Pantone 2016 Color of the Year – Congratulations, It’s Twins!

For the very first time, Pantone has announced a duo of colors as Pantone 2016 Color of the Year.

2016 Pantone Color of the Year

Pantone 2016 Color of the Year – Rose Quartz & Serenity

I like the idea of a color combination of the year. I am always telling my clients: color is RELATIVE. Relative to other colors around it, and impacted by lighting conditions, as well. That’s why the lovely wall color you see in the magazines may not be the perfect color for your own living room.

In addition, I don’t consider too many colors as “dated” in isolation. It’s COLOR COMBINATIONS that are dated. Remember how avocado green was trending so hard a few years ago? My clients who grew up in the 1960s-1970s were appalled at the trend, because all they could imagine was the avocado green and harvest gold kitchen appliances from their childhood – definitely a “dated” color combination!

avocado and gold_thumb[1]

BUT – the new, trendy avocado color was now being paired with an on-trend favorite: turquoise. And the result was a fresh, updated color combination:

green-and-blue-boys-bedroom-built-in-window-seat-between-bookcases

source

I must tell you, I’m not sure this idea of color combos for Pantone 2016 Color of the Year has ANYTHING to do with what I just described. The pink and blue combo chosen appears to be a specific choice aimed at picking up the social and political climate, having to do with gender fluidity and blurred lines between the two.

I also must tell you that I don’t particularly like Rose Quartz and Serenity as a color combination – at least not in isolation of other colors. Pantone does offer several suggested color palettes including those two colors on their website, this being the most current and appealing, in my humble opinion:

pantone color combinations

The closest thing to Serenity I have specified in any paint color or even fabric or decor over the last few years is this little girl’s room:

pantone color of the year serenity room

see the befores and afters of this room here

The wall color is Benjamin Moore Violet Mist, which is a blue with a bit of purple in it. Obviously lighter than Serenity, but in the same family. You can see that the pink and blue are a sweet combo for a little girl’s room. But not so much for a grown up space.

However, I LOVE that Rose Quartz is part of the Pantone 2016 Color of the Year, although I would have much preferred it to have been THE Color of the Year. Blush pinks are definitely trending – I actually was expecting it to be the 2015 Pantone Color of the Year. I have specified a version of this color several times in the last few months!

http://clivetompsett.com/editorial/Clive Tompsett

But, instead we were served up the organ meat color of Marsala, the 2015 Pantone Color of the Year.

To sum it up, I love the Rose Quartz. But not so much the Serenity. I still think blues are hot, just more so when they are in the slightly green direction, vs. purple like Pantone’s choice. If you go with a blush pink paint color like Rose Quartz, make sure it’s muted and fleshy (on the peach side) so that it doesn’t end up looking like a 4-year-old girl’s room. Or Pepto-Bismol. Pair your blush pink with grays, whites, blacks, spa blues, yellows, and gold, and you should be on the cutting edge of decorating trends.

What do YOU think about Pantone 2016 Color of the Year?

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JL
JL
4 years ago

I think you’d have to be a very savvy decorator or just plain bold to make pink work in a living space. I’m neither of those, so, the color(s) of the year are a no go for me.

Debbie Gomila
Debbie Gomila
2 years ago

Love it! Have used blush pillows paired with spa blue on linen colored sofa for a year now.

Amy
Amy
4 years ago

I personally really like rose quartz color. I’ve seen that blue done nicely, but it takes a special decorating touch to make either work without looking too “gamine”. At least it’s not another tone of white…!

Paige Brasche
Paige Brasche
4 years ago

I’m not sure what the folks at Pantone have been smoking, but 2015 and 2016 picks are waaaaaaaaay too 1987 for me. I just can’t do it. Why?!?!?!?!!!!!?????!!!!?

Caroline McKay
Caroline McKay
4 years ago

I totally agree with you Kristie. I too am confused by the “twins ” Love your headline ? I too thought the blush pink that has been creeping back onto the decor and fashion scene for a couple of years now would be a possibility. I have never seen such a write up from Pantone explaining their choice before. It’s definitely more of a social statement.

Carol
Carol
4 years ago

I love pink, but I don’t think many people do. It’s definitely a shabby chic color or for a little girls room. I love pink roses!

Carol
Carol
4 years ago

Looks like the pink and mauve of the 80s. I forgot to add.

Angela
Angela
4 years ago

Hi Kristie – I’m glad we’re talking about pinks! I’m in the UK and was in the Farrow & Ball shop the other day, looking for a colour for to compliment their “blue grey” – in an adjacent room. I remember you writing once that certain types of pinks (esp from the 80s) look like a ‘band aid’ and I was trying to avoid that – and so was unsure what kind of F&B pink would work for me. Not sure if you know their range at all (?) but I was thinking something like their Calamine might be an… Read more »

Jo Galbraith
4 years ago

I am with you Kristie, I like the blush pink and the “baby” blue in certain applications but NOT together. It would be difficult to paint a whole room Serenity (too baby blue in my opinion) but I can certainly see the blush pink on walls. That color combo brings me back to my mid 80s living room which had pink sponged walls and baby blue upholstered furniture (in my defense, it was my first home and that was the favored color scheme of the day lol!)

