5 Tips on How to Use Graham and Brown’s Color of the Year: Epoch

Nov. 7, 2020

Graham & Brown recently presented its ​Wallpaper of the Year: Timepiece;​ and ​Color of the Year: Epoch. Read about each and how you can best use the new shade within a space.

Launching the 2021 collection from its design headquarters in Blackburn, England, through a digital showcase, wallpaper and paint specialist Graham & Brown recently presented its annual ​Wallpaper of the Year: Timepiece;​ and ​Color of the Year: Epoch.

Drawing upon 75 years of design and manufacturing experience in the field, the in-house design studio identifies key movements in the interiors sector and forecasts the future trends that will shape the Graham & Brown collections for the coming months. (All images courtesy of Graham & Brown)

Timepiece marks the start of the 75th ​Anniversary celebrations of the brand, which will run throughout 2021. Piecing together fragments from the Graham & Brown archive, ​Timepiece​ is an amalgamation of prints dating from 1946 to the present day. The result is a bold, innovative wallpaper that represents the essence of the Graham & Brown design philosophy, according to a press release.

To complement the Timepiece wallpaper design, the Color of the Year for 2021, Epoch​, is a directional shade of plum, pinpointing the richest purple tone in the Timepiece wallpaper and amplifying it. A calming, cocooning tone, Epoch echoes a wider interior trend which looks to create restful spaces for healthier, happier homes.

“Time is an overarching theme that winds its way through each thread of our 2021 Trends Forecast,” says Paula Taylor, color and trends specialist at Graham & Brown. “As the world we live in continues to shift and evolve at an ever-increasing rate, we look toward the future through the lens of nostalgia. We’ve explored how the future has been envisioned throughout history and how time is often considered the most precious commodity of all. Both Timepiece and Epoch contemplate on the passing of time and what can be discovered should we embrace the opportunity to recharge, reflect and rediscover our history.”

Epoch is a proud, regal and luxurious tone, as described by Graham & Brown in its press release. For those that prefer a bold style, it can shape dramatic, high-impact interiors, but the shade can also be pared back for those that favor more subdued, soothing schemes. ​

Abby Hesketh, product manager and paint and color specialist at Graham & Brown,​ shares her five expert tips for styling Epoch​ within a residential or commercial space.

1. Tonal pairings are a great way to make use of rich, expressive shades while still keeping things fairly safe, she notes. “Epoch works brilliantly when used as a feature wall partnered with lighter hues of lavender and heather,” she explains. “This will soften the impact of the darker color while ensuring that all walls of the room tie together cohesively.”

2. If drama is your goal, Hesketh suggests pairing Epoch with other equally vivid colors.

“Partnering Epoch with shades of teal will result in an opulent, peacock-inspired look, while adding pops of peach can shape a playful yet sophisticated space,” she adds.

3. Hesketh says that color-blocking is another creative way to incorporate Epoch into a space.

“Here, you’ll see a simple geometric design using just three Graham & Brown paints—Epoch,​ ​Spiced Mulberry​ and B​aby Powder; ​the result is a light and airy feature that would make a fun addition to a kid’s bedroom, playroom or even a lounge.”

4. “A trend we’ve noticed gathering momentum is pale walls paired with skirting boards and doors painted in a darker shade,” she adds. “This is a great way to highlight the architectural features of a room and add a cozy element while still building depth and structure as we head into the autumn and winter months.

Use Epoch across all the woodwork within a room and pair with either a lighter shade of purple for a sophisticated tonal scheme, or with a mid-gray with warm undertones for lightweight feel.”

5. Finally, consider creating a drop ceiling effect by using Epoch on the ceiling and then continuing the color down to picture rail height.

“This is one of my favorite interiors trends and will work well with any of the perfectly partnered Graham & Brown paint shades,” Hesketh says.

Need to catch up on more 2021 color of the year stories? Read more here:

About the Author

Adrian Schley | Associate Editor

Adrian Schley is an Associate Editor for i+s, where she has been covering the commercial interior design industry since 2018. Her work can also be found in BUILDINGS and Meetings Today. 

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