Color of the year

In Living Color

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Graphic by Shoshanah Siegel | Signal Tribune

Every year, a color is designated as the “in” selection or the color trend. Forecasters are part designer, part sociologist and part predictor. What’s happening nationally and in the world at-large translates into what will happen in our homes and environments. The color of the year is selected to help inspire and feed the imagination of individuals as they purchase and bring the color into their environments.

Who determines these trends? There are many “color experts” from around the world. However, in this article I am only going to feature just a few. As you will learn, there’s not just one group of experts and no clear consensus. Even though all of their forecasts were positive, they came up with some varying and surprising conclusions.

Not one, but twins
The Pantone Color Institute, one of the trend forecasters and a world-renowned authority on color, recently announced their selection of colors– yes, plural. They are “rose quartz” and “serenity.”

Because the colors selected are pink and blue, they initially reminded me of the perfect colors for a baby’s room. However, Leatrice Eiseman, who is the executive director of Pantone’s Color Institute, stated that “rose quartz is not a baby pink. It doesn’t have that wimpy feel.”

But why the two colors? Couldn’t they decide on just one? According to Ms. Eiseman, the light pink and periwinkle blue shades are meant to create a balance. Rose quartz is a “warm embracing” tone, and serenity is “tranquil and cool.”

“The two colors together challenge traditional views on color combinations, which is meant to parallel the blurred lines of gender in both in fashion and social movements we are experiencing,” Eiseman said. “The Pantone colors of the year are supposed to reflect expression through color, wellness, connection (communication) and a sense of peace.”

Color of the year is white hot
It was quite a surprise that after a year’s worth of research and deliberation, Benjamin Moore has selected their color of the year, Simply White OC-117. Their press release states, “The color white is transcendent, timeless, and its versatility is unmatched. From weathered wainscoting to crisp canvas shades, porcelain tile to picket fences, white is everywhere in every form– it was inevitable we pick Simply White to be our Color of the Year 2016.” If you have ever looked for a white that will go with both a warm palette or a cool one, this white might work for you. It is bright with a little warmth.

Another one like the other one
Sherwin-Williams’ 2016 color of the year is another white, Alabaster SW7008. The director of marketing, Jackie Jordan, states that, “Alabaster represents a straightforward and necessary shift to mindfulness. It provides an oasis of calmness, spirituality and ‘less is more’ visual relief. Alabaster is neither stark nor overly warm, but rather an understated and alluring white.” On the Sherwin-Williams website, it describe its Pura Vida campaign as focusing on earth tones or colors reminiscent of “the elements that remind us to live well, be well and stay well. Alabaster holds so much symbolism for peace and tranquility”, Jordan told HuffPost. However, if you do compare Sherwin-Williams’ selection of white with Benjamin Moore’s, the Alabaster looks like an ivory rather than a crisp clean white. It will go better with a warm palette than a cool one.

But wait there’s more
Not to be left out, Glidden’s choice this year is Cappuccino White and Ivory Keys by Behr Paint.

Questioning view from the Diva
It is interesting to see the influences these trendsetters have on our world. In the past, I have loved seeing the colors used in décor, housewares, clothing, cosmetics and paint. Except for Pantone’s selections this year, I am not seeing a definitive direction.

I have seen trends come and go. Each year, I take a mental note about the colors that my clients select. This past year has been full of neutrals, white/gray/beiges/green-grays. I had typically used these colors for homes and businesses that were being bought and sold and needed to be painted in a neutral palette. However, these monochromatic themes may not be inviting enough to live in. Thank goodness the trend of making every room a statement with bright and intense colors are gone. Has the pendulum swung too far in the other direction?

Adding just a pop of color may not breathe enough life into a space unless you really enhance it with colorful art and fabrics. This makes me question whether we are wanting a simpler and non-cluttered lifestyle and what we are sacrificing to obtain this. Visual boredom?

The truth is….
One of the most important things to remember is that color is subjective and it is a personal choice. No matter what colors you select for your home or other items in your life, they need to resonate with you, and you need to love them. Have fun!

Shoshanah Siegel provides color consulting as well as space planning, remodeling, upgrading and staging
through her firm Your Color Diva. Siegel has received her third badge for Customer Satisfaction and also badges for “Influencer” and “Recommended” on Houzz.com . She can be found online at houzz.com/pro/shoshanahsiegel/your-color-diva and contacted at (562) 427-0440, yourcolordiva.com or shoshanah.siegel@gmail.com .

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