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2018 Color Trends vs. Colors of 1998

Annual color trends are more than just a guide for designers to follow throughout the year. Color trends quite literally paint a picture of what each year looks like. This year, pinks and purples along with certain shades of blue seemed to dominate color schemes everywhere, from fashion to home decor.

As we began looking ahead to the color trends of the upcoming year it got us thinking, “how do the colors of today compare with the colors 20 years ago?” Then, we realized that 20 years ago was 1998 and we were a little sad that that much time has passed since the 90’s. Now that we’ve accepted that time passes more quickly than we’d like, we’re ready to start comparing the color trends of today and yesterday. Let’s begin with the trends of yesteryear, particularly 1998.

1998 = Red, White, and Blue?

color trends compared to 20 years ago mccarley cabinets

Figuring out the top color trends from 20 years ago proved to be a bit tricky at first--until we came across this chart from Comfortable Feathers, which highlights the top color trends throughout the 90’s. According to this chart, shades of red, white, and blue were all the rage back in 1998. That spring and summer, shades like hot pink, red and blush were everywhere along with pale blue, gold and white. During the winter, heavier tones like baby blue, black, denim and cream joined with red and white to dominate fashion and decor in the cold season.

2018 = Live in Technicolor

(Top image: Pantone Spring 2018 Color Trends; bottom image, Pantone Fall 2018 Color Trends; Images Credit: Fashion Trendsetter)

These days, color trends are not limited to one or two color palettes. Though shades of pink and purple heavily dominated this year’s color trends, other shades of red, green and blue also held their own while neutrals in gray, beige and navy continued to trend. 2018’s color of the year is Ultra Violet --a very in your face shade of purple that can be found on everything from women and girl’s clothing to throw pillows to the flowers in your garden.


So what’s changed in trending colors since the 90’s? Well, first let’s look at what color trends of today have in common with yesteryear’s trends. One constant is the love of neutrals. White, black and shades of beige trended throughout the 90’s. Today’s neutrals are a bit different. While white shades will always be among trending neutrals, black has taken a backseat to the less severe gray and navy tones. Beige is still around, but it’s no longer a one-note color.

One color we’ve borrowed from 1998 this year is the blushy shade, Blooming Dahlia. This Pantone color is reminiscent of the same shade we see in the 1998 color chart. Pantone’s 2018 color Little Boy Blue also mimics 98’s spring/summer blue tone, pale blue.

Perhaps the biggest change between then and now is the demand for a shade in every color. Back then, we stuck with 3 to 4 colors and wore them well. Now, we want the perfect shade in every color of the rainbow. However, when we find that one shade we really, really love we want as much of it as we can get. We want a lighter shade, a darker shade and something in between.

Overwhelmed by today’s color options for your home renovation project? Let McCarley Cabinets do the thinking for you. We’ll walk with you step by step from planning to building. Get started on your project with a free quote.

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