Exploring the 2016 Pantone Color(s) of the Year | SummitDaily.com

Exploring the 2016 Pantone Color(s) of the Year

Pantone Colors of 2016: Rose Quartz and Serenity
Staff Photo |

Each new year brings new trends and directions in the interior design world. How can you keep the style of your home fresh and current? When it comes to color, turn to the experts — the Pantone Color Institute®. The Pantone Color Institute is the global authority on color and color communication. The Pantone colors themselves are known as the international language of color for interior design, graphic design and the fashion industry.

At the end of each calendar year, Pantone announces a dominating color for the following year, The Pantone Color of the Year. The Institute describes it as “a symbolic color selection; a color snapshot of what we see taking place in our culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude.” The process is part research, part prediction. They study the trends of interior designers, design houses and fashion houses, and assess the cultural pulse of the world. They pair that research with what they expect to see in the coming year on a global level. They often select vibrant, cheery colors in optimistic times, and deeper, heavier colors in times of woe or economic strain.

For the first time in history, the Pantone Color Institute has declared two colors as the Pantone Color of the Year for 2016: Rose Quartz & Serenity. So… why two colors this year?

“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 a soothing sense of order and peace,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.

“… A symbolic color selection; a color snapshot
of what we see taking place in our culture that
serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude.”

While the sentiment is lovely, it’s hard to think of anything other than… babies. The pairing of soft pink and baby blue has long been synonymous with newborns. We immediately conjure up images of cooing infants and soft cotton blankets. But if you’re able to look past that and focus on the colors independently, both hues are lovely in their own right.

Aside from the naming of two colors this year, the major difference we’re seeing is that both colors are soft, airy, almost muted tones. In years past we’ve seen rich, saturated colors. 2015 was the year of Marsala, a deep maroon hue. Before that was Radiant Orchid in 2014, and Emerald in 2013 — both heavily saturated colors that “popped.” This shift to a more delicate palette may make it easier to introduce this trend to your home.

Pantone views these tones as working in harmony. Our advice — proceed with caution. Unless you’re aiming to honor the ‘80s when pastels reigned supreme, the look is tricky to pull off. We prefer the idea of bringing both colors into your home, but in separate spaces.


The first color, Rose Quartz, is a delicate blush hue. It can serve as a feminine counterpart to deep gray tones and bold metallics.

For a fresh look, pair Rose Quartz with brighter pink and coral hues, like the Double Diamond Rug by Anthropologie. Avoid shipping costs and shop local at Mountain Comfort Furnishings & Design in Frisco to browse their selection of Capel Rugs. Pull from the tones in the rug for wall colors, accent pillows and draperies.

For high impact, consider investing in a statement piece like the Antoinette Fainting Sofa from Urban Outfitters. Instantly create an intimate seating area at the foot of your bed, in a large hallway or entryway, or dare we say, a nursery.


This pale blue color lends itself to a variety of styles. Whether your home is a rustic cabin or a clean-lined modern abode, this shade of blue will work with any style of décor.

An easy way to bring a bit of blue into your home is with decorative vases. Some glazed terra cotta Fernley Vases from Crate&Barrel could be the perfect centerpiece on your dining room table, fireplace mantle or in a windowsill. Shop local and head to the Juniper Tree on Main Street in Frisco to view their collection of unique blue vases in varying hues.

In the bedroom, try a monochromatic layered look. The warm grays balance the cool blues, resulting in a look that’s not too masculine or too feminine. Our favorite Serenity-hued pillow is the Zuma Archetype Pillow by Kelly Wearstler.

If you’re ready to fully embrace the Serenity hue and add some retro flare to your home, the SMEG Refrigerator in Pastel Blue, available at West Elm, is the ultimate way to go. The SMEG line of vintage-inspired products is all the rage in the interior design world, and with good reason. Form and function meet with classic lines and modern technology.

Whether you choose to incorporate Rose Quartz, Serenity or both into you home, have fun and experiment. You might just fall in love with an unexpected shade of blushing pink or pastel blue. Now that you’re aware of Pantone’s colors, keep an eye out to see if they pop up in the design and fashion world. Will Pantone’s “color snapshot” be accurate? Only time will tell.

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