Pantone’s Color(s) of the Year for 2016!

published Dec 3, 2015
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(Image credit: Dabney Frake)

It’s early December, which signals not just the holiday season, but also the day that all color lovers wait for with bated breath: Pantone’s Color of the Year announcement. Radiant Orchid was a controversial choice in 2014, and no one saw Marsala coming in 2015. Elle Decor predicted months ago that it will be peacock blue. Were they right?

Surprise! They chose not one, but a blend of two colors this year.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Here’s what Pantone has to say about their two picks:

As consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses, welcoming colors that psychologically fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security are becoming more prominent. Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.

Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.

Once people get over the baby nursery comments, I think we’ll see a wealth of possibility for design and interiors. We’ve seen pastels emerge in a powerful and modern way in recent years. On its own, pink has almost become a new neutral that, when paired with other colors, has a range of moods and associations.

But it’s the blend of these two classic colors that’s the novel part of their announcement. Single colors rarely exist in a vacuum, and become even complicated, interesting, and nuanced when they aren’t standing on their own. Pantone recognizes the traditional perceived female/male dichotomy of pink and blue and frames their choice in a broader context of meaning that goes beyond paint choices and fabric.

The prevalent combination of Rose Quartz and Serenity also challenges traditional perceptions of color association … In many parts of the world we are experiencing a gender blur as it relates to fashion, which has in turn impacted color trends throughout all other areas of design. This more unilateral approach to color is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity, the consumer’s increased comfort with using color as a form of expression, a generation that has less concern about being typecast or judged and an open exchange of digital information that has opened our eyes to different approaches to color usage.

Of course, consumers like yourself will have the ultimate say on whether the colors merit all this attention. Do you respond well to Pantone’s choice? Or, in the language of dollars, will you incorporate the two into your home in this upcoming year, or will you be waiting instead for 2017?

For the full scoop: Pantone’s Official Announcement