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The new year is almost here. New Year’s Eve brings with it many traditions. There are parties for some of us that evening, and perhaps long lazy brunches on New Year’s Day. Many of us use the turning of the calendar page to start healthy new habits or form a New Year’s resolution to change bad ones. Another new thing that has arrived each year since 1999 into 2000: the Pantone Color Institute declares a “Color of the Year“. 2016 is a surprise, as this year, there are two complementary shades that have received that designation.

Pantone as a company is primarily known for its definitive reference guides to ink colors in the world of print and magazines. But its influence has grown to cross over into different fields. Pantone has successfully positioned themselves as a leading authority on the commercial application of color, and many designers keep a Pantone Color Book in-hand to discuss options for different shades with their clients. For example, a graphic designer in New York can call a book publisher in Hong Kong and say that they want the lettering on a book’s spine to be “Marsala”, which is an earthy wine color with undertones of brown. That’s Pantone color #18-1438 and was also 2015’s Color of the Year. The designer can tell the publisher they want #18-1438 and the publisher will be able to match it exactly because that number refers to a consistent, predetermined color.

Glamor Magazine recently interviewed Leatrice Eiseman, the Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute. They asked about the process behind the choosing of the upcoming year’s hot hue. Ms. Eiseman said that Pantone’s employees travel a lot, taking note in the world around them of what colors start to pop up regularly. One employee might be a fashion maven and they report back regularly. Another might specialize in home decor. Those are subdivisions of a larger interest base or trend: macrpantone-color-of-the-year-lee-eiseman-quoteo interests. Instead of focusing on just one area of art or design, Pantone keeps its finger on the pulse of colors around the world, in many different applications. This puts them on the forefront of color influences as they happen around the globe.

Pantone’s Color(s) of the Year for 2016 are: Rose Quartz (Pantone # 13-1520) & Serenity (Pantone # 15-3919). Some of the friends we mentioned it to weren’t initially imagining design applications for these softer hues other than a nursery or young child’s room. But the world might be ready to see these pastel palette pals pop up in some less-expected places.
Graphic design blogger Leslie Stocker  found comparable shades of paint and had some fun touching up this older dresser. One might not think that the cool, soothing blue would blend so easily into the warmer pink of rose quartz, but the colors complement each other.

rose-quartz-and-serenity-octopusOn independent and vintage art goods site Etsy, seller Adam’s Ale Art Prints takes 2016’s hot colors out for a funky spin with this triptych octopus art print done on canvas. He suggests it’d be great beach house decor. We agree: this fun take on a denizen of the deep would be an unexpected addition to a coastal home’s usual decor subjects of seashells and starfish.

Once you start exploring the options of easily-changeable home decor items, like a lamp, or rug, or pillows, or paint, you’ll find that Rose Quartz and Serenity Blue might be just the colors you were looking for. From a breeze-filled patio to a sunlight-drenched deck, these delicatcolor-of-the-year-pillowse hues can add an understated pop of coolness or warmth without being too assertive. Tap into your inner Zen; reduce your blood pressure by surrounding yourself with 2016’s calm, nurturing colors of the year.

The world outside can feel overwhelming at times. Creating an oasis of peace and relaxation in your home might be as easy as switching up the colors around you. In 2016, you should give that a try. Perhaps you can use the inspiration of new color to help you stick to that New Year’s resolution, this time. Research suggests that although 40% of Americans make changes to their life for the new year, only 8% of us achieve those goals. We need all the inspiration we can get!

011415-shabby-chic-country-chandelier-H; shabby-chic-country style; living room; chandeliers scene; 4P248 chandelier; X4628 table lamp; J2184 desk lamp; 5V804 sofa; 3F869 chair; 7F248 accent table; 7F246 coffee table; 7F249 desk; 4N314 area rug; 2R401 wall art; 6C776 mirror; 6K111 pillow; 6K114 pillow; 5T120-7F258-7C917 pillow; 5T120-7F398-7C917 pillow; SW6322 Intimate White; SW6323 Romance

Walls painted in Rose Quartz: photo courtesy of Lamps Plus.

We at Kingston definitely wish you motivation – and serenity – in 2016. May your year be filled with all of your favorite colors.

(Colorswatch image & Leatrice Eiseman quote used above, courtesy of Pantone.)