Working with Pantone's New Colors of the Year


For the first time in the 16 years that Pantone has been announcing its “Color of the Year,” two complementary, mid-tone shades are sharing this prestigious honor. Rose Quartz #13-1520 and Serenity #15-3919 are the interesting winners. Yes, the colors pale pink and equally gentle light blue are paired together for a combination effect that appeals more to emotions than ever before.

Unquestionably, 2015 was a stressful year globally. Because Pantone chooses its color of the year as a reflection of and response to societal trending, the calming, peaceful feelings evoked by these two non-threatening shades makes more sense in a nervous and unpredictable world. Rose Quartz has been described as gentle, persuasive, compassionate and composed. Serenity’s blue tone captures the imagination with descriptions such as airy, weightless, relaxing, and tranquil. Pictures of endless sky come to mind. Put the two sweet colors together, and the effect is one of peaceful balance.

A second reason why these colors were chosen together is even more intriguing. Culturally, it would seem that the gender divide is narrowing rapidly lately. People are rebelling against the idea of being defined by the color and style of colors they choose to wear to express their personality and gender. The modern day connotation of pink for girls and blue for boys is being loudly challenged on the fashion runways, in Hollywood, and in the shopping malls and streets of America. Placing pink and blue side-by-side is a subtle way of blurring the contrasts by reflecting a new gender equality and fluidity.

So, how can you incorporate these colors into your own wardrobe and lifestyle? Actually, because neither choice is bold or demanding, they are easier to work with than you might think. You might even consider them a new kind of neutral, especially if you are tiring of everything “greige.” While these two soft shades will gladly join any gray regime without shouting for attention, the new look will be fresh and interesting.

Consider adding pink or blue accessories such as pillows, a throw, or a small lamp to your living room or bedroom. Freidman sells a simplistic “Wally Task Lamp” in a powdered pink or blue that would look perfect on your nightstand or desk. Sea & Asters offers a mini wood color-block planter in blush and wood that adds just a tender and slightly startling touch of pink to your tabletop.

For the kitchen and dining room, consider a pastel blue Keurig K250 coffee brewer with its own accompanying pink coffee cup. Crate and Barrel sells platters, plates, bowls and mugs in Marin Blue, a color that will complement most other dinnerware or table linens. Ferm Living offers a birch and oak Large Spear Tray that showcases triangles of pink and blue with other colors.

How about a pink and blue wedding? Imagine a wedding cake with soft, hand-painted watercolors draping down and around. Madison Lee has created a version that is ethereal and delicate. Pale strawberry and blueberry frosting inside would be a nice touch. For a slightly classier look, consider adding some delicate gold trim. Pink flowers in tall vases, pink invitations, bridesmaid dresses and accessories will be a popular choice this year. Pink and blue swirled together in gowns and flower arrangements will be another lovely option.

Expect to see blue and pink in all fashion designs this year. Coats, skirts, dresses, tops and accessories will be available as single colors or as side-by-side combinations. It would appear that 2016 is going to be an exciting year for Rose Quartz and Serenity.

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