Pantone 2016 Colors of the Year

For the first time ever, one color did not make the cut for pantone color of the year. This year, two colors were chosen to represent 2016.
Exit Fullscreen

Pantone 2016 Colors of the Year

Interior Design Trends | BrianaCarcione

For the first time ever, one color did not make the cut for pantone color of the year. This year, two colors were chosen to represent 2016.

Rose Quartz is a soft rose color that creates a warm feeling, and Serenity is a cool blue color that creates a soft and airy atmosphere. Together, these two colors create a calming environment when incorporated in home decor.

In past years, one color has been chosen for color of the year, and many of those colors were bold and created a statement when added to home decor. Colors such as Marsala (2015), Radiant Orchid (2014), and Emerald (2013) were mainly used as accent pieces due to the high impact of color they offered. The difference between these three colors and the combination of Rose Quartz and Serenity, is that using the 2016 colors allow more freedom with interior design. Using these colors on the walls will not make as bold of a statement as it would using last year’s color, Marsala. Due to the soft tones that this year has to offer, the options are endless when applying them to home design.

“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,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute.

When observing the two colors together, you may think that the color choices represent gender. Pantone wanted to take the growing movements towards gender equality to create a color combination that would coincide with cultural events in the world. So the color combination is not meant to separate the typical gender specific colors, but to create a way that could combine them to make a space feel relaxing.  

“I was surprised to see the color of the year is actually a pair of colors and delighted to see the shift from 2015’s deeper hued Marsala to the lighter, airier colors that are Rose Quartz and Serenity,” said Jennifer Swasey, Senior Interior Designer at KDA Architects, located in Voorhees, New Jersey. “True to what their names imply, these soothing colors are a must for spaces where you want to create warmth and connection.”

These two colors create a peaceful atmosphere, which is what we want to come home to after a long day. They resemble the colors of a summer sunset with the combination of blue and pink clouds. Bringing these colors in your home can add subtle color that makes an impact. Since both colors are relatively soft, they make good candidates for wall paint. Painting a nursery, living space, bedroom, or even bathroom Rose Quartz or Serenity is a great way to achieve the calming feeling that Pantone strived to create with this color pairing.

“When tinted with a beige undertone, I recommend using Rose Quartz in a Living Room or Study on upholstered sofas and chairs,” said Swasey. “This beautiful color gives a soft sheen when displayed on velvet, chenille and nubby cotton.  I would pair this color with golden brown wood tones and slightly deeper shades of tangerine for a truly welcoming space.”

If the bold choice to paint your walls Rose Quartz or Serenity is not for you, there are many other ways to incorporate these colors in your home. Adding a throw or accent pillows of either of these pastels can help you achieve the desired 2016 look. A popular trend with these colors include sofas. Sofas in both Rose Quartz and Serenity can soften a room and achieve the relaxing look that Pantone wanted to create.

“Serenity, when used as the feature wall paint in a room, will transform any space into a calming retreat – a favorite color for the Master Bedroom suite or the spa inspired bathroom, especially when paired with soft grays and deeper blues,” said Swasey.

Both of these colors can stand alone, but they also create a soothing look together. Pantone’s goal was to show how these colors can also work well together, and there are many ways you can use both colors in home decor.

“As for using Serenity and Rose Quartz together, I wouldn’t be afraid to use these in a guest bedroom,” said Swasey.“Both are global colors traditionally found in tribal and ethnic inspired fabrics -  use these on patterned pillows, paired with solid colored bed linens of the same shades, for a rich and unexpected visual treat.”

Artwork incorporating both colors is on the rise, and can brighten up a plain room with the mix of color. If you use one color on the walls, it is also a nice touch to accessorise using the other color. They compliment each other well, and these pastels can make a soft or bold difference in any room depending on how you use them.

Sherwin Williams Color of the Year

Pantone is not the only “color of the year”, and many paint manufacturers also come up with their own versions. Like Pantone’s Marsala, their 2015 color of the year, Coral Reef, Sherwin William’s 2015 pick, was also a bold color. Coral Reef and Marsala were colors that created a statement, and both companies took another route in choosing their colors this year.

Sherwin Williams also adopted a softer color for their “color of the year”, called Alabaster. Alabaster is a soft, white, neutral tone. Sherwin Williams describes this color as “offering a personal solstice” and “revival to weary minds”. Similar to Rose Quartz and Serenity, Alabaster creates a soothing, calm atmosphere.

Sherwin William’s offers color combinations to pair with Alabaster, and one they recommended was a “light blush”. Alabaster and Rose Quartz, conveniently enough, make a great pairing for home decor. Adding gray was also recommended, which could create a warm pallet for anything from bedroom decor to living room style.

Alabaster makes a good wall paint choice for those who like a neutral look. Alabaster is also a great color to use when experimenting with texture. Due to its subtle tone, using different textures would not be overwhelming, and could be the perfect touch to pulling together a room. Sherwin Williams recommends using Alabaster with other neutral tones or brighter hues, which allows for a multitude of options when experimenting with this color.

2016 has brought three great colors to the forefront of interior decorating. Rose Quartz, Serenity, and Alabaster are all great choices to add to any room in your home. From small accent pieces to wall paint, using these colors can create a calm, relaxing feeling.



Image Sources: Pantone Colors of the Year, Serenity Wall Color, Rose Quartz Sofa with Serenity Pillow , Rose Quartz Accessories, Rose Quartz Door, Alabaster Wall


Pantone, 2016, Colors of the Year, Paint, Color, Interior Design