This morning the top dog, the big kahuna of color forecasting, Pantone, released their pick for the 2016 color of the year. For the first time ever Pantone chose not one but two colors, Serenity and Rose Quartz.

Pantone's colors of the year

Pantone colors of the year

My very first thought when I saw this image was baby boy, baby girl, twin nurseries. Separately, I actually like both colors. Rose quartz, or blush, has been trending for a couple years now and used in the right context is gorgeous.


Blue, especially rich saturated blues are also hugely popular and last year the internet was abuzz with disbelief that Pantone didn’t pick a deep Mediterranean Blue as their color of the year for 2015.  By itself, Serenity is a perfectly lovely color, I’m just not a fan of this particular pastel blue paired with rose quartz for much else except a nursery.

As explained by Leatrice Eiseman,

“This more unilateral approach to color is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity, the consumers’ increased comfort with using color as a form of expression which includes 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.”

Reading her explanation I get it. The pairing of these two colors are more about what’s trending in our society than it is about colors for interiors (hello Caitlyn Jenner). Regardless, both these colors are a breath of fresh air compared to last years choice of oppressive Marsala.

Back in November two other paint companies, Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams also announced their picks for color of the year and coincidentally (or not) they both chose a soft white.

Benjamin Moore color of the year Simply White

Benjamin Moore color of the year Simply White

Sherwin Williams Color of the year Alabaster

Sherwin Williams Color of the year Alabaster

As someone who is in the final week of treatment for breast cancer, these picks struck a nerve with me. I felt they both”nailed it” so to speak. I chose a soft white for my family room for the One Room Challenge and coincidentally, all the trim in my home is painted Simply White. Being someone who LOVES color you might think my affinity for white is odd but the great thing about white is that it plays a wonderful supporting role to all the rich saturated colors I love to use.

Psychologically, White represents a clean slate, a fresh start, and don’t we all crave a more simple, organized and stress free life heading into 2016?

I know I do. Cancer has rocked my world but also in a positive way. Heading into 2016 I do want a fresh start. I want to simplify things in both my business and my personal life. I want to finish undone projects. I want to continue to declutter and I want to stop living in limbo with the never ending conversation with my husband about whether we should downsize and move or stay. Who cares? Cancer has taught me that you can do your best to plan your life but things happen. It is important to live each day to the fullest because who knows what will happen tomorrow.

Bottom line, the colors of the year have much less to do with interior paint colors than they do about the current pulse of what’s happening in our world. Given the devastating happenings of the past few months and especially yesterday in California, I think we can all agree that Rose Quartz, Serenity or White are all colors we can seek refuge in.

I would love to hear from you. Which color is your favorite of the three?

Linda Holt | Interior Designer & iPhone Coach

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