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  • Writer's pictureKaren Seiger

5 Tips For Enjoying Pantone’s 2016 Colors Of The Year

Beautiful demonstration of how to incorporate Pantone's 2016 Colors of the Year

My friend Dondrill Glover styles a dinner party setting with Pantone’s 2016 Colors of the Year (Photo by Ed Lefkowicz)

I eagerly await Pantone’s Color of the Year announcements. Last year it was Marsala, which I loved for its vibrancy and rich options for complementary colors. In 2014 it was Radiant Orchid, which I found pretty, if not a bit insipid. The 2016 Colors of the Year have been a bit of a challenge for me to get excited about.

For the first time ever, Pantone has released two colors of the year: Rose Quarts (Pantone 13-1520) and Serenity (Pantone 15-3919), also known as powder pink and baby blue. Individually, they’re lovely colors. Together, though, they make it very hard to think outside the nursery.

Subtle pops of Serenity and Rose Quarts make a quiet statement

Subtle pops of blue and pink make a quiet statement (photo by Ed Lefkowicz)

I do appreciate Pantone’s philosophy behind choosing these two colors. “Joined together, Rose Quarts and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting the connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace,” says Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director, Pantone Color Institute.

Pantone’s website also describes their objective of freeing these colors from the binds of their gender associations, clearly anticipating my first response. So I’m going to be supportive of their choices for 2016 and see about working them into beautiful experiences this year.

I was chatting about these colors recently with my friend Dondrill Glover, Manager of ABC Carpet & Home’s abcmkt and Independent Interior Stylist. She gave me some pointers about how make the most of these colors in our home design, starting with a dinner party. Here are her top 5 suggestions:

Layers of neutral linens ad wonderful texture to a place setting (photo by Ed Lefkowicz)

Layers of neutral linens ad wonderful texture to a place setting (photo by Ed Lefkowicz)

Make a quiet impression. As you can see in the top photo, Dondrill uses a blue patterned plate that is elegant and attractive, but also soothing and tranquil, just like Pantone describes. Our blue plate is slightly more sky blue than Serenity, which is closer to a periwinkle, but it’s tranquil nonetheless.

  1. Incorporate the colors clearly but subtly. See how many places you can spot the rose quartz. For example, Dondrill layered a gold threaded place mat with stunning vintage last napkins, including a pale pink one that shows through just a bit beneath the lace and the spoon.

  2. Work the colors into the details. The blue plate has pops of pink garden roses. Dondrill incorporated a rosy vintage crystal wine glass together with the clear ones. The small butter dish on the right features a delicate bluebird. Even the sweet, teensy floral arrangement adds a tiny pop of white white and dark pink.

  3. Partner with neutrals. The vintage linen comes in many neutral shades from white, off-white, and antique beige in the lace borders. These fabrics provide a welcoming warmth to guests at your table.

  4. Play until you love the result. It was a wonderful thing to watch Dondrill pick out objects and work them to her design. She tried many different configurations and layers, adding items and taking items away until she was happy with the look.

Dondrill believes that a dinner party begins with the the eyes. When you create wonderful looking table, your guests immediately feel special. You are setting the stage for a memorable dinner party. And your food will taste even better too.

Many thanks to Dondrill Glover for helping me figure out the Colors of the Year, and to ABC Carpet & Home’s abcmkt for all the beautiful pieces in the images, including the amazing farm table. And special thanks to Ed Lefkowicz for more the brilliant photos.

~Karen Seiger, Markets of New York City

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