Pam C
Pam C
4 years ago

I wouldn’t want to use either color in my home. I am not a fan of most blues, but periwinkle blue I love.

Joanne
Joanne
4 years ago

Oh no!!! I just can’t do pastels, neither in decor nor fashion. It is just too pale for me. I’m a ” red” girl, versus a “pink” one.

Tara
Tara
4 years ago

Ugh. It’s like two people picked the colors and upper level management said, “I’m not going back to argue with either of them…so whatever…we have a winner…er…winners!” There are worse colors but to choose these as colors of the year? Beats white, though. I wish a color company would put out a true blue, a true gray, true yellow, etc. so I can figure out which way all the other colors lean (pink? blue? violet? green?). Having spent way too much time picking out a wall color for a small bathroom and then having to punt when it wasn’t going… Read more »

Tara
Tara
4 years ago

Ok…I think my head just exploded.

Laurel Bern
4 years ago

Terrific report Kristie! As for my opinion? Parents: Is it a boy or girl? Well… we’re not sure, said the doctor, I would decorate for both until we figure it out. Oh, how I wished that they’d just have picked one or the other. Actually, that was my bedroom in the sixties! My mom got this hombre fabric that when from blue, lavender into pink and made our curtains out of it. I didn’t like it then either. However, if one uses them separately, and pairs them with what I was hoping to see which was a deep rich blue… Read more »

Laurel Bern
4 years ago

Hi Kristie, Oh, woosy is like wimpy. must be a northern word. lol My Pantone post is linked to my name. I’m trying very hard to be a nice person. lol But this is war! And I feel it my duty to protect the citizens of the world who might be deleteriously affected by bizarre choices coming from those supposedly in the know? Did you see their pairings? Some of the individual colors are okay (some aren’t. Like mustard and pink? blech!) but they put them in palettes and together, oh meo myo! I have concluded that they are purposely… Read more »

Jessica S.
Jessica S.
4 years ago

I was bracing myself for it to be white, and for you to literally go stark raving mad.

Jenny B.
4 years ago

Eh. It takes me a while to warm up to new trends, so maybe I’ll love these colors in two to three years. I’m doubtful, though. The only colors of the year I’ve been excited about were turquoise (2010) and Emerald (2013). I’ve always loved greens and blues, though. Oh, well… at least I know what I like! 😉

Teri
Teri
4 years ago

Ick on the duo. As for the blue, I painted my daughter’s room that color about 10 years ago, although it was darker. I am not sure that shade of pink is fresh enough for me, so this year is another dud.

Robin
Robin
4 years ago

Wayyyy to ’80’s for me lol. My china is actually in again hehe. I’m sure I won’t be painting any rooms with that dynamic duo, but it’ll be interesting to see how they spin this combo to give it a new twist.

Veronica Domurat
Veronica Domurat
4 years ago

I do like the Rose Quartz and the image of that living room! I could live there (I don’t know if my husband haha)

Veronica Domurat
Veronica Domurat
4 years ago

Yes haha! But I have to say that the room is so well put together and it feels relaxing without being boring that I am starting to think that my husband could enjoy it too, even if it’s almost all pink 😉
Thanks for your reply Kristie!!

Theresa
Theresa
4 years ago

I always understood trends reoccur about every 40 years. This holds true . . . as I’m mentally preparing for a large scale mauve and colonial blue striped wallpaper removal.

Paige Brasche
Paige Brasche
4 years ago

Introducing Pantone’s 2016 Color(s) of the Year

Paige Brasche
Paige Brasche
4 years ago

Haha! I thought you’d like that! I do however like this next pic. It has some gold in it like you mentioned before, and just a hint of the Serenity blue.

Paige Brasche
Paige Brasche
4 years ago

Kelly I Designs

Sheila Zeller
4 years ago

I hate it! Period. I am in stride with your critique Kristie, but I honestly have no room for this duo. Really??? UG, double UG-UG. 😐

Kay
Kay
4 years ago

NO! “No” to pink. “No” to blue. And “No” to pink with blue. What in the world was Pantone thinking when they selected two colors? However, I love everything else in the “Rose Quartz” room, especially the “squooshy” sofa.

Oliver
4 years ago

Thanks for the great information. useful information about house painting. Especially about the colours!

Katerina
4 years ago

Wow, so much hate for these colors >:( It may scare away some people, thinking it’s too soft, too girly, too childish, too 80s, too whatever for them.. but I think they can be incorporated in almost any room without being overpowering if you pick the right items. The rooms in the photos that Paige picked were horrifying for me (partly because they weren’t even the right colors), but you could mix it with some neutrals (white, grey, wood) to tone it down. Here I tried making a moodboard/interior set with these colors as dominant for a living room, which… Read more »

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