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‘Indie’ Paint Company Offers its Slant on the 2012 Color Hit Parade


By Jill M. Speegle

More items for Color + Design

“Sprout,” “From Farm to Table,” and “Dusk to Dawn” may sound like a playlist of the latest “indie” music hits, and there’s good reason.

YOLO Colorhouse

The names above are color palettes expected to make an impression in 2012, as told by the Portland, Ore.- based and self-described “indie” paint company, YOLO Colorhouse.

YOLO Colorhouse

Started in 2005 by painters Virginia Young and Janie Lowe, the company specializes in non-toxic, zero-VOC paints for interior applications.

According to the company’s website, it strives for a “more colorful and less volatile” world.

Young and Lowe searched for healthier paint options after experiencing headaches and sore throats on the job, they said. The search eventually resulted in the two formulating their own “eco-friendly” paint line using clay and rice paste.

The process, however, was “costly, time consuming and unpredictable.” The founders then turned to chemists to arrive at a paint formula with performance qualities the artists sought without the chemicals found in traditional paints.

Today, the growing company says its manufacturing process does not involve the use of carcinogens, reproductive toxins, mutagens, hazardous air pollutants, ozone-depleting compounds, formaldehyde, phthalates, VOCs, or “bad colors.”

In fact, the colors in the palettes that are expected to radiate this year feature neutral shades and eye-catching hues that are both inspired by nature and good for nature, the company says.

The hues and their inspirations are described below.

Farm to Table

Continually inspired by the colors of nature—the “Farm to Table” hues honor the farmers, the soil, and the bounty of what is on our tables. This contemporary farm palette is reflective of both rural habitants and urban dwellers who are embracing their agrarian roots and supporting local farms in their communities.

YOLO Colorhouse

Colors in the palette are Stone .06, Clay .05, Leaf .02, and Air .03.


In 2012, we go beyond the primary colors of our childhoods and create palettes for life’s newcomers that reflect the whimsy of being a kid, but have a more grown-up sensibility. The Sprout colors are playful, but there is a twist that gives these subtle hues a balance of style and design.

YOLO Colorhouse

The pastel palette includes Sprout .01, Sprout .02, Sprout .05 and Air .01.

Dusk to Dawn

We are craving to be bold again, hoping to move through the uncertainty we have been living with and emerge with optimism. We are choosing stronger color choices that represent new life and passion. By pairing this royal hue with the whisper of cautious neutrals, our skepticism disappears in the “Dusk to Dawn” palette.

YOLO Colorhouse

Making up the palette are Create .06, Nourish .02, Nourish .03 and Air .07.


As of fall 2011, the company’s line or paints can be found on Amazon.com and in select West Coast Lowes Home Improvement stores.

In addition, the products are available from homedepot.com and other specialty paint retailers.

More information: www.yolocolorhouse.com.


Jill M. Speegle

Jill Speegle is the Editor of Durability + Design News. She earned her B.A. in journalism and English as well as her J.D. from the University of Arkansas. In Sketches, Jill shares her thoughts on a number of topics that may be of interest to the D+D community, including architecture, interior design, green building, historic restoration, and whatever else catches her radar.



Tagged categories: Coatings manufacturers; Color; Color selection; Color trends; Green coatings

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