already betting that love for neons will come back in no time.
"Colour 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-coloured product, but each season we do see upward shifts in demand for certain specific colours."
Some of CB2's brightest colours this year include atomic yellow, grass and pool blue.
Erin Loechner, an art and design blogger, is a fan of colourful groupings and garlands. She created a DIY dinosaur garland in a host of 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 favourite 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 colour 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 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 suggests using neon paint colours sparingly in a space to enhance current design elements or create a more interesting atmosphere.
Try a bright paint colour on a ceiling to complement four white or grey walls. You could also try painting an entry door, accent wall, kitchen cabinets or the base of a kitchen island, a bathroom vanity or the top or bottom half of wainscoting, she says.
Although colour expert Eise-man isn't sold on all of us painting our walls chartreuse, she does say that more people are open to neon, fluorescent and vivid colours than ever before.
© Copyright 2013